Before you put a “for sale” sign in the yard, you have some work to do. Unless you’re selling a home for someone to flip, the details in and around your house can make a difference in how quickly your home sells and the amount of the offers.

1. Research your local housing market

You definitely need to know what your home is worth. Look on Zillow.com or Realtor.com for comparable home pricing in the square footage, the number of bedrooms, date built and location. This will give you an idea of list prices but realize that homes don’t always sell for that amount. That’s where a realtor can show you what comparable homes have actually SOLD for in the last 6 months or year. Use all of that information when deciding on a list price.

2. Find a listing agent

To enlist a professional real estate agent, ask around. Interview a couple of agents so you find the one that’s right for you. You’ll be spending a lot of time together so chemistry is key. Also, ask about their experience in your neighborhood, connections to potential buyers and their home marketing experience (especially social media). Ask for their plan to sell your home. Make sure the realtor will hire a professional photographer for the listing since this will be a potential buyer’s first impression.

3. Deep Clean Your Home

You can do this yourself or call in professionals but everything from baseboards to ceiling fans and toilets to the carpets must be show-ready. Also, we sometimes become nose blind to smells in our home so ask your realtor for his or her honest opinion. Nothing will turn away potential buyers like dirt and smells once in your home.

4. Declutter your home

You want your home to be warm and inviting, but you need to depersonalize it. Personal items, toys, and family pictures need to be put away. You want potential buyers to see themselves in your home. A purge is always good, but you also might want to rent a storage unit so you can store bulky furniture that will make rooms appear smaller. A clean and decluttered garage is also a must. Less is always more when selling a home.

5. Stage your home

Many studies show a staged home sells faster. This goes hand-in-hand with decluttering. How do you stage it? Your realtor can help you with this and there are professional stagers. Strategically work to make every room a showplace. Leave closets half empty. Make sure there are no burned-out light bulbs. Move and remove furniture so rooms flow and your home is light and bright. The outside needs to be staged as well. Professional landscapers can help clean out weeds, grass needs to be cut & no peeling paint.

6. Call a handyman

Keep a list of any issues or broken items while cleaning, decluttering & staging. Everything from a running toilet to broken locks and creaky floors needs to be fixed. Your home may also need a neutral, fresh coat of paint inside and out. You want to show potential buyers that you have taken care of your home. No
Paint the walls

7. Make plans for pets

Not everyone loves animals. So you need to remove dog bowls, kitty litter boxes and anything pet related. During showings and open houses, you need to know what you’ll do with your pets. Can you take them with you when you leave? Is there a suitable pet hotel or pet day care? Planning ahead of time is a must. And you can require ample notice before showings to give you time to carry out the plan.
Happy selling!