Direct Selling Your Home Checklist
Selling a house is one of the most stressful events that can happen in any person’s life. Even when the reason you’re selling is a happy one—like a new job that’s moving you to greener pastures—the to-do list is long and almost always short on fun. If you’re selling due to a separation, layoff, or because a family member is ill, the burden of getting it all done will feel that much bigger and seem that much harder to overcome. A detailed selling-your-home checklist is one of the best things you can have to help keep your stress under control—especially when you need to sell your house fast. We’ve created just such a checklist. It covers the basic steps you’ll need to take, so you can get your new life on track.
A Detailed Checklist for Selling Your Home
As you read through the following checklist for selling your home, you may find that you’re tempted to dismiss one or two items. You might think, for example, that since you’re not selling a house with termite damage, there’s no reason to get a termite inspection. But, just because damage to the structure hasn’t been obvious doesn’t mean it isn’t there—and that a potential buyer won’t find it and renege on their offer, setting back your timeline significantly. So, be wary of the temptation to skip over any items. What you don’t know—or what you avoid uncovering—can indeed hurt you by delaying a fast and fair offer on the sale of your home.
Let’s get started. Here’s some of what you should do to start preparing to sell your house:
1 – Clean, declutter, and purge
Donate or throw out any items you don’t intend to keep, whether it’s furniture, old paint, or stacks of magazines. Organize and put away whatever’s leftover to further minimize any clutter and create more space to move around—which is almost always welcome by would-be buyers during showings. And, clean the house from top to bottom, from the cobwebs at the corners of your ceiling to the well-worn carpet in the basement. Buyers will certainly notice if you don’t.
2 – Schedule inspections
Have your home inspected to determine what, if anything, needs to be repaired. Since not every problem is obvious, this step is pretty critical. Knocking water pipes may easily be resolved by adjusting the pressure; but, if it has gone on for a while, the knocking may have actually caused a leak. It’s better to know now what repairs you—or a buyer—may be facing, so you can market the home accordingly.
3 – Take a look at your finances
It’s important to consider not only how much you still owe on the house, but also how much cash you have on hand to perform the repairs, hire help if it’s needed, and even to pack up your things and move. Owing tens of thousands of dollars on your loan versus hundreds of thousands can, and should, sway how much work you perform, how and when you market the house, and the price you hope to get. But you may also need to have access to cash now in order to check off even a few of the initial items on your checklist—especially the priorities, like hiring an inspector.
4 – Take a look at the market
Whether your local real estate market is a buyer’s or seller’s market will impact the list price for your home as well as how long it may take to sell. It should also affect how much money and time you plan to spend repairing the house versus the profit you hope to realize when it’s finally purchased. Of course, most markets can shift in as few as six months. So, how things look currently isn’t always a good predictor of how your efforts will—or won’t—pay off in the near future.
5 – Repair and rehab the interior
Assuming it’s in your budget, and your selling price will benefit in the current market, perform the repairs and upgrades your home inspector recommends. Repair or replace the HVAC system, the water heater, and the stove. Tighten the hinges on cabinetry, install new flooring, and pick a new neutral color for painting the house before selling. The smallest of changes can make a big impression on buyers, and that can add to your bottom line if they also make a solid offer.
6 – Repair and rehab the exterior
Because selling a house that needs a new roof can be just as difficult as selling one without a working AC, don’t forget to renovate the outside of the home in addition to the inside. That may include installing new screens on the windows and a new garage door or painting the mailbox and mowing the lawn. Major repairs—like fixing the roof—are critical to attracting good offers, but simply sprucing up your home’s curb appeal can draw in more home shoppers, too.
7 – Remove personal belongings
As potential buyers tour your home, they’re not just looking for what is wrong or right with it. They’re also looking to see if they can imagine themselves living in it. The best way you can facilitate their vision is to remove the things that make the home yours. Put away family pictures, trophies and trinkets, the grandkids’ toys, and refrigerator magnets so they don’t get in the way of the buyer’s inspiration. Since you have to eventually pack anyway, think of this task as getting a head start.
8 – Hire a real estate agent
Under most circumstances, hiring a real estate agent can help ensure a quicker sale than if you tried to sell your home alone. They’ll help you correctly price your house and advertise it to buyers as well as field incoming calls and schedule any showings. They’ll also help you negotiate with buyers once offers come in and handle legal aspects of the transaction, such as filing the right paperwork. They should help you keep an eye on the market, too, and propose changes to your strategy if the house isn’t selling. Be sure to do your research, however, and pick a reputable REALTOR®. Also, be prepared to pay about 6% of the sale to your agent in commission.
9 – Stage the house
Your real estate agent may make recommendations for how you can stage your home, but it might benefit you more if you hire a staging pro. Professional stagers are pricey, and the costs to rent furniture can really add up. But the end result often creates a modern yet homey feel that appeals to the buying demographic your real estate agent has suggested you should target.
Of course, just remembering to handle even a handful of the above tasks can be taxing on its own. So, you can download our selling your home checklist to have on the go. Since every home is as unique as every home seller’s situation, however, do continue to add to the list—especially as you uncover potential problems that need to be addressed. Trying to keep it all in your head will only lead to mistakes you’d probably like to forget.
Another option is to skip all of the steps above and sell directly to a buyer who wants to remove what stands in the way of getting on with your life: like a long to-do list that’s a hassle to finish. Such a buyer does exist and their primary goal is to make selling your home as easy, and as fast as possible.
Check “Hassle” Off Your List by Selling Direct
The home buying specialists at Sell Your House Direct have a checklist of their own. Not only does it include giving you a fair all-cash offer on your house and the option to close in seven days or less, it includes providing you with an overall experience that is free of all hassles.
That means you don’t have to clean, declutter, or purge your possessions. You don’t have to perform any repairs, either. You also can scratch worrying about the market and holding open houses off your list. They’ll take your house as-is, with or without an inspection, and even set up the truck that will help you move on. Just take what you want, they’ll handle the rest—making your home selling checklist almost too easy to accomplish. You’ll be charged zero fees and commissions for saying ‘yes’ to receiving help, too.
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