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Questions From a Seller: I Want to Sell my House, Where Do I Start?

Patty Knaggs

Making dreams come true is what I do.  My real estate expertise is based on 16 years as a realtor and 18 years as an investor/property manager...

Making dreams come true is what I do.  My real estate expertise is based on 16 years as a realtor and 18 years as an investor/property manager...

Feb 15 6 minutes read

Whether you’re looking to take advantage of the hot seller’s market or you need to move for professional or personal reasons, you likely have a lot of questions, including where to start! In this post, we’ll go over what you need to know — and do — if you’re ready to sell your home.

#1. De-Clutter, Deep Clean, and Depersonalize

The three D’s start the home-selling process: de-clutter, deep clean, and depersonalize. 

Whether you want to handle the deep cleaning and de-cluttering yourself or call in the pros is completely up to you. Just make sure all floors, walls, furniture, and every nook and cranny gets a good, thorough cleaning. 

While you’re at it, throw away or donate any clutter you’ve accumulated over the years.

Finally, it’s time to depersonalize your home. 

We know how much you love your family photos and mementos, but the last thing you want is for potential buyers to have a hard time picturing themselves and their families making your home their own because it’s filled with family photos and other personalized decor. Now is not the time to display your kindergartner's artwork on the fridge. Take anything personalized down, put it in a box, and get excited to see it again at your new house. 

#2. Take Care of Simple Repairs and Upgrades

If you neglect your leaking dishwasher or squeaky dryer, you’re going to run into major problems — and delays — come home inspection time. Get as much of it out of the way — at least the stuff that’s blatantly obvious — before any potential buyers walk into the door. Make a list of repairs by order of importance, then decide what you can DIY and what needs the help of an expert to get in tip-top shape.

#3. Find a Real Estate Agent

Now that your home is in immaculate shape, you need to find somebody who will help you sell it ASAP: a qualified real estate agent. You may think that you can sell your home on your own in an attempt to save a few bucks. But, trust us, skimping on an expert who knows the market like the back of their hand is really not worth it in the long run. In fact, on average, homes sold with the help of a real estate agent sell for 13% more than those that are for sale by owner. 

Start by Googling real estate agents in your area, asking friends and neighbors for referrals, and reading as many reviews as possible. Once your list of candidates is narrowed down, meet in person with your top real estate agents and ask questions on how long they’ve worked in the market, how many homes they’ve sold this year, how they'll market your home, and any distinctions and designations they’ve earned.

#4. Get Professional Photos Taken

In today’s world, it’s likely that potential buyers will see your home online before they see it in person. This means that your pictures have a big job to do when it comes to convincing them that your property is worth checking out IRL. Your blurry, dimly lit iPhone 8 pictures just aren’t going to cut it! 

Work with your real estate agent to schedule a photo shoot to capture high-quality, professional photos of your home in the best light possible. A professional real estate photographer knows how to make rooms appear larger, brighter, and overall more attractive.

#5. Set a Fair Price

Even in today’s competitive market, buyers don’t want to get ripped off and pay way over what a home is worth. Setting a fair price that reflects the market and home value is essential. This is another area where having a Realtor really pays off as we are experts at pricing homes and will be able to help you choose a price that is fair for everyone. You may want to set it at a high price “just to see,” but this can actually backfire because buyers may look at homes that have been on the market a while with multiple price reductions as “faulty.” Set a realistic price from the get-go to sell your house as fast as possible.

#6. Put Your House on the Market and Keep it Staged and Clean

Unfortunately, once the "For Sale" sign goes up in your front yard, your work isn't done. When you’re trying to sell your home, it needs to look its best around the clock. You never know when your real estate agent will call with eager buyers who want to get in for a last-minute showing. 

This means you and your family will need to devote some time daily to clean the house, pick up messes, empty the trash, and do whatever else you can to keep your house showing-ready. This also includes mowing the lawn, killing weeds, and keeping bushes and flowers trimmed. 

You might also want to consider bringing in a professional stager who will add pieces and arrange your furniture most appealingly. We're here to help you with that!

Have Other Questions?

We've started a new series answering your questions about selling. We'd love to help you! If you have any questions, please let us know by scheduling a call below.

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