Discover how much work to do before selling home

Discover how much work to do before selling home

You need to know exactly why you want to put your home up for sale. This will determine your level of motivation and affect the general outcome of the process. If you are not fully committed to the task and are only testing the waters, the results may not be as good as you would expect them to be. You may be disappointed!

Once your reason is clear, and you’re fully committed to selling your home, then it’s time to come up with an overall plan and decide on the varying tactics you’ll employ.

You can come up with realistic deadlines to make the sale based on the prevailing market conditions. This is also where you set realistic goals. You will also need to know about the current and historical sales by carrying out appraisals and valuations provided by agents.

Come up with a proper marketing plan and a budget that will help you fulfill this plan. These are just a few considerations.

Have a Genuine Reason, a Plan & Strategy

Discover how Much Work You Need to do Before Selling Your House

Are you a homeowner contemplating selling your home? Selling your home could be one of the most daunting things you will ever do, especially on your own.

Before you take the plunge, make sure you read this article to the end in order to know just what you need to do before putting your house or property on sale as an ordinary FSBO/ private home seller.

If you are not (FSBO home seller), ensure you read this too because it may come in handy. Knowing exactly what to do can save you pain and a few dollars!

Selling your home entails a lot more than just erecting a “For Sale” sign and uploading a
few nice photos of your home, especially if you are looking to fetch the highest amount of cash out of it (And to be honest, who doesn’t?). Some of the tips shared here are quite easy, while a few will require you to roll up your sleeves and get down to work.

However, they are bound to pay off once buyers start flocking your place, and probably ante up a great offer should you do them right!

Decide Whether You Will Carry out a Private Sale or You Will Hire a Real Estate Agent

Do you think you can sell your home by yourself and keep all the money you would have otherwise paid a real estate agent? This can be so tempting, more so in an active market. Truth be told, ‘for sale by owner’ transactions almost always end up a disaster.

Do not just blindly hire the first agent you come across, or the one your brother’s wife’s distant friend hired. Do some research and find you someone knowledgeable in your market and engage them to make sure they are a good fit. Do not shy away from talking to a few agents before making a hire.

If you decide to carry out a private sale, tread with caution and carry out your market research diligently. You may also need to learn a few professional real estate agent skills.

Home Inspection

Before putting up your home for sale, get a professional home inspector to point out the potential issues that may arise during the sale or adversely affect the sale. That will cost you a few hundred thousand dollars but it is worth it. Buyers usually have homes inspected before closing, but it is a great idea to get ahead of them.

This ensures that significant defects are revealed before they are discovered by potential buyers who may in turn back out of the offer to purchase. The home inspector will conduct a full walkthrough on the home and reveal any defects. This may, in the long run, turn out to be cheaper than you have probably projected.

Make Repairs

Make repairs

This is the time to fix all the signs of neglect before selling home. Inside the house, look for things like broken windows and loose door hinges, stained ceilings, missing or broken tiles and any other sign of physical deterioration. Outside the house, watch out for broken or missing patio pavers and shingles. 

Fix leaking roofs! Fix cracks on the floors and walls. Make a list of all the repairs that need to be done and prioritize them in order of their effect on the value of your home. A real estate agent can be very helpful in determining what needs to be repaired and what doesn’t.

Create Curb Appeal

However unfair this may sound, buyers judge a book by its cover. So, why don’t you work on your home’s cover before it is misjudged and written off? It is important that your home makes a good first impression when on the market. You definitely want them to think, “Wow! This could be my next home!”

You can make sure the outside of your house beckons prospective buyers to come in by making sure it is tidy, clean and inviting. Keep the grass uniformly cut, plant flowers or maintain the existing ones in good shape. Edge the paths and sidewalks, maintain shrubs and edges. Keep the yard very tidy because interested buyers may drive at any time.

Repaint to Neutrals

You may love that lime green color and how it perfectly blends with the orange flower vase at the corner, but if the potential buyer wouldn’t stand it for a minute, it might be as well a reason to abhor your home, cautions Sharapan Fabrikant.

