Home Seller's Checklist: Things You Can do to Be Prepared

Posted by Justin Havre on Friday, April 10th, 2020 at 9:32am.

Checklist for Selling Your HomeHome selling requires a lot of work and advanced planning. People who want to get the most money out of their home sale can do so by preparing their property, staging their home, and making their house look more attractive to buyers. If you're a homeowner who would like to sell your home sometime in the next year, the best thing you can do for your profits is to start preparing about 6 months in advance. This checklist can help you get through the process.

What Should You Do to Plan For Your Home Sale 6 Months Before Selling?

Six months before a home is put up for sale, most of the work home sellers should be doing is research. The more information they have during the home selling process, the easier and less stressful selling their home becomes.

Start Researching the Real Estate Market

Is the local real estate market a buyer's market or a seller's market? A seller's market is a market condition wherein there are more buyers than homes in the area, so prices are inflated. A buyer's market is a condition that occurs when there are more homes than buyers, and prices are very low.

A capable real estate agent will be able to tell sellers more about the condition of the market in their area. Sellers can also find out information by searching the real estate pages of their local newspaper and by searching for real estate information on the websites of local real estate professionals. Knowing the market conditions can help sellers prepare for a challenging or easy home sale process, depending on the conditions in their area.

Find the Right Real Estate Agent

Sellers who find a real estate agent early in the process should find preparing for a home sale to be easier overall. Meeting with a real estate professional, sellers can ask questions about the home selling process, learn more about what they should do to prepare their house, and find out more about the potential selling timeline. Every real estate market is different; by working with a local and experienced real estate professional, most homeowners can find out helpful things about the home selling process.

Plan Your Listing Date Strategically

The date when a house is listed will have a big impact on the way the sale proceeds. The majority of homes are put up for sale in the spring and summer, when home buyers are most interested in moving. Fall and winter seasons see fewer home buyers looking for homes. However, those buyers who are looking in winter and fall tend to be very motivated. This information can be helpful for home sellers as they move forward selling their home. A good real estate agent can help sellers decide what needs to be done to sell their home at the time of year when they plan to list it on the market.

Assess Your Property's Condition

The condition of a property will have a big impact on how easy it is to sell the property and how much it's worth. Before putting a home up for sale, it's important to assess the condition of the property. Sellers can start by getting a home inspection from a home inspector. Home inspectors check the plumbing and electrical systems, doors, floors, windows, HVAC systems, chimney and flue, roof, foundation, exterior deck and railing, and more. After a home inspection, the inspector writes a report that details the issues with the home and gives home sellers direction when fixing up their home.

Sellers can also assess the condition of their home by walking through their own property and looking for potential problems that could cause home buyers to lose interest. An out-of-date kitchen, dirty carpeting, strange coloured walls and more are all problems that could make the home selling process more challenging. Sellers who want to have a better experience overall can make repairs to their home before putting it on the market.

Request Feedback From Real Estate Professionals

Most real estate professionals will provide feedback for home sellers who ask. Questions homeowners can ask their real estate professional include:

  • What will be the greatest challenges when selling this house?
  • What can be done to make this house sell for more money?
  • What are the greatest strengths of this house?
  • What are the greatest weaknesses of this house?

Getting this kind of feedback from a real estate professional makes it easier for the home buyer to make decisions that will help the home selling process go more smoothly.

What Should You Do to Plan For Your Home Sale 3 Months Before Selling?

About three months before the house is put up for sale, the homeowner should be preparing to sell their house. Often, there are many repairs and changes that could be made to the house that could help the home stand out for home buyers. Sometimes these repairs can take months to complete, so homeowners who want to be sure their home is ready on time should start several months in advance.

Finalize Your Marketing Strategy

In order to sell a home, most homeowners need a marketing plan. Often, a real estate professional will help with this. The marketing plan is the steps the home seller and real estate professional decide to take in order to make the house more attractive to home buyers. Examples of things that the homeowner and real estate professional may do to market a house include:

  • Create a social media page
  • Alert homeowners in the area that the home has been put up for sale via a postcard campaign
  • Take professional photographs of the home for the listing
  • Create posters of the house to put up on local bulletin boards

Once the marketing plan is in place, the homeowner and real estate professional will know their specific roles throughout the sale process.

