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What To Do Before You Sell Your Home

By December 12, 2019October 15th, 2020Home Selling
Home for Sale

If you are preparing to sell your home, especially in today’s hot market, there are many tasks you need to remember.

Lucky for you, Waypoint is here to give you the full guide and processes you need to accomplish! In this blog post, you will find videos, checklists, and recommendations so you can sell your home for more money and fast!

Before You List

Finding a Realtor

First and foremost, you need an experienced agent in your corner. An experienced Realtor will be able to answer your questions, communicate with buyers, and give professional recommendations on staging, pricing, and so much more!

In order to find a Realtor, I highly recommend you ask your family and friends. Once you have a list of agents you are considering, you should start the interview process.

Interviewing Realtors

When interviewing real estate agents, you should ask them specific questions to find their experience, knowledge, and how well they can get along with you.

You are going to be closely working with this Realtor for some time, so it is important you can easily get along with this person professionally.

Here are some important questions you should consider asking your potential agent:

  • How long have you been in real estate?
  • What is your process for selling a home?
  • Which neighborhoods do you know best and what homes have you sold previously in those neighborhoods?
  • How much do you think you could realistically sell my home for and why?
  • Do you have any references from others I could speak with?

During this interview, you are looking to find an experienced agent that is local to your neighborhood. You want proof that they have sold in your neighborhood and references from past clients. Lastly, you want to find out what their proven process is for selling homes for more money. A good agent will not be afraid to tell you what you should do to your home to make it show ready!

Be sure to do a little bit of homework by looking at their reviews online as well.

Preparing Your Home

You will need to prepare your home for many stages of the buying process like photography, inspections, appraisals, and the final walk thru. At each stage there are key ingredients to make buyers happy.

We have broken down each stage into a separate blog post for you. Some blog posts contain videos from experience agents with expert advice.

Preparing Your Home For Listing Photography

Preparing Your Home For a Home Inspection

Home Inspection Expectations for Sellers

Preparing for a Real Estate Appraisal

Preparing for the Final Walk Thru

Be sure to read each article so you can be prepared for each stage of the process!

On top of what is noted above, an experienced listing agent is going to request you receive a pre-listing inspection.

Pre-Listing Inspections

As mentioned above, an experienced real estate agent that is listing your property is going to request you order a pre-listing inspection.

A pre-listing inspection although is money upfront for you, will save you many headaches in the future.

Here’s How They Work

Imagine if a buyer has their home inspector evaluate your home and you did not have a pre-listing inspection. You are basically relying on a home inspector that is working for the buyer to call out things wrong with your home. How do you know what they are saying is accurate? How do you know how these items affect the value of your property? The answer is you don’t.

So, if you purchase a pre-listing inspection, you have a home inspector on your side that helps you go into their buyer’s inspection prepared and well armed with knowledge.

You now have the chance to fix items you want to fix, turn down items you want to turn down, and overall be more educated about the value of your property.

A Warning About A Common Misconception

I want to make this very clear because I see this mistake happen too often.

Many sellers will think they do not want to know what is wrong with their home because then they will have to disclose it and make their buyer worried or sell their home for less money.

However, the truth is, most buyers will find out what is wrong anyway. Then, they are armed with the knowledge about it before you. Moreover, I have seen time and time again that if you do try to hide something from the buyer, you could be dragged into a court case about it.

I can speak on and on about the benefits of pre-listing inspections, but I digress.

Let’s move into a quick action checklist of what to take care of before you list your property. Some items may be repeated in other guides.

You can download a PDF copy of this checklist on our website!

Checklist: What To Do Before You List Your Property

Exterior:

  • Trim trees away from roof and home.
  • Trim shrubs, vegetation, and remove unsightly plants.
  • Over seed lawns to maintain “paradise” look.
  • Power wash sidewalks, driveways, patios, and exterior walls.
  • Clean front door and frame.
    Paint as needed to improve curb appeal.
  • Have a roofing contractor inspect the roof and make needed repairs.
  • Remove screens and clean windows. Clean out gutters.
  • Have irrigation and lighting systems in working order.
  • Keep garbage containers in the rear of the house or in the garage.
  • Keep toys and bikes out of sight.
  • Dress up the front. A few potted plants make the house look loved.

Interior:

De-clutter the home:

  • Have a yard sale to make extra cash.
  • Donate or throw away unused items.
  • Put possessions in storage.
  • Clean off everything on the kitchencounters.
  • Clean out and organize the garage andclosets.
  • Place all breakables, antiques, and other valuables in a safe place to prevent accidental damage.
  • Have the home professionally cleaned.
  • Patch and paint walls and ceilings where needed.
  • How does the house smell? If the house has an unpleasant odor it may take longer to sell.
  • Replace floor coverings as needed.
  • De-personalize the home: pack up personal photographs, family heirlooms, religious items, etc. that may deter a buyer from seeing themselves living in the home.
  • Highlight the key features of the home by making sure they are not obscured by plants and furnishings.

Checklist: Preparing For The Buyer’s Home Inspector

Prepare Your Property:

  • Provide clear access to the attic opening, crawl space, garage, water heater, closets, electrical panel, and other mechanical systems.
  • Clear out highly congested areas.
  • Open all window coverings and remove obstructions from window and door openings.
  • Clear out storage items from the oven, stove and beneath all sinks.
  • Trim tree limbs to 10’ from the roof and shrubs from the house.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace any dead batteries.
  • Remove stored items or debris that may hinder the inspection.
  • Service A/C systems, particularly if they are older units. Have service records available for the prospective buyers.
  • Make minor repairs: replace burned out light bulbs in all of the sockets, fix leaky faucets, and fix doors that don’t close or latch properly.
  • Clean out gutters.
  • Re-caulk bathtubs and showers.
  • Unlock gate.

Utilities On:

  • Confirm gas, water, and electric are on prior to the inspection.
  • All electrical circuit breakers should be in the “on” position.
  • Have pilot lights on at gas appliances. All electrical boxes should be unlocked.

Protect Your Property:

  • Secure all pets. Ideally, they should be removed from the premises.
  • Protect clothing and personal items near closet attic access openings; insulation can fall when entering the attic.

Prepare for Systems Tests:

  • Clean and replace dirty A/C filters.
  • The dishwasher will be run during the inspection. You may prepare a load of dishes if you choose.
  • Provide operating instructions for any specialized or unique equipment.
  • Provide any remote controls for ceiling fans, lights, etc.

The Process of Selling Your Home

All of the information above, should arm you with the information needed before you go to list your property. But, so you are fully prepared for the process, I want to discuss a few other points.

The As-Is Real Estate Contract

This is the most common real estate contract in use. I have a video and blog here linked so you can read about this contract and what will be required of you.

Other Processes

As mentioned above, these are the difference pieces of the home selling process. I have linked them below again so you can be prepared.

Preparing Your Home For Photography

Preparing Your Home For The Home Inspection

Home Inspection Expectations

Should You Attend The Home Inspection

Preparing Your Home For The Appraisal

Preparing For The Final Walk Thru

Hiccups That May Happen

There might be bumps along the way of selling your home which is common!

This is why it is so important for you to work with an experience Realtor to help you guide you through this time.

You may encounter re-inspections, inspection contingencies, appraisal contingencies, or other problems.

Summing Up

As you can see, there is a lot to do before you sell your home and a lot of small processes along the way.

If you have any questions be sure to comment below and we would be happy to answer!

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