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It’s always an exciting experience when a family decides to make the major life change of moving homes. Most families are overly eager to get on the process as quickly as possible. Before you take the big step of listing your home online, there are some things that you should take care of first. To help you process, we put together the ultimate to-do checklist that you should complete before listing your home.


The Ultimate To-Do Checklist Before Listing Your Home

Grant Muller

Sell for More with Grant Muller...

Sell for More with Grant Muller...

Feb 17 9 minutes read

Find & Hire An Outstanding Real Estate Agent.

Some strong-willed fathers and self-directed mothers might try to take the harder route and sell their homes on their own. Unless you’re very familiar with the real estate industry, this is an incredibly unwise move. Real estate agents are the industry experts that know how to best sell your home and maximize your ROI. Without their real estate expertise, your home selling process will almost always result in disaster.

Before you start listing your home online, take the time now to interview agents and see if they’ll be a good fit for your home. Ideally, you’ll want an agent that has strong negotiating skills, can maximize the ROI on your home, and are fully ingrained within your community. Your real estate agent should also develop a comprehensive marketing strategy to maximize the exposure of your home to hundreds of buyers in the area.

If you need any help listing your home and selling it, our experienced and dedicated realtors would be thrilled to set up an interview with you!


Ensure That Your Home Makes A Great First Impression With Every Buyer.

First impressions are everything! If you’re not dressed professionally at your interview, you probably won’t get the job. The same principle applies when you’re listing your home. If your home doesn’t resonate positively with potential buyers when they first see it, you’ll have a very hard time selling your home. You only get one shot at a good first impression, so make sure that impression means something to those buyers!

That doesn’t mean you should just focus on prettying up your interior design. When’s the last time you updated the exterior design pieces of your home? You might scare off potential buyers if your outside elements are unappealing. Before your start listing your home on digital platforms, it would be worthwhile to make a few inexpensive changes to your home’s exterior could. Whether that’s a fresh coat of paint or an improved landscape design, those minor improvements can add greater value to your home and, in turn, influence a better asking price.


Keep Your Home Clutter-Free.

This to-do item should be very self-explanatory. Any real estate agent will tell you the same thing: Buyers don’t want a dirty house. If you really want to get good offers on your home, then you can’t skip over the cleaning process! Once your home is nice and clean, make sure your family stays on top of it after listing your home. Keep your living areas clear of personal possessions, tidy up every area once you’re done using it, and try to give your house a good clean periodically throughout your selling process.


Stow Away Your Family Photos.

People love to see family photos and, yes, those pictures of your babies and your pets are very cute. However, those photos should be removed from public areas to benefit the potential buyers. As they walk through your home, they’re trying to envision a new life in this home. Seeing a picture of another family can pull those buyers out of their daydream and make them feel uncomfortable in your home. Ideally, you should strive to create a blank canvas for every potential home buyer that enters your home. Give them the space to let their imaginations wander and they’ll feel right at home soon enough.


Neutral Tones Are Better.

Some creative homeowners will truly make the house theirs when they move in by painting a mural on a certain wall. While that mural may be at the heart of some precious family memories, it can quickly make a buyer feel uneasy in your house. It’s best to just play it safe and paint over that mural (and the other walls in your home) with lighter neutral colors. Those lighter tones help create that “blank canvas” that most buyers need to properly envision their new home-life. Before listing your home online, it could be worthwhile to paint neutral colors over your existing walls.


Tighten Up All Of Your Handles.

This may feel like a tedious task, but it will be well worth your time. Imagine it from the buyer’s perspective: If all the handles in the house are wobbly and loose, would you trust that the rest of the house has been taken care of over the years? Loose handles can contribute to a poor first impression on your home. It sounds silly, but you would be amazed at how impactful tightening up your door knobs and cabinet handles can be.

But why stop at just your handles? I bet there are a ton of small fixes and adjustments that you make around the house. Before listing your home, take some time to correct these small problems. Maybe there are some rooms in desperate need of new light bulbs. Or perhaps there are a bunch of scuffed objects around your house that need your attention. These small fixes not only make your home feel more appealing, but they also increase the value of your home, helping you get a better ROI.


Breathe Life Into Your Home With Plants.

Whether it’s just a few succulents, bonsais, or a few ficus plants, some additional greenery in the house can have a big impact on your home. Believe it or not, plants can make most buyers feel far more welcome and comfortable in a given home. You’d be surprised at how houseplants can make a home feel much more appealing. So, before listing your home online, stop in at Home Depot or elsewhere are grab a few plants. We’d recommend that you place those living (and breathing) organisms in the more inviting areas of your home, like your kitchen and your living spaces.


Test Out The Smell Of Your Home.

Humans may not have the strongest sense of smell, but an off-putting odor could spell disaster for your home. Even if a given smell is minimal and virtually nonexistent most of the time, a single bad wiff will send buyers packing and they’ll be leaving your home in no time. It may sound unreasonable, but a bad smell can lead to no offers. Some real estate agents will use a smell trick or two to fill the air with pleasant smells. Try baking chocolate chip cookies before your open house begins (those will double as great snacks for your buyers). Or light a few scented candles in your living spaces. If you’re strapped for time and want to ensure your home smells fine, invite over a neighbor quickly or another third-party guest for a fast smell test.


Hide Your Valuables.

When you’re working with a professional realtor, you may feel comfortable and trusting enough to leave your valued items out in the open. This is a common rookie mistake of first time home sellers. As you start the process of listing your home, you need to hide away anything that is valuable to your family. These things mainly include jewelry and art, but you may have other valuable possessions that need protection (e.g., gaming consoles, first edition books, priceless china sets, etc.). It's best to lock those items up or take them off-site before interested buyers come over. It’s better to be safe than sorry!


Remember: Staging Can Make All The Difference.

You might love your pieces of furniture. It’s possible that potential buyers might love those furniture sets too! However, a wrong assumption on your interior design could drive away prospective buyers. You can’t ever assume that your subjective perspective on interior design is universal. Before you start listing your home, it would be best to work with a professional staging company to spruce up your home and acquire more offers. Your real estate agent might even have the perfect staging contacts for your unique home!

Need advice on a local staging company? Contact us today and we’ll point you in the right direction to get your home looking top-notch!


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There is no need to feel overwhelmed with the selling process. We can get you moving in the right direction.

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