Getting Your House Ready to Sell — 6 “To Do’s” That Can’t Wait

National -

You’re about to list your home for sale. Is your home ready for what’s coming?

If you haven’t crossed these six items off your to-do list yet, the answer is a resounding “no.” Here’s what you need to do, roughly in order, to make sure your place is in the best possible shape to show to buyers.

1. Complete a Seller’s Inspection

You’ve heard of a buyer’s inspection, but what about a seller’s inspection? Do you need to worry about that at all?

In short, it depends on the rules governing residential real estate transactions in your area, and your real estate agent is the best person to ask about specifics. But in many places, sellers are expected to provide buyers with detailed property disclosures that may require more information (perhaps much more) than they know off the top of their head.

If you’re concerned about your home’s condition, consider retaining a structural engineer. For larger homes and condos in multi-unit buildings, a remedial construction firm like Karim Allana’s ABB might be your best option. For most detached single-family homes, a residential engineering specialist is a fine choice.

2. Cross Off Those Little Fixes You’ve Been Putting Off

You don’t have to do them all yourself. In fact, your real estate agent probably has a preferred handyperson — or several, if they’re a big deal. Or maybe they just use a “worksourcing” platform like Handy. Either way, shoot them a text and offload your honey-do list for good.

3. Repainting Faded or Outdated Rooms

This is another item to ask your real estate agent about. (Sensing a pattern yet?) You want to know which rooms really need to be repainted and which colors to go with if so. 

Just keep in mind that it may not be worth recoating everything because the resale upside of “trendy” paint is marginal, while the downside of old, outdated paint is greater. 

4. Sprucing Up the Landscaping

Many home sellers re-sod the lawn on the way out (if they had a lawn to begin with). This is a reasonable practice, but it might not be necessary or cost-effective. A few well-placed flower pots or new plantings could be all that’s needed to up the home’s curb appeal and entice prospective buyers in the front door.

5. Getting Your Junk (And Stuff You Want to Keep) Out of the Way

“Reduce and relocate” are the words of the day here. And when we talk about “relocating” the stuff you want to keep, we mean off the property, not shoved in the garage where potential buyers are liable to find it.

If you’re up for it, pad your moving fund with a yard sale a few weekends before you list. You’ll get your unwanted stuff into happy hands and help your home’s interior shine.

6. Hiring a Pro to Deep-Clean

Do this shortly before you list — and don’t trust yourself to get it done. Your home needs to be totally spotless before it hits the market, especially if you plan to have an open house that first weekend. Be prepared to clean again if the house sits on the market for a while.

Final Thoughts

Selling a house is hard work, which is why most folks only do it a few times in their lives.

But as you learned growing up, hard work can pay off. By taking the time to get everything in order upfront, you’ll get more for your house later on. That’s more money to put toward your next home purchase, put to work in the bank or stock market, or invest in that overly ambitious business idea you’ve been working toward for years.

Previous articleKaptur Leads Letter to President Biden Urging Further Consideration of Proposed Power Plant Emission Rule’s Impact on Jobs, Electricity Affordability and Reliability
Next article5 Home Renovations That Will Boost Property Value