Home-Selling Checklist: Things To Do Before Listing Your House For Sale

Getting ready to sell your house, but aren’t sure where to start? Before you get your house listed on the market, there are a few things that you should do to get it ready to sell. Some of these to-dos are surprisingly easy, while others might require a bit more elbow grease. But they’re bound to pay off once buyers start “oohing” and “ahhing” over your home—and hopefully putting in a great offer. Set aside a couple of weekends to do the work (or hire a professional if needed), and follow these steps for house-selling success. Then, get ready to make a fantastic impression on potential buyers and close the deal.

Step 1: Deep Clean & Declutter

It may sound obvious, but the importance of cleaning and decluttering your home cannot be overstated. Before you begin deep cleaning, purge your house of unwanted and unnecessary items. In addition to donating items to charity, you can also have a yard sale or list items for sale on Facebook Marketplace. Once you’ve cleared some things from your home, it’s time to clean clean clean, and then clean some more. Keeping things clean and tidy is an important aspect of the entire selling process. Get the whole family involved! Be sure to take special care with kitchens and bathrooms, and clean the inside and outside of your windows — this makes a striking improvement in the overall appearance of your house. Also be sure to organise all closets, cabinets, and drawers. Potential buyers will be thinking about storage space and will want to take a peek.

Step 2: Make Small Repairs

It’s a good idea to take care of these problems before you list your house. Here are some fixes that you can do yourself.

  • Replace burnt-out light bulbs.
  • Clean out AC vents.
  • Fix any leaking faucets and running toilets.
  • Replace caulking around tubs, showers and sinks.
  • Freshen up or repair grout as needed.
  • Repair any holes in the walls.
  • Repaint the walls in a neutral, generally pleasing colour that complements your home.
  • Fix cracked or broken windows.
  • Repair or replace any damaged window screens

If there are any major repairs that you plan to take care of before selling (such as replacing the roof or remodelling the kitchen), start looking into your options now so that your agent can let buyers know that fixes are in the works.

Step 3: Boost Your Curb Appeal

Potential buyers should be charmed by your home the moment they arrive so that they look forward to coming inside. Here are some things you can do for immediate curb appeal:

  • Take care of your lawn. Keep it nicely mowed and watered.
  • Trim bushes, shrubs and trees. Make sure there isn’t any vegetation touching your roof or siding.
  • Remove weeds from garden areas.
  • Clean out gutters and repair if needed.
  • Apply new mulch, river rock and/or pea gravel.
  • Clean and repair concrete areas, such as driveways and walkways. Eliminate any oil or grease stains, and remove weeds.
  • Clean and repaint, or replace, front door.
  • Last, freshen up your doorstep with a new welcome mat and make sure the house numbers are easy to see. If you’re able, add some brightly-coloured flowers in pots on or near the doorstep.

Step 4: Set the Stage

Does your home scream 1999? Don’t fret! Nothing invigorates a home like some new furnishings, or even just a perfectly chosen mirror and some well-placed houseplants. When staging, you can cut down on clutter by putting away most of your personal photos and picture frames. Not only are too many pictures distracting for potential buyers, but they could also make your house look downright messy. Surfaces, such as desks, bookshelves and tables should be free of pictures. However, to make your home feel “lived-in,” it’s a good idea to leave a few appropriate family photos on display in your home.

This is an important part of staging a home that most people forget: Before showing your home, make a good first impression on buyers by ensuring your house smells fresh and clean. Potential buyers who walk into a house smelling of last night’s curry or old closet moth balls will probably not be making an offer on your home anytime soon. After all, who would want to purchase a stinky house? If you have pets, make sure to eliminate odours from your home by washing dog beds and refreshing Fluffy’s kitty litter. Neutralising candles, air fresheners and diffusers are all inexpensive ways to improve your home’s scent.

Final Thoughts

With just a moderate amount of effort, you can make your home beautiful and welcoming, both inside and out.

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