Home Selling Checklist: Tips for a Smooth Sale

Preparing your home for sale? Whether it’s a buyers’ market or sellers’, one thing’s for sure: there are a handful of tried-and-true tips for preparing your home for sale. We chatted with our most trusted real estate agents, home stagers, and families who’ve recently sold their homes before moving into their brand-new North and South Carolina dream homes. Here are their five best pieces of advice:

  1. Work with an excellent real estate agent 

Unless you’re already a real estate agent, your first order of business is finding the right professional to help sell your home. Choose an agent with a track record of selling homes like yours in the area, who is communicative and available, and who will do whatever it takes to make your life easier. 

And remember, while you definitely want a friendly real estate agent, an agent who tells it like it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. So if they’re telling you to repaint your neon green primary bedroom white or to throw half your stuff in storage, then it’s because they know that’ll help your house sell sooner—and for more cash.

Interview a few agents, check references, and don’t be afraid to ask each candidate what sets them apart from the competition. They should also provide you with information about how they will price and market your home. 

Remember, your real estate agent will be responsible for the following:

  • Attracting people to showings and open houses.
  • Showing your home to interested parties.
  • Communicating with those potential buyers.
  • Negotiating with those buyers once an offer is received and during inspections, repairs, and other contingency periods.
  • Helping ensure you receive a leaseback if desired. 
  • Ensuring your closing process is as smooth and unstressful as possible. 

Related: Tips for a Kid-Friendly and Pet-Friendly Move

  1. Boost curb appeal 

We all know the value of a first impression. If you want potential buyers to fall in love with your home, start by making it as inviting as possible. Powerwash your home’s exterior, repaint the front door, and fix that porch light. Keep landscaping manicured, and polish that mailbox so your house shines bright.

  1. Make repairs and upgrades, if necessary 

You don’t have to renovate your kitchen and bathroom to sell your home. But you should listen to the experts around you about what could help increase your house’s sale price. Sometimes, a $5,000 upgrade could make your home worth $20,000 more. Other times, a $10,000 repair might only cost you $5,000 in credits when you agree to split the cost with the new buyer after inspections. 

Rely on experts you trust (and your own budget and timeline) to pick and choose what upgrades and repairs to make. But that punch list of tiny problems around your house—such as leaky faucets or drywall cracks—should always be addressed before your home hits the market. And regardless of what you decide to repair, remember that all known problems must be disclosed to potential buyers. 

  1. Stage your home

Your real estate agent will let you know whether they believe your home needs to be staged for a more successful sale. Don’t take this personally—it really is just business. During home staging, your home will be “refurbished” with lovely-but-simple furniture and decor that shows your house at its most aspirational. That means that everything you’ve done over time to make your house work for your unique family, such as turning the living room into a gym or using a walk-in closet as a miniature playroom, will be reversed. That way, potential buyers won’t see how you’ve outgrown the place but how perfect the house is.

Ask your realtor about the cost of home staging, whether they cover any of those costs, and whether you can remain in your home once staged. If home staging is not an option for you, make a plan with your realtor to declutter and optimize your home as much as possible.  

Related: Secrets to Creating a Cozy Home

  1. Say yes to every showing

Chances are, you won’t be selling your house sight unseen. To increase your odds of making a fast, full-price sale, try to agree to every showing your agent requests. That means open houses on the weekends, and on-demand, private showings whenever a potential buyer asks for one. So while it’s inconvenient to pack up your toothbrushes, spend 45 minutes tidying up the house, and vacate your home for an hour or two, you never know when your home’s next owner will walk through your front door. 

Here at True Homes, we know selling a home is stressful. But we also know that these five tips will make the process much smoother and hopefully bring you closer to your next dream home. 

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