A Step-By-Step Guide to Ensuring a Stress-Free, Quick, Top-Dollar Home Sale
Selling your home is an intensive process and can often lead to frustration for you, the seller. From pesky inspection items the buyer wants fixed to being displaced during showings, sellers often find it hard to the see the goal in the midst of the process.
However, it does not have to be this way. If done correctly, your home sale can be stress free, fast, and profitable. The key is proper preparation. Follow this step-by-step timeline, so your sale can be unstressed instead of being distressing.
Preparing Your Home to Sell
Home prep can feel overwhelming. As you approach your list date, it seems as if “stuff” is growing out of the closet walls as you try to make your home tidy and show ready. Take the time—well beforehand—to follow the schedule outlined below, and come listing day, you’ll be breathing easy, knowing you’ve done everything right.
Two Months Out
1. Take Inventory, Store Your Stuff, and Donate
You’ve no doubt accumulated many things over the time you’ve lived in your home. Pick one day per week for the next four to six weeks to truly de-clutter one room in your home. Get rid of things you no longer use. You will thank yourself on moving day. Tidy what you’ll be keeping; store the rest. It may be helpful to rent a storage unit.
2. Have an Inspection Done on the Home
A home inspection will help you identify potential issues that may arise during the home sale. Fix them before you list your home. You will not only save yourself headaches during the process, but you will also save money. Not all fixes will be necessary, but it’s important to be aware of possible issues when you go under contract for the sale of your home.
*Rhoads Real Estate offers a complimentary, pre-listing home inspection, so be sure to ask us about this service.
3. Don’t Take on Any Major Home Projects
Many projects can add value to your home. Prior to making decisions on these projects, consult with a Realtor to find out which projects are likely to provide a great return on your investment and which you should leave be. Small fixes are great, but now may not be the time to remodel your kitchen and bathrooms.
One Month Out
1. Interview Real Estate Professionals
Interview agents and find the one you believe will best serve you. A strong Realtor in your corner, with a fantastic marketing plan, will ensure you’re doing everything right as you bring your home to market. They will also help you navigate all the ins and outs of selling, from start to finish.
You should sign on with an agent about a month prior to listing your home, providing you and your Realtor ample time to schedule necessary pre-listing tasks, including:
- Document preparation and review
- Deep cleaning
- Professional photos
- Coming-soon period
- Marketing plan preparation and implementation
2. Gather Home-Related Documents
You will need many documents when selling your home. Your Realtor will help you compile all your documents, from HOA docs to receipts for home maintenance, so you aren’t scrambling to find them when you receive and accept an offer on your home.
3. Continue Your Inventory, Storage, and Donation
This process may take more than six weeks, so it’s a good idea to start two months before you plan on listing. Be diligent, and you will find when it’s time to show your home, it looks incredible! (There are many great apps for computers and mobile devices that can make home inventory a breeze—and this information can then be used for your insurance, as well.)
4. Schedule Small Fixes
You have your inspection report in hand. Whether you take on the projects yourself or hire someone to handle them for you, be sure these items are completed no later than two weeks prior to listing. Your photographer and all the potential buyers viewing your home online will greatly appreciate it.
Two Weeks Out
You’re Almost There!
Be sure to discuss a healthy coming-soon period with your Realtor. This timeframe will offer your Realtor an opportunity to present your home to the market (TWICE!): first via an extensive “Coming Soon” marketing plan (Ask us about ours!) and then again once your home goes LIVE on the market!
It essentially gives you an extra week to expose your home to potential buyers before it goes into the MLS, i.e., it won’t count against your Days on Market.
One Week Out
1. Double Check Your List
You’ve been diligent about cleaning, purging, and fixing your home up, so it will show perfectly to potential buyers. Sit down and take stock of your progress. Wrap up any remaining loose ends.
2. Create Curb Appeal!
Curb appeal is an often-overlooked component of the home-sale process for many owners. Between purging, cleaning, and staging, it feels as though there isn’t enough time to accomplish everything. But take the time to tidy your home’s exterior. Plant some flowers, pull some weeds, and lay down some new mulch.
Buyers make home-purchase decisions not only on cost but also on how a home makes them feel. If they LOVE your home when they pull up to it, it’s much more likely they will LOVE the inside too!
3. Plan a Trip
The first weekend is usually the busiest time for home showings. If it works for you, take a weekend trip out of town, and let your Realtor work his or her selling magic. Between showings and open houses, it is likely you will be displaced from your home for many hours both Saturday and Sunday, so escape the stress, and go unwind while your Realtor sells for you.
Day of Listing
You did it! You prepared well and did all your homework. Closet doors are on, touch up paint is done, and the garden looks fantastic. Nice work. It’s time to sell your home!
Your job is to sit back and relax while your Realtor does the heavy lifting. Once your home is uploaded to the MLS and disseminated to all the major consumer websites, and all other pre-marketing tasks have been completed, you now get to breathe deeply and relax.
Your Realtor will keep you updated on all showings, interest, and offers and walk you through accepting the right offer for your needs. Congrats on doing it right!
This list is thorough but in no way complete. Every home, seller, and sale is unique, so be sure you have an open line of communication with your Realtor to ensure your sale goes as smoothly as possible.
Want More Information?
Check out our blog posts: “7 Common Seller Mistakes” for more details on great ways to prep your home for sale. We are here to be your real estate resource. Never hesitate to reach out to us with any question, thought, or concern you have regarding your real estate needs.