When you finally decide to sell your home,
it can feel overwhelming. Where do you even start? Before you do anything else, you will want to
find a real estate agent that you trust. You want
someone with experience, who has your best interests at heart, and who can serve as your
guide through the rest of the process. All of this gets easier when you are working hand in hand
with someone who knows what they are doing.
But beyond finding that essential member of your team, there are five things that you can expect
to do before your agent officially puts it on the market.
1. Have a pre-sale home inspection.
Be proactive by arranging for a pre-sale home inspection. An inspector will be able to give you a
good indication of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers, and you’ll be able to
make repairs before open houses begin.
Some sellers opt to wait until the buyer hires an inspector, but that can lead to unpleasant
surprises that may even bring your closing to a complete stop – not a situation you want to find
yourself in. By doing the inspection on your own before hand you know exactly what to expect.
Your real estate agent can help you determine which things are most important to fix, and which
things to leave out because they won’t add to the sales price or ease of sale.
Another benefit to having an inspection ahead of time is getting more interested and qualified
buyers. If you let them know that an inspection has already been done and are willing to provide
them with the report, that gives buyers a better picture of the house, and their first offer will be
2. Organize and clean.
Pare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large blenders and other kitchen
tools, out-of-season clothes, toys, and exercise equipment. Store items off-site or in boxes
neatly arranged in the garage or basement. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, lighting fixtures,
and baseboards to make the house shine.
Often there are things that you are so used to looking at every day that they become invisible to
you. This is another area where your real estate agent can help as they bring a fresh set of eyes
to your house. And if you are too busy to deal with it on your own, consider hiring a professional
to come clean and organize for that extra touch of something special.
3. Get replacement estimates.
Do you have big-ticket items that are worn out or will need to be replaced soon, such your roof
or carpeting? Get estimates on how much it would cost to replace them, even if you don’t plan
to do it yourself. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home, and will be
handy when negotiations begin.
It will also make sure that buyers don’t make a completely off base request in the offer, since
you have the facts to begin with. Before making those repairs though, be sure to ask your real
estate agent what is typical for the area, and what the projected impact on home price is to
make the repairs or not. Don’t forget to factor in the time cost, and the additional expenses you
will pay for the house before listing if you do decide to make repairs.
4. Find your warranties and other paperwork.
Gather up the warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for the furnace, washer and dryer,
dishwasher, and any other items that will remain with the house.
This is also a good time to find your mortgage information, title and deed paperwork, and
anything else that you need during the sales process. Your real estate agent can give you a list
of what you need. And if you are planning on buying another home and need prequalification for
a new mortgage, you can get together that information while you are digging through files.
5. Spruce up the curb appeal.
Pretend you’re a buyer and stand outside of your home. As you approach the front door, what is
your impression of the property? Do the lawn and bushes look neatly manicured? Is the address
clearly visible? Are pretty flowers or plants framing the entrance? Is the walkway free from
cracks and impediments?
Just like with the inside, you can be immune to what is obvious to anyone else. Ask your real
estate agent to give you their input on this step as well. Remember to keep in mind that in
Michigan there will be other work that needs to be done depending on the time of year. You
don’t want a potential buyer struggling through the snow to get to the front door.
Are you ready to get the process started? Are you selling in the Grandville, Jenison, or
Wyoming area? We would love to help make this as easy for you as possible. Give us a call
today to be connected with one of our experienced agents.