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Seller Tips

Checklist for Getting a Home Ready to Sell

  • Posted Jun 8, 2022

The time has come for you to move on to a new home, and you need help getting your current home ready to sell to its new owners. If you are selling your home, there are a few things that you will want to do in order to make it as attractive as possible to potential buyers. This process involves a lot of tasks, research, and the help of a qualified and experienced REALTOR®. Necessary parts of the process are different depending on the location, size, and condition of your home. However, the six items on this checklist for preparing your home to sell are things every homeowner has to do to start the process.

Find the Right REALTOR® to Help

Not all real estate agents are created equal. That is why it is important to find the right one for you and your needs. Do your research. The first step is to start with NJMLS.com and find a REALTOR® who meets your specific needs. This includes researching their experience, licenses and qualifications, as well as their track record in the market. Always pick a local REALTOR®-member of the NJMLS who knows your market the best.

Determine the Home and Property Value

Your REALTOR® will research not only the local market for home sales in general but also look at comparative properties to get an idea about what you should ask for your home and property. This is an important part of their job, and NJMLS members have access to listing databases and past sales records in order to do it well. Try not to get hung up on specific figures, because they may not accurately represent what you can get in the end. It may be advisable to weigh the desire for more money versus a quicker sale in some cases.

Make Improvements and Updates to the Home

Fix everything that is broken or excessively worn. Replace out of date fixtures, remove ugly wallpaper, and paint everything in a neutral shade or something that is more on trend and customizable. The list of things that you should do to your home and property to get it ready for sale may only include a few items or dozens. This is completely based on your specific circumstances. Many improvements and updates can increase property value, especially when it comes to modern kitchens and bathrooms.

Work with a REALTOR®-member of the NJMLS to determine the investments that can pay off with a higher buy price in the end.

Remove and Pack Up Personal Belongings

People want to imagine themselves in your home, as if it were their own already and not someone else’s. You should absolutely start packing all your belongings before you put the house on the market if you need to sell. First, use popular organizational methods to divide everything up into what you can get rid of and what you want to keep. Throw away, recycle, or donate everything you can at the start. This will make the entire selling and moving process so much simpler. 

Then, pack away as many personal belongings as possible. These include photos, wall art, decorative accents, personal collections, and similar objects. The more things you can remove from sight in the main areas of the house, the better.

Boost Curb Appeal to Make the Right First Impression

First impressions matter when it comes to enticing potential buyers to take a closer look. Curb appeal is how your house looks and feels the moment a person pulls up on the street in front of the house. People make snap judgments about how much they like the property with a single glance sometimes. At the very least, make sure all the landscaping is neat, bushes are trimmed, there are no dead branches or weeds, and you have a neat path and steps to the front door. Add landscape lighting and some bright flowers to increase visual interest.

Something as simple as adding a pretty pot of pansies to the front porch can increase curb appeal. While you are at it, paint the front door an eye-catching color that goes with the rest of the house aesthetic. In some cases, your agent may recommend a full exterior painting job to help boost curb appeal and value.

Prepare for Photos and Open Houses

REALTORS® need high-quality photos of the exterior and interior of your home and property in order to create an eye-catching listing on NJMLS.com. A big part of getting ready for these photos includes some of the steps listed above: increasing curb appeal, repairs and updates, and removing personal belongings. On the day or days when the professional photographer comes, you should expect them to move around some furniture and even add a few decor items for staging purposes. They will usually take these away with them afterward, but may suggest keeping them in place for open houses.

If you want to sell your home, you need to start thinking about it as someone else’s next house instead of your private place to enjoy. Use the checklist above to get your home ready to sell and help you on your way to faster, more lucrative results.