Our clients often experience a rush of excitement when they begin the process of selling a home. Sometimes we see this excitement turn to stress. The home seller's eyes grow wide at the list of things they may need to tackle. It can be stressful to prepare a home to sell, even in a competitive seller's market.
It's hard to know what to tackle first when you're getting ready for the transition. We work with our clients to help them focus as they prioritize their to-do list. This understanding and knowledge mitigates stress and eliminates the waste of energy and resources. Here's our essential checklist to get your house ready to sell.
Research and preparation
My NC Homes provides clients with a home staging consultation as part of our home selling services. This is a good opportunity for our clients to gain perspective and tips to create a welcoming environment for potential buyers interested in the home.
You don't have to wait for a staging consultation to get your house ready to sell. Set aside some time to research what improvements and tasks you can tackle before calling your agent. Knowing where you should put your money will ensure that you are using your time, money, and energy wisely. As you start your research, organize your potential projects into three categories:
Maximize the value
Sellers want to get the most money possible for their home. Thorough research and preparation is necessary when you're getting your house ready to sell. Dedicating your energy and money in the right place before listing on the market will give you an advantage when it comes to maximize the value of the home.
Spending more time up front allows you to focus on showcasing the home rather than reacting to the demands of potential buyers. The number of possible preparation tasks can be daunting. Remember to divide your to-do list into the financial, interior, and exterior categories. To learn more about other ways to increase your home's value, check out The Home Sellers Guide to Maximizing the Sales Price.
Our checklist will assist you as you get ready to sell your home. Keep in mind the critical needs of the home in each category. This will help narrow your focus and maximize the value. Homebuying has it's own challenges and homeowners that are poised for smooth transition are more attractive to potential buyers.
- Be prepared for home and financial inspections, even if you're selling a home, it is important to understand your financial situation. When the Brokers at My NC Homes meet with Sellers, we ask them early on to give us the name of their mortgage lender, their loan number, and their present loan balance. We ask for the lender and loan # so that once the property is under contract we are able to quickly supply this information to the closing attorney so that they can get the necessary required payoff amount and notify the lender that the property is under contract. If you have a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) against your home, this will be frozen and then closed once the lender is paid off. If you aren't anticipating this; it can come as surprise to some sellers. Remember once your home is sold, the lender no longer has "Equity" and the loan must be closed. With the outstanding loan balance we prepare a form showing our sellers what their estimated net income from the sale will be using three different sales prices and showing all the reasonable and customary expenses a seller should anticipate.
- Invest in a home inspection for peace of mind. This isn't necessary for everyhome, but is something you absolutely should discuss with your Realtor. If you've put off maintenance for awhile, if you know your heating and cooling systems are older or that you've got some minor electrical or plumbing issues or there's clear evidence of settling related issues; we strongly suggest that a home inspection. This allows you to address any significant issues prior to putting the house on the market while minimizing the risk that the Buyer discovers issues that cause them to terminate the contract.
- Understanding the market is a critical step to a successful leap into the market and avoid overpricing your home. Credit.com lists these as #1 and #2 and hiring a real estate agent that you trust #3.
- Use financial calculators to estimate the cost of interior home improvements such as painting or installing new carpet.
- We provide a staging consultation for our clients. It's never too early to start actively staging your home. Here are 5 Cheap Ways to Stage your Home Like a Pro to help get you started.
- A clean and organized home is more than decluttering. The Balance encourages homsellers to make an emotional break with the home as they prepare for listing on the market. A depersonalized home can allow a potential buyer to envision their own future in that space. Pack away family heirlooms, photos, and memories as you declutter your closets and spaces. Consider renting a storage unit if garage and attic space are limited.
- A tidy and inviting exterior is welcoming and creates a great first impression. HGTV lists curb appeal as their #1 Best Kept Secret for Selling a Home. That necessarily does not require a landscaping overhaul, you can start with these helpful Lawn Care Tips: 3 Easy Ways to Maintain Your Home’s Curb Appeal.
Preparation gives you the confidence to move quickly through your checklist with the knowledge that you are poised to quickly sell your home. The prep time will help maximize the value of your house and avoid a situation of sitting on the market too long. It will give you the confidence to move quickly through your checklist with the knowledge that you are poised to quickly sell your home.
We can help you get ready to sell!
If you are thinking of selling your Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, or Pittsboro home and would like a free, no obligation detailed market analysis, please contact us. We are happy to preview your home, explain how we work and prepare an in-depth analysis and marketing plan specifically for you. As you start preparing and researching, we placed some additional articles below that will help you narrow down your checklist to get your house ready to sell:
Co-authored by 3 Bossy Bees