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9 Things You Must Do Before You List Your Home for Sale

We all know the housing market can be a bit of a rollercoaster. It seems like in the blink of an eye, a perfect selling market can crash.

Right now, however, mortgage rates are pretty darn low, which is great news for anyone hoping to sell their home. A low mortgage rate means greater accessibility for home buyers, and anyone in the market will want to jump on this opportunity right away.

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9 Things You Must Do Before You List Your Home for Sale

Before you run out and list your home for sale, make sure you’re prepared and that your house is viewer-ready. Read on to discover the most important things to take care of before you list your house on the market.


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  1. Replace Personal Fixtures

Do a sweep of your home and take note of any fixtures you’ve replaced with your own belongings. Some of them, you might not mind leaving behind, but some you’ll probably want to bring with you.

Maybe you’re not too attached the bronze handles you attached to your kitchen cupboards, but the antique mirror in the bathroom is an old family heirloom that you’re not willing to give up.

Anything that may appear to “come with” the house but doesn’t needs to go before you list your home for sale. Otherwise, you may have potential buyers trying to talk you into leaving your personal fixtures behind. While you always have the right to say, “I’m sorry, but no,” it’s a lot less awkward to avoid the situation altogether.

  1. Think About Maintenance

You may think that selling your home “as is” means you’re getting away with selling a house in bad condition. In some ways, it does, but remember that the more repairs are needed, the less you’re going to get from the buyer. People don’t want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on anything deemed a “fixer-upper.”

Plus, if there are too many problems, even those buyers who are in the market for a fixer-upper might not bite. Maybe you have tons of little issues–leaky faucets, stained or damaged carpeting, unstable closet shelving—on top of major structural issues. It’s probably worth your time and money to fix those little issues.

Make a “house for sale checklist” that includes all of the little things that you’ll have to disclose (or are immediately noticeable) to potential buyers. Decide which ones you want to take care of and which ones you’ll leave as is before you list your home for sale.

  1. Declutter

While most of us are guilty of creating a little (or a lot of) clutter, no one wants to see someone else’s clutter in a space they’re trying to visualize as their own. In fact, clutter has been shown to cause stress and anxiety. You don’t want viewers to associate your home with stress!

  1. Go Neutral

As much as you love the lime green accent wall in the master bedroom, your viewers might not. Go over any brightly colored walls with some neutral colors to take down the personality a notch. Remember, you want potential buyers to imagine what they would do with space, and it’s a lot easier to imagine red paint over white paint than the other way around.

Plus, neutral tones pick up natural lighting better than bright or dark colors. If there’s one thing most buyers are searching for, it’s tons of natural light, so make sure you’re highlighting every ray of sunshine that comes through those windows!

  1. Deep Clean

You’ve already decluttered. Now it’s time to break out the mop, duster, and bleach. Make your house a clean slate for the next tenant to move into.

When the floors and counters are squeaky clean, it will create the illusion that everything is more up to date. Or, if you’re selling an older house, it will show off how well the house has aged.

As much as you don’t want to clean, remember this is the last time you’ll ever have to clean this house.

  1. Stage Your Rooms

Don’t let any of the rooms in your house look like an afterthought, even the ones you never really used. You don’t have to go overboard with furniture and decor but set up each room so that it gives your viewers a sense of its potential.

Some houses do have strange odds and ends that are small or oddly shaped. If there’s no good way to stage furniture in a room, consider giving it the appearance of a walk-in closet. Get creative and show off the versatility of your space.

  1. Highlight Your Best Features

Even cookie-cutter houses will have unique or aesthetic details throughout. Figure out what your house’s best features are and make them the focal point of the room. Again, this doesn’t have to require tons of decor or furniture.

Place a small table and chair set underneath the beautiful bay window to create a breakfast nook. Set out a bouquet of freshly cut flowers on the finely crafted mantle above the fireplace. Small details, especially with pops of color, will help draw your potential buyers’ eyes to the craftmanship your home has to offer.

  1. Do Some Light Landscaping

Curb appeal is also important when you list your home for sale. After all, the front of the house is the first thing your viewers will see!

Make sure the grass is mowed, the hedges are trimmed, and the flowers are well-maintained. Don’t let your home hide behind a jungle of overgrown weeds!

If you’re feeling really adventurous, try slapping a fresh coat of paint on the door and shutters. Little fixes like these can make your house stand out before your potential buyers have even walked through the front door.

  1. Don’t List Your Home for Sale Without Having All the Paperwork Filled Out

Selling a home can require a bit of legal work. Make sure you’ve consulted a lawyer and that you know everything is above board before putting your house on the market.

Most of the time, selling your home will be a cut and dry process. However, if you are selling your house while in the middle of a divorce or selling probate property, things can get complicated. Don’t wait until the last minute to discover all the red tape and paperwork surrounding the sale of your home.

Get Selling!

Once you’ve checked everything off of this list, it’s time to list your home for sale! Keep your hopes high and your door open to potential buyers. It may take time, but if you’ve put in the work, you’ll see the results.

For more great tips, tricks, and DIY hacks check out more of our posts.


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