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17 Steps To Get Your Home Ready To Sell

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couple holding a for sale sign in front of their house

In a mid-2022 report, the number of consumers who feel it is a good time to sell a home increased to 76%.

But it won’t stay a seller’s market forever. As always, the tables will eventually turn, and buyers will gain the advantage.

If you’re thinking of selling your house, you’ll want to do so now while the market is still in your favor.

What can you do to make sure your home stands out and you get the best price? The key is preparation.

Here’s our guide for how to get your home ready to sell in the current market. If you follow these home selling tips, in this order, you give your agent the best possible product to work with. That buys you the highest chance of the selling process going as smoothly as possible.

Plus, there’s an extra tip at the end if this list seems like too much work! Read on to find out more.

1. Declutter

The firs step in selling a home isn’t cleaning, it’s decluttering. Only once you’ve organized your home can you move on to the repair and cleaning stages.

How can you declutter and organize your home?

The key is to get your house to look as much like a show home as possible. That includes spaces hidden from guests, that won’t be hidden from viewers. Think of closets, cabinets, and everywhere else you normally hide excess things.

As time-consuming as it sounds, it’s important for the entire home – including storage spaces – to be tidy. Once you’ve sorted your main spaces, organize your storage to look as sleek as possible.

For some people, that involves storing a few boxes of extra stuff at a friend’s, or in a storage unit. But the work is worth it! When a viewer opens a coat closet to find styled shelving, it leaves a high-value impression.

2. Depersonalize

Once your home is clutter free, move on to making it feel less personal. Of course, viewers want to enter a warm, inviting home. They want to be able to imagine their own family living there.

If your home is filled with family pictures and children’s drawings, that’s harder to do. Instead, for the time being, store these precious memories out of sight. And fill any gaps in your frames with tasteful images of nature, or other neutral, cozy art.

Besides replacing family portraits, make sure you remove any polarizing décor. Even if it’s subtle, any nods to religious or political beliefs can turn away potential buyers. Keep these valuable pieces in storage for now, ready to move into your new home.

3. Check Your Electrics

Buyers want a house in tip-top condition. If something simple like a lightbulb isn’t working, it can make them wonder about other more serious electrical problems.

Don’t let doubts like these creep into buyers’ minds! Make sure everything from your lights to your AC and smoke detectors work perfectly. This may mean you have to change a couple of batteries and bulbs, but the ROI is definitely worth it.

4. Check Your Plumbing

For the same reason, your plumbing fixtures need to be in tip-top condition.

Ideally, you want a buyer to not even think about your plumbing. But if they turn on the faucet and the water comes out at a weird angle, what will go through their head? Probably that the house is poorly maintained, even if this is a tiny issue.

To combat this, make sure there are no issues with any of the following:

  • Leaky faucets
  • Skew faucet water streams
  • Odd toilet flushes
  • Leaking pipes

To clarify, this does not mean you should renovate your bathrooms! Renovations take weeks at best, and are very costly. While a new bathroom adds value to a house, it’s unlikely that it’ll add enough to justify the investment.

Rather, work with what you have. Make sure your current fixtures look as good and work as well as possible.

5. Consider a Small Kitchen Update

The kitchen is often viewed as the heart of the home. It can also be one of the most expensive home updates.

So if a buyer sees a kitchen they don’t like, they’re unlikely to make an offer and take on the work of refurbishing.

But that doesn’t mean you have to undertake the work either! Instead, take a few affordable, small steps to modernize your kitchen. You could even change just one thing, such as updating the countertops or cabinet handles.

These small kitchen updates are of low cost to you, but add value to your home.

6. Update Your Paint

In general, people don’t notice a good neutral paint color. What they do notice is scuff marks that make your home look too lived-in and tired.

A new coat of paint can freshen up your whole house, and make sure buyers aren’t distracted by marks on the walls.

Also use this time to neutralize any bright, bold, or unusual paint colors. As beautiful as they are, they limit your pool of buyers to those with the same taste as you.

Exterior paint can be as important as the interior, especially for curb appeal. A full exterior repaint is an expensive undertaking. So rather just touch up any areas that are obvious as you approach the house.

7. Landscaping

Seventh on the home selling checklist is addressing the outdoors. Some buyers are more interested in your land than your home! If your home has a yard, make sure it is well taken care of.

You don’t have to spend weeks planting perfect flower beds. But make sure your land looks tidy and well-maintained.

8. Exterior Tidying

If you have a fence, check it for missing panels, and repaint it if necessary. If you have a pond, make sure it looks healthy and clear of debris. All these little changes can make your home stand out to the right buyer.

9. Move Out the Pets

Once your fixtures are updated and walls are painted, is it time to clean?