Gather All Necessary Paperwork

A lot of paperwork goes into the selling process. Homeowners can prepare to sell their house by getting their documents in order. This often means gathering information about appliance and product warranties or if the home has recently been remodeled. In addition, contractors can also warranty a home when they perform work on the house. Homeowners who want to ensure that their home is attractive to buyers can put together the paperwork about these warranties to offer them to the buyer when the house sells.

Make Needed Repairs to the Home

How to Repair Damage in Your Home Before Selling

Home buyers usually have an expectation that the home they buy will be "turn key." A turn key home is a home that is ready for someone to move into without any repairs or changes being made. For a home to be turn key, appliances should be in working condition, the structure of the house should be sound, and the home should be cosmetically attractive. Common repairs that homeowners make before putting their house up for sale include:

  • Repair roof leaks
  • Replace broken appliances
  • Fix broken door handles and make other small repairs
  • Clean or replace stained carpeting
  • Refinish the deck
  • Repaint wooden fences

Making these important changes can help the home sell for more money — and more quickly. Homeowners who want to ensure that their home will sell easily and quickly should ensure that all the major systems of the home are working properly. If the home needs repairs, the homeowner may find themselves making repairs during the home selling process.

Declutter Unwanted Belongings From Your Home

Clutter can be a deterrent for home buyers for a variety of reasons. First, a home that is cluttered may look messy, even if the home was recently cleaned. In addition, clutter can make the home look smaller than it really is. Cluttered homes can even look dark and gloomy. To declutter the home, the following actions should be taken:

  • Clean off all counters and flat surfaces in the house.
  • Organize all bills and papers.
  • Sort through seasonal decorations and clothes and donate what is no longer needed.
  • Donate all clothing and household items that haven't been used in two years or more.
  • Have the local sanitation truck pick up any hazardous items like household cleaning products and chemicals.
  • Go through every closet, bedroom and storage area to clear out clutter.

What Should You Do to Plan For Your Home Sale 1 Month Before Selling?

One month before the home is put up for sale, homeowners usually get very busy with home selling tasks. Working with a real estate professional during this time can make the experience more satisfying overall.

Finalize Your Listing Price

The listing price is a crucial part of selling a home. Sellers who set the wrong price may find it difficult to attract buyers. A good real estate professional can help a buyer set the proper sale price for their home by researching comparable properties in the area.

Enhance Your Home's Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is like staging for outside the home. Curb appeal can be created by planting beautiful flowers, trimming shrubs that are overgrown, and by watering and fertilizing the grass. Curb appeal can help a home buyer feel an instant bond with a property.

Stage Your Home For Showings

Staging is the process of cleaning and redecorating the house for the purposes of attracting buyers. People who stage their house will usually start with a deep cleaning of parts of the house like the carpeting, upholstery, walls, windows and so on. Once the cleaning is finished, sellers often repaint rooms that need it, and add a few items to decorate each room. A thoughtful bouquet of flowers, a well-placed throw blanket on the couch and a beautiful candle on the coffee table are all accent pieces that can make the home more beautiful to home buyers.

Paint Your Home's Interior

Home buyers like neutral colors like beige, gray, cream and brown. Home sellers who want to attract buyers often start by painting their interior rooms and their siding (if their house is made of wood).

What Should You Do to Plan For Your Home Sale 2 Weeks Before Selling?

Two weeks before the home is listed for sale, homeowners must make the final preparations.

Hire a Professional Photographer

For the home listing, the homeowner will need excellent photographs of their home. The best way to ensure that the house will look good in the listing is to get a professional photographer on site to take pictures. Professional photographers know what buyers look for and how to set the scene in photographs.

Finalize Your Game Plan For Showings & Tours

Showings can be disruptive to daily life. Homeowners putting their house up for sale will need to plan to have their home viewed by potential buyers.

Deep Clean Your House

A home that is placed up for sale must be kept clean at least until there is an offer on the home. Doing a deep clean also prepares the home to be photographed by a professional photographer.

How to Sell Your Home Easily

How to Prepare for a Sale on Short Notice

Selling a house on short notice can be challenging because there's not as much time to prepare. To sell a house on short notice, home sellers must make repairs and stage their house as best they can. It's important to work with a real estate professional when trying to sell a home on short notice. A good real estate professional can help the homeowner decide which preparation activities will be most helpful to them.

For more information and help with your real estate transaction, contact a capable real estate professional. Your real estate agent can help you through the home selling process.

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