As you get ready to sell your house, the extensive to-do list can get more than a little overwhelming sometimes. You may not know where to begin — is there even an order for these things?
To help you get started, we broke it down for you. Below is a list of easy to follow, step by step instructions on what to do before you put your house up for sale. While some of these tasks may seem surprisingly easy or obvious, ("Hey, I already knew that!"), some require you to break a sweat and really get down to the nitty-gritty. Ready?
1) Sprucing up Curb Appeal
You want to ensure that potential buyers see a home, not a fixer-upper, when they look at your house. Anything from a dreary front lawn to chips in paint can deter someone from considering a purchase. It's often best to make the house look appealing, like somewhere you would want to not only return to at night but hang out. Small efforts like weeding, mowing the lawn, and planting bright flowers go a long way.
2) Repainting and Retouching
During the course of your time in the house, you may have painted the walls a personal color or a "lived-in" look. Although a certain color may be for you, it can turn off someone else. Trying running some neutral tones over the walls and/or ceiling, then check for any scratches or scuff marks that need fixing. And unless you’re very confident about your painting skills, a professional paint job is more likely to impress.
These repairs include everything from tightening loose door handles — you don't want your house to come off as falling apart — to making sure the security system is in working order. Keep in mind that rural home security needs to be treated differently than urban security, and update key features if needed.
3) Finding a Good Real Estate Agent
It may be tempting to try to sell your house without professional help (Homie app, anybody?), keeping the profits strictly for yourself, but according to a Keller Williams real estate consultant, Jon Sterling, you need to resist the urge. Sterling says that selling the house direct from owner to buyer generally ends in disaster for one or both, often financially.
That being said, you also shouldn't hire the first real estate agent you hear of. Go online, ask a friend, or call some contacts, preferably several, before choosing one to discuss the house with. Get a feel for the person and move forward from there.