If you have pets, not yet. It’s best to move out your furry friends before you undertake the big deep clean. Otherwise, you’ll end up vacuuming up pet hair before every viewing.

Save time and stress by moving your pets out a little ahead of time. Even if only a day or two before your viewings, find a friend that doesn’t mind pet-sitting until you move.

10. Deep Clean

A deep clean is exactly what it sounds like – make sure you get everywhere! Besides a typical dust, vacuum, and bathroom clean, make sure not to miss these areas:

  • Window panes
  • Inside window frames and tracks
  • Inside all cabinets and closets
  • On top of cabinets
  • Behind plumbing fixtures
  • Inside shower drains
  • Inside ceiling light fixtures

11. Seek Out Lingering Smells

Once the pets are moved out and you’ve cleaned top to bottom, any lingering issues should be easy to spot. The most problematic of these is bad smells.

With all your plumbing working and any pets out of the home, there shouldn’t be any! But we often adjust to the smell of our own home.

To make sure you catch any issues – however small – invite over a trusted friend. Ask them if there is anything they can smell that buyers might notice. If you find something, make sure you address the cause of the problem before your viewings begin.

12. Research the Market

Now your house is in perfect condition, you have a good starting point to compare it to the market. Research local buying and selling trends. This should help you settle on a loose figure that you’d like to list your home for.

Of course, your agent can help with this. But it’s always best to be informed and do your research before you start the process.

13. Choose Your Agent

Now you have to choose a realtor. There are many ways to filter down the options, from recommendations to ratings.

What we recommend is that you check the fine print.

  • What exactly are their fees?
  • How much do their fees change depending on the final sale price?
  • Do they include professional photography services?

Doing this research means you enter your professional relationship with a clear understanding. Then, the rest of the process can be smooth sailing instead of stressful.

14. Have an Inspection

Inspections are a highly debated topic. After all, why would you want to hand a document to your buyers that points out every flaw of your home?

Because you’ve already fixed it all!

Inspections are known for being incredibly nit-picky. So if you can hand over a document that points out nothing but a skew tile and an old gutter, you ease buyers’ worries.

They were going to find the problems anyway. Rather get ahead of the game and point out how small the problems really are.

On the odd chance that your inspection does find a major issue, it gives you time to fix it. Then when viewers check it, they’ll be relieved and excited to see that it’s already sorted.

Counter-intuitive as it is, inspections make buyers feel more confident, not less.

15. Stage the Home

Now to make the home look perfect! Staging adds small design elements that make your home memorable. This could be anything from expensive candles to a bowl of perfectly ripe (and nice smelling!) fruit.

As unimportant as this may sound, staging is a huge part of the selling process. It makes your home feel warm and inviting, but not like it’s already lived in.

In fact, 82% of agents say that staging makes it easier for their buyers to visualize the home as their own. And that translates into a faster sale and higher price.

16. Hire a Professional Photographer

Now that your home is ready for viewings, you need to capture the magic in photos. 43% of buyers start out by viewing a property online. This online searching stage happens before they even contact an agent.

If your photos don’t capture their attention, they’ll dismiss your property immediately. But good professional images show off the best angles of your home and make online viewers book a visit.

On top of that, the need for high-quality photos has become even more profound since the pandemic. Which means everyone’s photos are getting better. 

Your photos need to be as good as all this competition. Make sure not to try and DIY this crucial stage, but hire a professional.

17. Get Ready for Viewings

Now you’re ready to sell your home! The final of our moving tips is to make sure you’re out of the way.

Once the home is clean, tidy, and perfectly staged, it’s time to leave.

Potential buyers feel more comfortable if they can inspect a house thoroughly. And they’re more likely to do that if the owner isn’t anywhere to be seen.

To make your open houses go smoothly, leave it to your agent and vacate the premises. 

The Shortcut for How to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

As you can see, the steps involved in getting your home ready to sell are numerous. Thoroughly preparing your home for viewings and the sale can take months of work.

You may be wondering, is there a way to still get a fair price without doing all seventeen of these steps?

iBuyer.com is here to make home sales as easy but fair as possible. We have extensive knowledge of the conditions of houses in almost every area of the country. For that reason, we can make a cash offer online without you having to lift a finger in prepping it.

Planning Your Home Sale With iBuyer.com

If that sounds like a better deal to you, enter your home address on our website. Even if purely out of curiosity, see how much time and effort you could save while still receiving a fair offer.

We turn these seventeen steps in how to get your home ready to sell into just one – entering your address online!

Plus, our offers are cash offers. That eliminates the stress and wasted time of long buyer-seller chains.

Looking for cash offers on your home? You’ve come to the right place!

Find out what your home is worth in minutes.
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