Getting your house ready to put on the market is no small task, as anyone who has done it can attest. It requires a fresh perspective, organization, and time. But, if done properly, it doesn’t need to be an experience that leaves you vowing to never sell a house again. Sometimes all you need is a good checklist and a couple of Saturdays to make sure everything is in order. However, you should allow yourself 1-3 months to get your house “sale-ready”, especially if you have an older home that needs a lot of work.
1. Say “goodbye”.
Yes, it is hard to say farewell to your safe haven, especially if you’ve been there for years. But go through this process at the beginning so the rest of it isn’t so painful.
2. De-personalize and de-clutter.
When potential home buyers come, they don’t want to see you living there. They want to see them living there. Remove any items that will remind them someone lived there before them. Go ahead and take your family portraits off the wall. Remove any fixtures (chandeliers, showerheads, door handles, etc.) that won’t be a part of the house after it sells. Now is the perfect time to find a self-storage facility to store items between the time you put your house on the market and settle into your final destination.
3. Walk through with a fresh perspective.
Look at your house through the eyes of a potential home buyer and try to find all the things that would deter people from making an offer. Have a friend or real estate agent give you their honest opinions on anything they see that isn’t sale-ready. Old appliances? Dirty carpet? Windows painted shut? Now is the time to fix all of those little problems you’ve lived with so long that they don’t bother you anymore.
4. Start with the big stuff first.
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