Planning to Sell Your House? Here’s Your Ultimate Home Prep Checklist
You want to sell your home as fast as you can, and for a big profit. Who can blame you, right?!
That said, getting your house ready for the perfect sale takes a lot more than luck or a sense of optimism.
Yes, there is work involved. But if you take the process step-by-step, prepping your home for sale can be FAR simpler than you’d think! I’ve even taken part of the planning out of the equation for you—just follow these 5 steps to get your home ready for sale, and I KNOW you will “wow” that perfect buyer.
It’s worth mentioning that these days, there is a high inventory of homes on the market. This means that homebuyers can afford to be choosy!! They’re looking for the best choice for their families—and that has as much to do with the layout and feel of a house as it does with its condition and look.
So, here’s your ULTIMATE checklist to make the sale of your home happen on the best and fastest terms!!
Step 1: Disconnect!
When I say “disconnect,” I don’t mean unplugging the Wifi router. Disconnecting or disassociating from your home is an overlooked but CRUCIAL first step as you prepare a house for sale. The house is just a house now. It’s a shell that will be adopted by others. Pack up all the memories you made in that home this very instant, because as you move into the next step, you will need to function as objectively as possible.
Step 2: Depersonalize
After you’ve gotten an emotional “grip” on the fact that this house is no longer your home, it’s time to pack up all your super-personal stuff…family photos and heirlooms…take down that rooster on the countertop in the kitchen…and Grandma’s blankie has to be packed away, too. As for furniture, keep the understated pieces out.
This kind of depersonalization is even more important than neutralizing paint colors. You have to strip the house’s décor of things that are too “you” so your buyers can see themselves living their instead.
NOTE: The goal here is not actually to take out whatever you don’t want buyers to know about you…instead, it’s about making it as EASY as possible for the perfect buyers to see this house as their future home.
Step 3: Declutter
You knew this was coming!!
It’s truly amazing how much STUFF we collect over the years…and when you have a whole house to fill, the volume of belongings can get totally unreal.
Some of the reasons we tend to hold onto things that we shouldn’t include emotional attachments and the ongoing intention to reuse or fix specific items…but now is the time. Decisions HAVE to be made.
If you haven’t used something in over a year, there’s an 80% chance you can get rid of it!
Donating isn’t your only option with downsizing, either!! You can look for new homes for special items among friends and family to get the joy out of more treasure belongings forming part of a loved one’s life…or, you can put on a major sale in the yard or online and get some cash to furnish your new place!!
As you declutter, you will also want to pull books from the bookshelves and generally start storing more of your things. Use the closets (but store things neatly). Or, get a storage unit.
By the way…your bookshelves will ALL look better with 40% fewer books…trust me.
EXPERT TIP: You can even downsize the dining room table by pulling the extra leaf in the center—it will make the room look larger, too!!
Step 4: Make the necessary repairs
In a buyer’s market (like the one we’re in now), repairs WILL make or break you’re a sale. Think about details like cracked tiles in the counter or floor. Fix leaky faucets. Make sure your doors close properly. And ensure your kitchen cabinets all open and close with ease!
When you do get around to painting, it’s best to go with neutral colors, of course. Think about how your potential buyers will describe your house when they leave…will it be “that one house with the salmon-colored solarium?” I really hope not!!
EXPERT TIP: Put new lightbulbs in EVERYWHERE, too, especially if you can’t remember the last time you replaced one. Imagine if one of those lights burned out right in the middle of a showing!!
To get ready for your open house with an even more specific list of to-dos, use our complimentary Open House Checklist!!
Step 5: Look, feel and SMELLS
Once you have the maintenance and handyman fixes all done, it’s time to put the cleaning crew to work. Whether that means you and your family members or a professionally-hired team, windows should be washed inside AND out…the exterior of your home should be cleaned by pressure washing…and you’ll want to recaulk all the tubs, showers, and sinks. You can even polish the chrome faucets for some EXTRA dazzle!!
To get the biggest curb appeal from the moment potential buyers step in through the oor, check out these ways to maximize the main entry to your home.
EXPERT TIP: Kitchens are SUCH a big selling point that it’s important to keep yours spotless…and that does include the refrigerator, too!!
And OH the smells! Set your freshly-cleaned house up for a successful smell (er…sell) by using simple air fresheners or diffusers in each major space. Above all else, don’t cook anything really exotic (or, better said, aromatic) the night before a showing…that includes fish, cabbage, garlic and the like. Be wary of your pet’s toys, bed or litter box, too!
BONUS STEP: Find the realtor you like…and TRUST
When you do start looking at realtors (which I wholeheartedly recommend), you need to find someone who will be a true partner. But, I should be clear, that DOES mean listening to their advice (at least to take it into account). Hire the expert you feel you can trust, because whether or not “Susie” down the street listed her house for $400K and sold it in a week or not doesn’t mean yours will sell for the same. Your realtor will be able to set you up with the best expectations for the timeline you want to sell your house in. You’ll also get the best staging tips, too.
What else have you thought about getting done? Do you already have your new house picked out?! Moving can be stressful, but it can be exciting, too! Let me know what other tips you need help on…Start the conversation with us on Facebook!!