Discuss simple improvements with your agent that are cost-effective and will increase the value of your home, such as pressure-washing or painting your home’s exterior, tidying up your landscaping, replacing your front door, and other easy tasks. If your home is in serious disrepair, however, with issues such as an outdated roof, it might be a good idea to take on a larger project to increase your home’s value. Your agent will be able to help you decide if it’s worth it to pay for a major project now in order to sell your home for a higher price later.
Checklist for Getting Your House Ready to Sell
Ultimately, there are several steps in the process of getting your house ready to sell. This checklist outlines the essential steps and considerations to prepare for selling your property.
1. Determine whether it’s a good time to sell.
Market conditions fluctuate regularly, and homes generally move faster in some areas during certain times of the year. Research market conditions and find a few local, comparable homes that have recently sold as a benchmark to get an idea of the market conditions. You can read about the latest real estate market conditions and trends on the Redfin Blog; you can also see what the median home sale price is in your area on the Redfin Data Center.
2. Find out if it’s financially feasible for you to sell your home.
In less-than-ideal market conditions, you might find out that the market value of your home is less than the remaining balance on your mortgage.
3. Make updates and repairs to improve your home’s value.
Evaluate the main structures of your home and take care of any pressing problems, such as leaking pipes, cracked windows, or other concerns that could turnoff potential buyers.
4. Clean and declutter.
Rooms will look larger if there’s less stuff in them. You might consider renting a storage unit to temporarily store all but the most critical pieces of furniture and decor. But don’t go overboard; it’s better to leave some furniture in the room than to have it completely empty, so potential buyers can imagine where their furniture would go.
5. Focus on curb appeal.
Keep your lawn mowed, your hedges trimmed, and consider adding flower beds for a bit of color. Replace your mailbox if it is damaged or in poor condition. Consider painting or replacing your front door. Check out our home staging tips for more information.
6. Schedule a professional photo shoot.
The majority of potential buyers will see your home online before they see it in person, and first impressions are important. One Redfin study found that homes with professional listing photos sell for $3,400 to $11,200 more than their list price.
7. Decide on a competitive asking price.
A competitive listing price is one that is similar to listing prices of comparable homes on the market (or those that have recently sold), yet high enough that you’ll make a healthy profit.
8. Discuss home tours and open houses with your agent.
Let your agent know when it’s ok to let people into your home to see it, and decide on a date for an open house, if that’s what your agent recommends.
9. Let your agent take it from there.
They’ll put your home on the multiple listing service in your area, which will get it on sites like Redfin.com and in front of other agents. They’ll also order and place a “for sale” sign in your yard, so passerbys will know. They’ll also start to market the property to potential buyers, via flyers, online advertising and other means.
10. Start looking for your next home.
In the event that your home sells quickly, you’ll need to be ready to move. Here’s our advice on navigating the tricky situation of selling your home and buying a new one all at the same time.