10 Important Things to Do When Planning to Sell Your Home

Ellie Brooks

Written By Ellie Brooks

Published 05/23/22
10 Things to Do Before You Sell Your House

Selling your home is a big undertaking. As if packing and transporting everything you own were not stressful enough, just planning to sell your house can take a significant amount of time, attention, and emotional fortitude. There are legal and financial tasks to manage, nostalgic and sentimental attachments to negotiate, and practical considerations to make your home attractive to potential buyers. The extent of the responsibility could leave you questioning: “Do I know how to prepare my home to sell?”

Fortunately, there are ways to make things easier on yourself. Something as simple as a to-do list when selling your home can keep you focused, organized, and calm. This article will review what to do before selling your home. We hope it takes some of the stress out of your life!

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Your “10 Things to Do Before Selling House” Checklist

1. Find a reputable real estate agent.

Selling your home without a realtor may save you money, but it invites a host of complications. Working with a real estate agent simplifies the process of selling your home legally and financially. A realtor’s knowledge of the housing market can also mean that your home will sell more quickly and for more money.

2. Clean your home from top to bottom.

Buyers are attracted to clean and neat homes. Before opening your home to potential buyers, take the time to make it as clean as possible. Dust everything, from shelving to duct registers to decorative molding. Vacuum every nook and cranny, even in the basement, garage, and attic. Make sure your kitchen is spotless and free of grease. Wash your windows and floors. Clean everything!

3. Pack nonessential belongings and remove clutter.

Get a jumpstart on moving by packing up books, furnishings, and other items that you don’t need to live comfortably from day to day. This will make your home seem more open and airier—and that much more inviting to buyers.

4. Depersonalize your living area.

You want buyers to envision themselves and their future in your house. This is easier for them to do if the space is neutral, without too many personal signifiers of your own. Consider removing conspicuous family photos, distinctive artwork, and unusual furniture.

5. Repaint or touch up your walls and trim.

You can also make your home more attractive to the general public by painting your walls a neutral white or beige. Touch up molding, windowsills, and doorjambs as needed to eliminate scuffmarks and other minor cosmetic defects.

6. Fix your furnishings and fixtures.

The little details around your home can make or break a first impression. Tighten loose handles and hinges on doors and cabinets. Replace broken or discolored switch plates. Ensure all lamps and lighting fixtures have working bulbs. If buyers see that you are attentive to small details around your home, they’ll be more confident that the house’s larger appliances and systems are in good shape.

7. Identify and eliminate noticeable odors.

You don’t want to overwhelm buyers with strong smells—even those smells we might enjoy. Make an effort to eliminate musty odors and pet smells, of course, but also avoid powerfully scented candles, diffusers, and other fragrances. If possible, try to keep your home free of strong cooking aromas.

8. Maintain your yard.

Your home’s exterior informs your buyer’s first impression. Make sure your yard is reasonably manicured, with cropped grass and kempt landscaping. Remove obvious weeds and trim unruly trees and shrubs.

9. Make your home inviting.

Do everything you can to make your home a welcoming space. Ensure there’s a clear path to your front door. Set out a clean welcome mat. Decorate your interior with some plants or flowers. Set your thermostat to a comfortable temperature so guests feel some relief from the heat or cold.

10. Consider your lighting.

Lighting is an important factor in how we feel about a space. Open your blinds and curtains to let in as much natural light as possible. If it’s dark out, switch on the lamps and lights throughout your home before potential buyers arrive. Choose lightbulbs that emit soft, soothing, ambient light.

Bonus Tip: Consider a Seller’s Home Warranty

There is yet another way to entice homebuyers: a home warranty. A home warranty for sellers guarantees swift, affordable repair of your home’s appliances and systems, and it can be transferred to the buyer after closing. A warranty reassures buyers that they won’t be met with an unwelcome repair bill shortly after moving in.

The party responsible for paying for the warranty after closing is negotiable. For more information, see our previous blog post on who pays for home warranty buyer or seller policies. For plan specifics, reach out to our team at (866)-526-1752.

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