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10 Key Things to do Before Selling Your House

There are many things to do before selling your house, which can feel incredibly overwhelming. So, here are the top 10 things to focus on if you need to sell your home quickly for the highest price possible.

Talk to real estate agents.

hire a realtor to sell your house

Before you do anything, make sure you talk to a real estate agent or several agents. They will have a better idea of what’s going on in the market and might be able to tell you which updates would help your home sell fastest.

You can use the help of a real estate agent to figure out what kind of price you should set for your home as well. A well-thought-out pricing strategy can get you multiple offers and get a higher price than you are asking for your house.

Make sure the agent you hire to sell your home is qualified to sell your type of property; it’s common sense but worth mentioning! FYI, they do charge a commission for their services. If you want the cheapest way to sell a house, you can do it yourself, but make sure you know the best months to sell a home when planning your selling strategy.

You can also use an agent or company to help stage your house, which is a great way to ensure you are getting the best offer possible for your home.

Finding a great real estate agent isn’t always easy, but it’s definitely worth the time you put in to find one.


Deep cleaning your house from top to bottom

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A deep clean is probably best left until last, but it should be done before you put your house up for sale. Make sure you get all the cobwebs and dust out of the house and all the grime and gunk off the surfaces.

You want potential buyers to envision themselves living in your space, which means it needs to be spotless! Deep cleaning your home is often overlooked, but you should spend some time on it. If you don’t have the time to devote to hours and hours of cleaning, consider hiring a company that specializes in this.

Deep cleaning your house involves making sure all crevices are filled, the grout between tiles is clean, and all surfaces are dusted. You want buyers walking through your space to feel pleased with what they see-not put off by the thought of spending hours cleaning.

You can use our free house cleaning checklist and home cleaning supplies checklist to ensure you have everything you need to clean your house.

Prospective buyers will look everywhere when they pay top dollar, so make sure they don’t find a mess!


Make upgrades and repairs.

upgrades and repairs to sell a house

If you need to make small repairs, now is the time. Flooring is often one of the first things people notice about a home, so make sure your flooring is in the best shape possible.

A fresh coat of paint throughout the house will go a long way to making it feel more cohesive. If your home is older, be sure to pick paint colors that are classic and timeless. Choose quiet neutrals that won’t date too quickly.

You might want to avoid dark colors that can feel overwhelming in a space. Instead, go with lighter colors that make your space feel bigger. If you’re unsure about painting, go with neutral colors that suit your space.

Repainting walls is one of the many home-selling tricks that both flippers and savvy homeowners use to make sure they get top dollar and sell a house.

Another thing to update is old and outdated fixtures. When people are looking at a house, anything that screams more work will have them walk out of the home quickly. We want to make sure the home is ready. Replacing old fixtures is an easy fix and can help give your home a new feel. Pay special attention to the bathrooms and kitchen fixtures.

Don’t forget to scour Facebook marketplace and other resale sites for light fixtures to save money on your upgrades.


Update the appliances

appliances to sell a house

Kitchen appliances can take a toll on your wallet. New buyers know this, and appliances often weigh big on their buying decisions. So, you might want to think about replacing these before selling your house. Newer, updated models will instill confidence for buyers and will probably last longer too!

Ultimately, purchasing new appliances can help increase the resale value of your home too, so they are well worth considering. If you decide to buy new appliances, ensure you negotiate for free delivery and the haul away of the old ones. That way, you won’t be stuck with any surprises after the sale is complete.

Here are the five best places to buy kitchen appliances


Prep your yard for home sale

landscaping to sell a house

You might want to consider hiring professionals to come in and get your yard looking fantastic. So many people get stumped when it comes to designing their yard, so finding a landscape professional who can help give your yard a look you want is money well spent.

Landscaping your yard can completely change how potential buyers feel about your space. So, don’t forget to clean up everything before putting it on the market.

If you don’t have time or funds to hire a professional landscaper, then you should at least take the time to pull out any weeds and trim any overgrown trees or shrubs.

A home’s curb appeal is a vital step for buyers because they get an overall feel for the house when they come over. Likewise, colorful flowers can give an instant welcoming feel to your yard.

You can also think about removing things like your children’s play equipment, pet houses, and other items that will detract from the look of your yard.

One last thing about this, make sure your front door is appealing. You can do several things to your front door, such as adding a fresh coat of paint, replacing hardware, and adding new doormats. This is the door they will be walking through every day, and you want it to be memorable to sellers when they stop by to see your home.

Related: House Showing Checklist: Everything You Need to Do Before Selling

Remove personal items

Remove personal items

Selling a house in any real estate market means that you need to consider what most buyers are looking for when they walk around your home.

One of the essential things when staging your house is making sure everything looks fresh and new. Don’t forget to remove all personal decorations, family photos, knick-knacks, and anything else that isn’t 100% neutral.