Neutrals are not a distraction and they allow potential clients to imagine having their things in your home, and probably manipulate it to suit their tastes and preferences. It is very rare to find someone who hates neutral colors.

Clean Your Home!

When done cleaning, clean some more. This may be the most important phase of readying your home for sale. For a home to be ready for someone to move in, it has to be clean. Therefore, you want your property to be spotless.

If you already have a clean house, well, keep up! You may want to now work on the nitty-gritty aspects that you are likely to overlook such as the rarely opened kitchen cabinets. This needs to be thorough. For the rest of us who clean once in a blue moon, it is time for some serious work.

Start from the top, the second-story or attic spaces and work your way down. Clean the ceiling and hanging light fixtures, scrub the walls clean, wash the window glazing to a sparkle, clean the doors, and finish with the floors. Make sure the woodwork is also clean.

Do not leave one area until it is satisfactorily clean. Move on once done. Do not make rooms you have cleaned dirty again.

Declutter Living Spaces


Do not assume the items that are on display on your shelves, countertops and open-shelf cabinets, windowsills and other exposed areas. Too much clutter can distract your potential client.
If you have too many personal items on display, this may distract your potential buyer from imagining themselves living in your home.

If the house looks congested because your personal items are too many or just not well arranged, buyers may think the house will not be able to accommodate all their belongings.

If you display items that could speak a bit about your political affiliation or religious inclination, that could put some people off. Consider storing them for the time being, to be displayed in your new home.

Decluttering will not only make your home more attractive to potential clients, but it will also make moving into your new home easier since you shall have packed most of your personal stuff.

Plant Fresh Flowers and Plants

If the weather favors it, plant flowers in pots or on the ground to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home. This can add to the curb appeal. You can also consider having a bouquet of flowers on your kitchen worktop, or windowsills. Green is definitely good! Plants and flowers create a soothing and welcoming appeal to your home.

In order to fulfill their purpose, you have to take care of the plants and flowers. Water them and keep them trimmed to size. The flower vases in the house should also be well spaced and not put in one place.

This may not be a big deal to some clients, but some will definitely appreciate it. They will get the impression that the home is well taken care of.

Keep Your Valuables Safe

Keep your treasured items out of sight. Someone else may as well treasure them into being their possession, illegally so! The truth is, you can’t trust everyone that comes into your house in the name of being interested in buying it.

Things get lost during open houses, and in most cases, they are bot recoverable. Things get destroyed as well. You cannot imagine the amount of damage an agile four-year-old boy could cause to your beautiful artwork should he decide to accompany his parent(s) to an open house.

Take care of valuables such as jewelry, and put them away. You can consider taking them to a safe place away from the home on sale.

Prepare the Paperwork

I know you probably wish you could seal the deal with a handshake and a warm smile and walk away with your money. The shock on you! Real estate transactions entail stacks of paperwork. You have lots of documentation you need to round up.

These could include a sales contract, past utility bills, home inspection report, appraisal report, deed, listing agreement, among others.

The good news is that you can have all the paperwork for your house organized and ready for the transaction way before time. The better and earlier prepared a seller is for the home sale, the more successful they are likely to be in their sale.

Home Staging

Home Staging (1)

Most property sellers are doing it. Why should you be left behind? Nothing enlivens a house like new modern furnishings. No one would want to live in a house that is old fashioned when there are better-furnished properties of similar utility within the neighborhood. You need to find a professional to help you stage your home.

A home stager will assess the current state of your house and the items therein and ascertain what would increase its value if improved. They may reorganize your living space in a whole new way or just recommend to you to buy or rent a few items.

Home stages know the market and know what would sell. They will help you increase the number of people interested in your property. That’s a good thing, isn’t it?

Final Thoughts

You may have just discovered that selling your home could be a bit more engaging than you had thought. So, take up the challenge and put in the work.

Your main aim is to make your home as appealing to potential buyers as possible for it to fetch you the highest amount of money you can earn from its sale.

This article has touched on just a few aspects you need to consider. There are still other things you may do such as fixing the fencing, removing wallpapers, eliminating pet smells, etc. Put in the work to achieve your goals!