There are several reasons why selling a house can be difficult, from the proper pricing down to market exposure. But one of the main challenges that can significantly impact a home buyer’s decision is in your control. It’s how well your property is prepared.
Selling a house can be a daunting task. Many homeowners like you find it to be a challenging and frustrating experience. By preparing your house, you can lessen any setbacks and home buyers’ doubts while increasing your property’s marketability.
In this article, you will have the “getting the house ready to sell checklist.”
With this getting the house ready to sell checklist, you will have an overview of everything you need to do in order to prepare your house. As a homeowner, you can turn a home buyer’s hesitation into overflowing excitement. This checklist is broken down into four categories:
- Preparing your house for sale checklist
- House repairs checklist
- House improvements checklist
- House renovations checklist
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Preparing Your House For Sale Checklist
When you look at the current condition of your house, you may think that preparing it is out of hand. But it shouldn’t be. With a little planning and organization, it can be manageable. Here is a checklist to help you get started:
Clean and declutter
A clean and organized home will show better to potential buyers. Start by decluttering each room and getting rid of any unnecessary items. Next, clean the floors, walls, windows, and fixtures.
Stage your home
You want potential buyers to be able to visualize themselves living in your home. Consider staging each room with neutral décor, removing personal items like family photos, and maximizing the space.
Enhance curb appeal
The first impression buyers will have of your home is the outside. Make sure your lawn is mowed, hedges are trimmed, and the exterior of your home is clean and inviting.
Prepare for showings
Keep your home clean and organized for potential showings. Consider lighting candles or baking cookies to make your home smell inviting.
Ready to move out
This may sound off the niche, but it is actually essential. It would help if you were all set to move out once your house is sold. Any delays can turn the home buyer’s excitement down. Your house should always be ready for occupation.
House Repairs Checklist
Many homeowners successfully sold a house only to be sought out for property return and refund. That can primarily happen due to damages in the property that were not reported in the purchase agreement.
It’s essential to regularly inspect your home for any repairs needed and address them promptly to prevent further damage or safety hazards. Real estate agents or home repair companies can also help you address these issues.
Here is a checklist of common house repairs that you might need to do:
- Check for leaks in the roof and repair any damage.
- Inspect gutters and downspouts for clogs or damage.
- Check the foundation for any cracks or damage.
- Inspect windows and doors for air leaks, and replace or repair damaged weather stripping.
- Repair or replace any damaged siding or trim.
- Check plumbing fixtures and repair any leaks.
- Replace or repair any damaged flooring or carpet.
- Repaint walls — neutral colors are advised.
- Inspect the HVAC system and replace air filters.
- Clean and repair chimneys and fireplaces.
- Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries if needed.
- Check electrical outlets, switches, and fixtures for any damage or loose connections, and replace or repair them as necessary.
- Check and repair damaged light fixtures.
- Repair or replace any damaged fencing or gates.
- Check the condition of the driveway and repair any cracks or damage.
- Check the condition of the deck or patio and repair any damage or deterioration.
- Check the condition of the garage door and repair any damage or malfunction.
- Inspect the basement and/or crawl space for any signs of water damage or mold growth, and repair or address any issues.
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House Improvements Checklist
To set apart from house repairs, home improvements may refer to additional features you add or upgrade to your property. Most homeowners and home sellers do this to add market value to their property during their home sale. You can do this as well, especially if you have a target price.
Here’s a checklist of house improvements you may want to consider:
- Upgrade the insulation in the attic and walls.
- Install weatherstripping around doors and windows to prevent drafts.
- Replace old, inefficient windows with energy-efficient ones.
- Upgrade or replace your heating and cooling system.
- Install a programmable thermostat to save energy.
- Upgrade or replace appliances with energy-efficient models.
- Install low-flow showerheads and faucets to conserve water.
- Replace old light bulbs with LED bulbs.
- Install a water filtration system for cleaner drinking water.
