If you’re considering a move about a year from now, seize the day and start preparing! The more time you have, the easier your move will be! Even if you’re still unsure about the timing of a move, putting the wheels in motion toward an organized home might just help you make up your mind faster. Once you see how great your home can look, you might decide to stay longer or… jump on the wagon sooner to sell and start a new chapter.
We’ve compiled a timeline for all the major preparations of your to-do list.
Map out your declutter plan. Simplify by doing one room at a time. Schedule each room on the calendar and get the family committed to help. Some rooms might take a whole day. Others, like a basement with storage, could take every weekend for a month. Separate items into save, sell, donate, or trash. If it doesn’t spark joy, get rid of it.
Get a home inspection. That’s right, we’re advocating a seller to take care of this step in advance so you can find and fix problems well ahead of the negotiation stage. It also gives you a chance to address larger issues with the luxury of time rather than during the rush to close a deal.
Hire a Realtor. Find the right professional to market your home. Realtors stay on the pulse of what buyers expect in your neighborhood—on price, features, and home condition. Listen to the advice with time to process and make improvements that will make your home shine.
Find and collect important house paperwork. Organized home sellers have an edge when they can show they have all relevant paperwork in order. Gather deeds, major appliance manuals, warranties, and land surveys.
Sell items online. Home staging isn’t far behind, so it’s time to sell items you put aside during your declutter stage. Bikes, sofas, dressers, end tables, baby gear, and other similar items are often in demand online. Donate whatever is left.
Fill out the property disclosure honestly. Your Realtor can provide this paperwork, but you need to fill it out on your own. Hiding significant and known problems is illegal. Buyers will want to know if the house has encountered major defects like termites, flooding, or other damage when deciding to make an offer.
Fix the little things or hire a handyman. Attend to all the miscellaneous items you never got around to earlier—a broken rail, a hole in the drywall, that wiggling towel bar, and the toilet that hisses every ten minutes. Little things add up when you’re trying to make a good impression and get your asking price.
Put effort into curb appeal. No matter what season it is when you sell, there are things you can do to improve curb appeal: clean the exterior of your house, paint, refinish the front door, trim overgrown trees and bushes, mulch, get rid of dead plants, refurbish the mailbox. For more ideas, visit here.
Finalize pricing and marketing with your Realtor. He will update you on latest sales in your area of similar home and you can finalize your list price. Together you can discuss the logistics of showings and anything that still needs to be taken care of beforehand.
Deep clean kitchens and bathrooms. These are the crown jewels of every home because buyers focus on them the most. Make them spotless.
Collect moving quotes. Always check with at least three reputable movers on pricing. Carefully research reviews as there are many mover pitfalls to avoid.
Stage your home for the photoshoot and showings. There are lots of free tips available on proper home staging. The basics are to depersonalize and keep rooms bright and free of clutter. Staging is critical for great online photos since that’s the first enticement buyers will receive to decide in seconds whether to keep looking at your listing or click on the next one.
Clean carpets and windows. Hire professional cleaners for carpets and drapes. Make sure windows sparkle both inside and outside.
Do the final clean up. Sweep, dust, vacuum, tuck away everything on counter tops, keep closets tidy so buyers can see the space.
Put away valuables. Don’t tempt bad players with your jewelry and cash. Keep valuables in a locked safe or with a trusted friend or family member during showings.
Plan where to go during showings. It’s considered rather awkward for an owner to be present during showings. Make sure you have a plan where to spend your time when potential buyers are scheduled.
Now you’re ready! Listen to market feedback and your Realtor. Few or no showing requests in the first week generally means something is off – like your price is too high or your home isn’t showing well. Identify the problem and readjust quickly.
Real Estate Term of the Week
Property Disclosure: Property disclosure statements outline defects that the home sellers are aware of that could negatively affect the home’s value. These statements are required by law in most areas of the country so buyers are aware before they close the deal. A seller can actually be sued for failure to disclose a material defect.