If you’re thinking of selling your home this year, there are a number of steps you can take right now to make your life a lot easier when it comes time to put your house on the market. It’s no secret that selling your house can be a stressful experience, but preparing in some key ways will help to reduce the overwhelm of the process for you and your family. Keep reading for my 5 best tips!
#1: Think ahead to Moving Day
Wait - don’t freak out! ‘Moving Day’ can be a trigger phrase for many people (ok, mostly everyone who’s moved before), but thinking ahead now can save you a lot of work and drama down the line.
Here’s how: start by finding, repurposing or purchasing three large bins and label them “Store”, “Donate” and “Toss”. Keep the bins somewhere central in your home if you have the space. As you go about your day-to-day life, cleaning and tidying, keep in mind to look at the things and stuff in the various rooms in your home. Channel your inner Marie Kondo and ask yourself whether those are items you want to take with you to your future home. Some great prompts are: does this still work as it should? Does this serve me/us or add value to our lives? Would this be better enjoyed by someone else? Get your kids involved in this process!
Do this a bit at a time, or like Marie Kondo suggests, if one fell swoop. You might not love having three big bins in your space but remember it’s temporary and will ultimately save you some pain down the road!
Key Takeaway: don’t move stuff you don’t want to keep.
#2: Get around to that repairs list
Ya girl (or boy), it’s time. This can no longer be avoided! In the age of YouTube, there’s hardly an excuse for us to let those minor around-the-house repairs linger. But let’s be honest, that’s life! We can easily become blind to these small issues over time. Talkin’ ‘bout dripping faucets, leaky eavestroughs, scuffs and scrapes around the house!
If your repair list is only in your mind, get it down onto paper and *this is key* SCHEDULE IT. Estimate how long it will take and what supplies you need and then commit to getting it done by scheduling it in your calendar. If you need to hire a handy-person, make those arrangements.
Key Takeaway: you can’t run any longer, get those repairs done!
#3: Prepare the paperwork
Now is a great time to collect all the paperwork you’ll need as part of the selling process. Grab a folder and begin collecting the following docs:
Key Takeaway: track down this paperwork now and save yourself some frantic searches later!
#4: Don’t renovate!
Say what?? Yep, you heard me. If you’ve been thinking about renovating an area of your home before putting it on the market, I strongly advise you to check in with an industry professional first (i.e. a Realtor you trust, professional Stager or Interior Designer). Find out whether that renovation will create a return that is worth it for you. If it makes good financial sense, be sure to get some professional advice on what finishes are most loved by potential buyers. It’s important to be impartial in this process if you’re planning to sell. Renovate for the new owners, and not necessarily to your own taste. Many times I have seen pre-sale renovations that have not ultimately helped to sell the home or helped the homeowners recoup their reno investment.
Key Takeaway: Proceed with caution! Only renovate if it makes good financial sense and with the advice of a professional.
Note: I can recommend a professional to help you with this. In many cases, their advice is complimentary!
#5: Hire a Realtor you like and trust
A good Realtor will help advise you on what should be done in and around your home in order to sell. Many people use the rule of thumb to interview three Realtors before hiring one. Of course, professionalism, market knowledge and experience are super important. Ultimately, my best and genuine advice here is to hire someone you like and trust, someone who you feel has your best interests at heart and with whom you can easily and openly communicate.
Key Takeaway: A great Realtor will help you prepare to move, let you know when would be the best time to sell in your local market, what you should do around the house before listings and direct you to professionals if you need extra help.
Thinking ahead to moving day, or the process of preparing to move, can really help you stay focused on what matters most before you put your house on the market. Increase your home's appeal by addressing repairs, touching up paint and keeping clutter to a minimum before listing your place for sale. Following the 5 steps above will help you reduce the stress of selling and maximize your home's potential value. Try to avoid getting overwhelmed and remember to lean on your Realtor for expert advice support.
You got this!