- Upgrade your electrical system to handle modern technology and appliances.
- Install a security system or upgrade your existing one.
- Upgrade kitchen cabinets, countertops, and appliances to modern features.
- Install shelving or organize storage areas for better use of space.
- Upgraded bathrooms with new fixtures, tile, and/or vanity.
- Confirm all closets are well insulated from humidity and that the access doors are working properly.
- Upgrade the front door to increase security.
- Install a patio, deck, or outdoor living area for entertaining.
- Consider adding innovative home technology for convenience and energy savings.
House Renovations Checklist
House renovation may need to be clarified with house repairs. But when do you opt for one over the other? Deciding between house renovations and house repairs depends on the condition of the house or part of it.
If you want to keep realtors or home renovators out of process, you may look at the following items to assess whether you need house renovation or just house repairs.
Age of the house
If your house is relatively new, it may only need minor repairs, such as fixing a leaky faucet or replacing a broken tile. However, if your home is older, it may need more extensive renovations to update outdated systems and structures.
The extent of damage
Repairs may be sufficient if the damage to your home is minor and isolated. However, a renovation may be necessary if the damage is extensive, such as a foundation issue, severe bug infestation, or severe water damage.
If you are living in a house designed way back in the early 90s, consider renovating it to a modern design. In the current market, it doesn’t matter if the house is constantly refurbished. If it has an old design, you may find competing with the local market hard.
Renovations are typically more expensive than repairs, so your budget will be critical to your decision-making process. Consider the cost of both options and decide what makes the most financial sense for your situation.
Here is a general checklist of things to consider when renovating a house:
- Determine your budget.
- Create a renovation plan and timeline.
- Obtain any necessary permits and approvals from local authorities.
- Hire a reputable contractor, if necessary.
- Demolition of any old structures or areas to be renovated.
- Structural changes include moving or removing walls, beams, or columns.
- Electrical work, including installing or relocating outlets, switches, and lighting fixtures.
- Plumbing work, including installing or relocating pipes, sinks, toilets, and showers.
- HVAC work, including installing or relocating heating and cooling systems.
- Flooring installation or replacement.
- Painting or wallpapering walls, ceilings, and trim.
- Installing or replacing doors, windows, and skylights.
- Installing or replacing cabinets, countertops, and kitchen and bathroom(s) appliances.
- Landscaping and outdoor renovation, if desired.
- Final inspection and clean-up.
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House Selling Process (Things To Do)
So, you’re all set to enlist your property to the market. Here is an overview of the house-selling process:
Setting the price
To set the price of the house, you should conduct a market analysis to determine the value of similar properties in the area. You may also want to hire a professional appraiser to estimate your home’s value accurately.
To attract potential buyers, you will need to market your property, have an open house, and maintain contact with prospective buyers. This includes taking high-quality photos of the property, creating an online listing, and using social media to advertise the sale.
Once you start receiving inquiries from potential buyers, you will need to schedule showings. During these appointments, buyers will tour the house and ask questions about the property. To improve your chances to sell, home staging is crucial. Make the house seem inviting for potential buyers.
Buyers who are interested in purchasing your house will typically make an offer. You will need to negotiate with the buyer to agree on a price that works for both parties.
Inspection and Appraisal
The buyer may require a home inspection and appraisal to ensure that the property is in good condition and worth the agreed-upon price.
Finally, once all of the details have been agreed upon, you will sign the closing paperwork and transfer ownership of the property to the buyer. This usually involves working with a real estate attorney and a title company to ensure that the transaction is legally binding.
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Preparing your house before selling is critical as it can significantly impact the sale price and the speed at which your home sells. In addition, taking the time to make necessary repairs, declutter, and stage your home can make it more appealing to potential buyers, increasing the likelihood of receiving offers and potentially even sparking a bidding war.
A well-prepared home can also streamline the selling process, potentially saving you time and money in the long run.