Selling a home can be a stress-inducing experience, especially if you are counting on the sale of your existing home to fund the purchase of a new home. It can seem like you are coordinating a million things at once. A simple checklist can help you to keep track during the chaos and prevent necessary tasks from falling through the cracks.
1. Make the Entrance Inviting – Create a good first impression by giving your front door a fresh coat of paint. A color that contrasts with the rest of the house can make the entrance stand out. Invite potential buyers in warmly with a new welcome mat. Make sure that they can identify the house easily from the road by freshening up any faded house numbers.
2. Organize and De-clutter – By organizing early and deciding what you intend to keep and discard, it will be easier to keep your home clean during showings. Pack away everything but the bare essentials and get rid of anything that will not be making the trip to your new home.
3. Make Small Repairs – Take care of any small repairs such as leaking faucets, cracked windows, worn gaskets, loose door handles, sticking cabinets and sliding doors, and minor drywall holes or cracks. You do not want to leave the impression that the house has not been well maintained. If you want more credit to make a few repairs, check out our list of credit card offers.
4. Depersonalize – Take down any family pictures and keep any reminders that the house is being currently lived in to a minimum. Potential buyers want to picture themselves living in the home.
5. Clean, Clean, Clean – Stains, dirt, dust and other blemishes are going to leave a poor impression. Give the house a thorough cleaning, from ceiling to floor and everything between. If you need to bring in professionals to get it done correctly, then do so.
6. Remove Favorite Items – If you have special family heirlooms or fixtures, from furniture to chandeliers, that you intend taking with you when you move, remember to move them out of sight before showing your house. Remove window coverings or built-in appliances before a potential buyer sees it and asks that it be included with the house. Otherwise, you may hurt the sale by having to tell them they can't have something that increases the house's appeal. It may make sense to hire a storage unit until you move if you need to stash any larger items.
7. Consider Painting – A fresh coat of paint in a relatively neutral color can leave a great impression. It can also cover up any paint colors that seemed like good ideas at the time but are not likely to impress potential buyers.
8. Give Every Room a Purpose – A spare room that you've been using for storage or as an all-purpose guest/office/playroom won't help you sell your home unless buyers can imagine how they would use it themselves. Choose a single purpose and then plainly stage the room as the perfect office, guest room, crafts room, or whatever one use you settle on.
9. Plan for Impromptu Showings – You need to keep the house ready for showings with quick notice. Make contingency plans for kids and pets. Keep your house at a reasonable temperature, and keep a stock of fragrances on hand to keep the house smelling pleasant (especially if you haven’t made the pet contingency plans yet).
If possible, open up the house to keep the air relatively fresh, and adjust the blinds to make the most efficient use of light to make your house look warm and inviting.
10. Don't Forget the Exterior – Maintain the landscaping and the outside of your home as well. Keep the grass mowed, weeds pulled, and hedges trimmed. Good curb appeal gets the showing off to a great start as your potential buyer pulls up in your driveway.
We hope that these tips can help you keep on top of your home-selling preparation. If you haven't already done it, there is one more item to remember – look for a new home for your family. You probably shouldn't wait until yours sells to do so.
MoneyTips is happy to help you get free mortgage and refinance quotes from top lenders.