When it comes to listing your own house for sale, there are many things to consider. Because it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the details, hiring a competent real estate agent is one of the best things you can do before listing your house. They know the market and will notice things that you may overlook. Whether you choose to hire a real estate agent or not, there are still some general matters to be aware of when listing your home. In this article, we will cover five things to do before listing your house for sale:
- Getting Your House Inspected
- Taking Pictures
- Making a Good First Impression
- Clarifying What Comes with the House
- Having Your Paperwork Handy
A real estate agent can get into the specifics for your location, competition in your area, and trends in the real estate market. If you’re willing to put in the effort, however, you can go the “for sale by owner” route too. Either way, here are five tips on listing your house for sale:
- Get the House Inspected
You are probably familiar with your home’s quirks. However, some problems, like foundational ones, can go unnoticed for a long time. It’s better to be upfront with potential buyers about things that need fixing. They will have an inspection done after making an offer, so you want to avoid looking like you intentionally hid problems with the house. The best way to prevent this is to get the home inspected before listing.
With an inspection, you become aware of issues that may turn off buyers as well as aspects of your home that are not up to code. While you may choose to leave some of the repairs up to the buyer, major or obvious flaws can turn buyers away. Consider fixing any significant issues before listing your house and getting estimates on repairs still needed so you can inform buyers upfront about your home’s maintenance.
- Take Good Pictures
Before people take an hour of their day to walk through your house, they will probably look at pictures from your listing. Your photos should make viewers want to take a closer look. A messy kitchen or cluttered living room is not appealing to potential buyers.
Take the time to DE clutter rooms for your pictures, and remove unnecessary items and furniture that detracts from or obstructs the view. Clean the carpets, appliances, cupboards, windows, and the like.
You want to present a clean-cut visual of your house. If you aren’t confident in taking pictures with clarity and quality lighting, you can always hire a professional photographer to make your online listing more attractive.
- Make a Good First Impression
First impressions matter. What does your lawn look like for drive-byes? Is your front door dirty? Do any of the rooms smell? Is there pet damage, peeling paint, or carpet stains? Small touch-ups here and there will allow buyers to focus on your home’s qualities rather than the minor, yet distracting issues.
Once you put up a listing, you could have responses almost immediately. Waiting till the last minute to clean up your house and make it presentable for showings is not ideal. If you took pictures, you probably already did plenty of DE cluttering and cleaning. Here is a simple checklist for keeping your house ready for showings.
- Decide What Comes with the House
You may have some things in your home you plan on taking with you, but that the buyer assumes comes with the house. Generally, you don’t need to exclude personal property such as washer and dryer, curtains, or television. Items affixed to the house, however, are assumed to come with the home unless you exclude them. For example, light fixtures, curtain rods, and mirrors bolted into the wall are considered a part of the house.
If you plan on taking some of these fixtures with you, you will want to put them in your exclusion list to avoid unnecessary confusion or conflict with the buyer. As part of your listing of the property, you should clearly define the fixtures excluded. This article further explains what you should and shouldn’t put on your exclusion list.
- Have Your Paperwork Handy
Putting together a booklet of the necessary documentation is a useful practice when you go to list your house. Being able to show potential buyers your utility bills and maintenance history does two things: it demonstrates the upkeep of your house. It eases the buyer into taking over the home’s maintenance. Collect this information and any paperwork on appliances, plumbing, and HVAC systems, and the like, in a binder for buyers to peruse when they have questions.