Selling your home can be emotional, especially if you associate it with some of your cherished family memories. Take time to prepare mentally. You’ll need to detach and shift into business transaction mode. Take the time you need to say goodbye, but then look forward without regret. This pre-listing checklist will ensure your home is market-ready.
Spruce up the exterior
Today’s buyers have a never-ending supply of online resources to research before contacting an agent. Browsing online photos of listings is easier than ever. First impressions typically happen online and they count. Make your home a stand out from the get-go by spending a weekend sprucing up the exterior. Clean up the yard, add some color with flowers. Let your Realtor® know when sun light best accentuates your home so that they can schedule professional photos accordingly.
Donate or sell anything you don’t plan take with you. There’s no sense in paying to store or move items you won’t be keeping. Make the tough decisions now. Take photos of bulky sentimental items. Photos are far easier and less expensive to store.
Rent a storage unit
In today’s market, most agents agree staging is key for a quick sale and will help net you the best offers. In order to make your home look it’s best, you’re going to need to declutter and depersonalize every room. Now is the time to take down all your family photos, empty out the closets and remove excess furniture. Renting a storage unit early gives you a place to keep all your belongings until your official move-out date. It also gives you a head start on packing, which is never a bad idea.
Make needed repairs
Do you have a door handle that keeps falling off? A window that just won’t budge? Have you been covering up a hole in the wall with a strategically placed framed photo? You need to tackle these types of repairs before putting your home on the market. Not sure which repairs to do? Walk through your house and imagine you are a buyer. What things would stick out to you as potential problems? You should also address any larger issues that may come to light during a home inspection, such as problems with the air conditioning or heating systems. (Ask me about my Cosmetic Repair program. Have repairs completed now and pay for them at closing.)
Do a deep clean
There isn’t a single buyer out there who will be turned on by pet odors or lingering cooking smells. Once you’ve moved your belongings to storage, do a deep clean of your entire home. Make sure to tackle any strong odors and clean every nook and cranny. Remember, buyers will be opening every closet and cabinet door, so you can’t hide anything. If you can afford it, hire a professional cleaning service to get the job done right. It’s a small investment that could have a big payoff in the end.
Susan Matthews is a Realtor serving the greater Charleston area with Coldwell Banker Carolinas. Contact her for more info on selling your home.