The decision has been made… maybe you’re moving for a new job opportunity, because your family is growing and you need more room, or it’s time to downsize. Whatever your reasons, you’re moving! Which means you’re going to have to list your current home. You understand the process of mortgage pre-approval, and you’re prepared to start hunting for your next house. Your current home will go on the market soon… so what do you need to do before you list? Here are a few things you should do before listing your house!
What To Do Before Listing Your House
It may not feel like it right now, but some time in the near future you will probably start to feel nostalgic. Before you start clearing away clutter and repainting, snap a few photos so you can remember your home!
#2: Get estimates
Do you know that certain repairs will likely need to be made in the next few years? Chances are, buyers will notice that too (especially after a home inspection). Arm yourself with knowledge about how much these repairs might cost- that way, you will know exactly what is a good deal if potential buyers start asking for $10,000 off the asking price because of some repair that will only cost half of that.
While you may take a “bless this mess” approach to the clutter in your home, prospective buyers won’t feel the same way. This is a great opportunity to get rid of those pants from 7 years ago, the SpongeBob sheets your 18 year old daughter probably doesn’t need anymore, and old, broken art projects. Remember, when you get to the showing stage, you want your home to look “move in ready.” This will mean a spacious (read: almost empty) house! Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting you get rid of every family heirloom. A simple declutter is all that’s needed: you can always put some things in storage until you move to your new home!
Everyone has their own sense of style when it comes to decorating a home, and that’s fantastic. What’s less fantastic is losing potential buyers who aren’t able to see past the decorations in your home enough to visualize themselves living there. Plain and neutral is the name of the game here. No, you certainly don’t need to completely redecorate: but if you have a cat themed living room or a wall dedicated to your kids’ heights over the years, you may need to tone it down and apply a fresh coat of paint.
#5: Consider Curb Appeal
If your mailbox is rusting off its post, the garden hedges have somehow blocked off all the windows on one side of your house, or you’ve abandoned the yard to small colonies of wildlife, it’s time to roll up your sleeves. A little bit of TLC to the outside of your house will help you take proper listing photos, and prevent prospective buyers from being scared off by a run-in with the family of (sometimes) friendly hedgehogs under the front porch.
#6: Begin to clear out evidence of pets
You can’t always hide the fact that you have dogs. However, if there is too much evidence of pets lying around, your buyers may start to feel hesitant about the dirt or damage those pups might be leaving behind. The much-loved (read: completely destroyed) bunny rabbit that usually just lies in the middle of the tv room will need to be stashed for a little while. While you’re at it, if you have any friends or family who are willing to look after your pets for the first week or so of your listing, this is a plus.
#7: Search for paperwork
Operating manuals for your HVAC, fridge, and other appliances can be helpful for the next owner of your house. Do you have any applicable warranties? What paint colours did you use on the walls? Approximately how much should the new owners expect to pay in utilities? All of these sorts of paper are useful to collect, and can help buyers feel more confident about buying your home.
Want more tips and information for sellers? Take a look at our seller resources.