What To Do Before You List Your Home

By October 5, 2015 March 18th, 2019 No Comments

Listing a home for sale is a big step, and it’s one you want to get right. To make sure you’re not listing your home before it’s ready, check out our list of musts to take care of first:


Everything in your home should look as new, clean, and free of clutter as possible. If you have pets, any damage should be repaired and their presence should be virtually undetectable. Cleaning also includes touch-ups in paint and landscaping.


Get professional input on what can and should be done around the house (and yard) to make it more likely to sell. Your house feels like home to you, but you need fresh eyes to see it the way a prospective buyer might see it. Others, including real estate professionals, will be able to see things you might miss, and they know what qualities make the difference between a sale and a pass.


Not only should you make as many of your agent’s recommended improvements as possible, but you should document them, along with all of the upgrades you’ve made to the property in the time you’ve owned it. Include things like additions and remodels, new paint or carpet, and new floors or appliances.


Make sure you have plenty of good photos of your property. Look for tips to help you make your home look its best in the pictures. And if you’re listing your home in winter, include images of the yard in peak season so buyers can picture it at its best.


Manuals for appliances and systems, warranty paperwork, even utility bills are things realtors and buyers alike will want to see.


If you know your home may need some repairs, find out how much they’re likely to cost so you can either do them yourself or have a strong position in price negotiations with potential buyers.


There’s a lot of information you can gather up-front that will make things a whole lot easier in the long run.

Interview agents before you sign an agreement. Make sure you’re choosing an agent you can imagine working closely with for as long as it takes. You also want to get more than one agent’s opinion on what your home’s list price should be. If you think it’s worth more than an agent suggests, hearing similar prices from multiple agents can make it easier to accept their assessment.

Look at “comps” or recent comparable sales to see what other homes like yours have sold for recently.

Know how much is owed on the house. You can use your loan documents and online amortization calculators to figure this out. This step may help you decide whether right now is really the best time to list.

Make sure your home has a clean title, especially if you inherited it. And let your realtor know of any liens or disputes that may need to be resolved.

Once you’ve got all these things under your belt, you’re ready to list.

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