You want to make sure that they can see themselves living in this house. That means your items might cause a mental conflict. Remove any pictures of you and your family. Take down any artwork, especially art that’s framed and hung on the wall.

It might seem strange to take every single picture and every piece of “you” out of a house. But, remember, it’s not about you. It’s about the buyers. Your buyers want to see themselves living in this space, enjoying their memories, not your memories.

Think of it like you are starting to pack for your new place, and removing the personal touches is the first step.


Getting rid of excess items

While you are taking down personal belongings, it’s a good idea to remove excess items in your house. Think about it. If you are already starting to take down personal items, why not remove excess clutter as well?

Less stuff means more open space giving every room a larger feel to it. Declutter every room, and you will be amazed at how much better your house feels.

Every room should only have the bare essentials inside of it. You want to allow buyers to imagine what they can do with that space if they were living there instead of looking at everything that someone else (you) already did with the space.

By decluttering, you are also creating a more spacious feel to the entire house and giving yourself some extra room to play with when it comes time for staging.

If your house has an attic or a basement that is full of junk, it might be time to have a yard sale before you put your home on the market.

It’s wise to think about removing any excess items in attics, basements, and other outside spaces so that buyers can fully visualize this space as an extra living area.


Hiring a home inspector

home inspection

This is the best way to avoid any significant issues that might arise. For example, assume that anyone spending hundreds of thousands of dollars will want to know that their investment is a sound one.

Give the buyers peace of mind at the open house by having a home inspection report ready for them. This will give them more confidence to make an offer.

There are often hidden issues that people don’t even know about until they invest money into a home. You can avoid this by hiring an inspector who will find any major or minor damage or other problems so you can fix it before it matters to the buyers. It’s well worth the investment because it will save you time and money in the future.

This is another great way to have the edge over your competition. Not many sellers are willing to fix up their homes just for this reason, but you should do everything that’s in your power to get the most money when you sell. Check out our home inspection checklist to see what they might be looking for when they inspect your house. 


Getting professional photos taken of your house

home staging

Before anyone is going to look at your house, they will look at the photos of your home online. These photos will help them decide if it’s worth their time to take the next step and book a showing. The quality of the pictures will tell buyers if they should make an offer. So, make sure that your house looks great in them.

Professional photos are always better than the ones you take yourself. That’s because you know what your house looks like and when you take the pictures, you don’t think to get in all the angles that a professional would. So, let them do their thing, and you’ll see the difference. This is what people see first, so it has to be amazing!


Furniture shopping

Make sure your rooms are well decorated so people can imagine their belongings inside them. This means the pieces you choose should be more neutral and versatile. You don’t have to shop for all new furniture, but you should focus on making sure the furniture you keep in the room is simple and streamlined.

If you decide to buy furniture for showing a house, remember that rooms look 10% smaller to buyers in person and 10% bigger in a photo. Stick to furniture that is not oversized and neutral in color. 

Ultimately, you want buyers to be able to imagine themselves living in your space, not wondering how their couch would fit in that corner or if their favorite painting would look better on another wall. Keep things simple. Remember, less is more when it comes to furniture.


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Organizing closets and other areas

home organization for selling a house

Buyers are looking for homes for their families. One way to help them see your home as theirs is by making the closets look organized and neat.

When they are looking through drawers, cabinets, etc., a buyer wants to know that they would have enough storage space in your home. So, one of my best staging tips is to organize all clothes into drawers or closets. If you have a lot of stuff, consider moving the items to storage off-site. Consider it a way to start packing early. 


Bonus Tip: Have your home staged

When arranging open houses, you might want to think about staging your home in a way that makes it look its best. If you don’t have time or money to hire professionals, there are many sites online where you can get cheap, DIY decorating ideas.

Having a neutral, minimalistic color scheme is another way to make your space feel more spacious and open. Choose light colors that can brighten up the space-so clean whites are an excellent choice!

Keeping it simple with decor may seem boring to you now, but think about how much buyers might enjoy the simplicity of this look too. So, remove all personal photos and make sure to buy or borrow a fresh vase of flowers for when you’re hosting open houses.


Final thoughts on what to do before selling your home

You’ve given your home all it’s got, so step back and look at everything you’ve accomplished!

The tips above are all important to keep in mind before you put your home on the market. Selling a house is stressful, but it can be made easier with this checklist.

These ten things to do before selling your home will help make sure your house is ready for sale. If you have more specific questions, it’s a good idea to talk with an agent from a reputable real estate agency. They can answer all of your questions and find out if there is anything else that you should do before putting your house on the market.

It can feel like a lot of hard work and planning goes into selling your own house, but don’t be discouraged by a long to do list. The good news is, if you accomplish all ten things mentioned here, buyers will see you as someone who’s reliable and trustworthy. This is crucial in real estate because it shows them that you care about the home you’re selling.

Good luck with the sale!

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