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Six Musts Before Listing Your Home

Agent Insight, Sellers // May 30, 2013

Congratulations, you’ve decided to list your home for sale! Selling your home is a huge decision, often marking the end of one chapter and the beginning of another – regardless of whether you’re trading up or sizing down. Before asking strangers to trade their hard-earned money for your place, take a moment to look over these tips from Trulia of what every seller should do before listing their home.

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1. Organize Your Paperwork. Every homeowner should have a detailed list of all the past repairs, updates, and upgrades they’ve made. This will help your agent know what should be mentioned. Did you redo the floors or install new windows? These are great selling features because they mean less work in the future for a prospective buyer. Also included on this list should be any home warranty information. These warranties will most likely transfer with title of the home.

2. Get Ready to Declutter. Even before you officially list your home for sale, you should start getting rid of things you don’t need. Starting now will mean a more thorough and less rushed job of clearing things out. Start with one closet and work your way through the entire home. Sort items into categories to toss, keep, sell, and donate. Selling items is a great way of making a little extra pocket change while reducing the amount of things you’ll have in your home during showings and that you’ll need to pack up and move. It’s a win-win!

3. Clean, Clean, and Clean Some More. Dirty homes are a buyer turnoff. Now is a great time to wash down walls, spruce up paint, and give your entire home a thorough cleaning. Do you carpets need refreshing? Consider renting a carpet shampoo machine or hiring a professional carpet cleaning company to come in and revamp your carpets. Chances are buyers will ask for this anyway come closing time. You’ll beat them to the punch and have a shiny, sparkling home to show for it.

4. Get an Inspection. Did you think inspections were only for buyers? Having a pre-sale inspection can mean identifying problem areas. Perhaps you’re unaware of items in need of repair which will severely affect your listing price. It’s best to be prepared and realistic in today’s market.

5. Make Repairs or Get Estimates. Your inspection will likely leave you with a list of repairs, large and small, that will need to be made. Keep in mind that prospective buyers will also get an inspection of your home and will find these same issues. You may wish to go ahead with large repairs. If not, be sure to at least get estimates so you are fully prepared for negotiations or you can at least provide the estimates for your buyers.

6. Start Staging. Staging is like prepping your home for its first date, you want to have it clean and well-dressed. This means upping the appeal with fresh paint and flowers. It may also mean rearranging furniture and removing clutter.