6 Things to do Before Putting Your Home on the Market
- Talk to a Realtor. Finding a great Realtor before you’re ready to list can help you develop a plan of action. A good Realtor will welcome the opportunity to tour your home and discuss your current and future needs. A Realtor can provide feedback on what buyers may love or dislike about your home. Many Realtors will also provide a home valuation based on the current market to give you an idea of a range your home may be priced at once you list.
- Have a home inspection. Be proactive by arranging for a pre-sale home inspection. An inspector will be able to give you a good indication of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers, and you’ll be able to make repairs before open houses begin. If you’re unsure of a reputable inspection agency in your area ask your Realtor for a list of suggestions.
- Organize and clean. Pare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large blenders and other kitchen tools, out-of-season clothes, toys, and exercise equipment. Store items off-site or in boxes or plastic storage totes neatly arranged in the garage or basement. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, lighting fixtures, and baseboards to make the house shine. Be sure to sniff out any foul odors that may be lingering. As awful as it may sound, sometimes when we have pets, we get used to the smells that come along with them and don’t notice them as much as someone walking into our homes for the first time would. If pet odors are a problem, they now sell many good products to help get rid of the smell.
- Get replacement estimates. Do you have big-ticket items that are worn our or will need to be replaced soon, such your roof or carpeting? Get estimates on how much it would cost to replace them, even if you don’t plan to do it yourself. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home, and will be handy when negotiations begin.
- Find your warranties. Gather up the warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for the furnace, washer and dryer, dishwasher, and any other items that will remain with the house. Arrange them in a folder and keep it somewhere easily accessible. This can be set out later during showings and open houses, and will be greatly appreciated by the new owners of your home after closing.
- Spruce up the curb appeal. Pretend you’re a buyer and stand outside of your home. As you approach the front door, what is your impression of the property? Does the lawn and bushes look neatly manicured? Is the address clearly visible? Are pretty flowers or plants framing the entrance? Is the walkway free from cracks and impediments? Swapping a dated door for a new door can make a huge impact on an otherwise lovely home. Also an updated exterior light and a new address plaque are good inexpensive choices that will be sure to help your home make a great first impression.