If you’ve already started collecting moving boxes or fantasized how you’re going to use your home sale proceeds, you’ll want to slow down and take a few steps back. Before your home even hits the market, there are a few necessary steps you’ll need to take to prepare your home for listing so your home sells fast and for a great price.
Finding a listing agent is one of the first steps and it will impact how your sale goes, so be sure to pick an experienced realtor.
To make sure you don’t miss anything imperative when listing your home, here is the seller’s ultimate real estate listing checklist.
Your Ultimate Real Estate Listing Checklist
1. Partner with an Experienced Real Estate Agent
One of the first things you’ll want to check off your list is finding an experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent who will not only list your home but will help you throughout the entire selling process utilizing their expertise to sell your home quickly and for the best price possible.
Your real estate agent knows the market well and will list your home at a competitive price to ensure your home doesn’t sit on the market for months. Plus, they’ll help manage your expectations so you’re not surprised if your home doesn’t sell immediately or go for the price you imagined.
With your agent, you’ll also avoid the tedious task of compiling the right paperwork. Your agent will take care of gathering the right documents like the broker listing agreement and the seller’s disclosure letter, making sure they’re filled out correctly and on time.
2. Conduct a Comparative Market Analysis
Before you list your home, you’re going to need to slap a price on it — and you definitely don’t want to simply hazard a guess and call it a day. To determine the best price for your home, you’ll want to conduct a comparative market analysis (CMA).
A CMA compares your home to recently sold homes in your surrounding neighborhood that are similar in size, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, age, style, and layout, giving you a better idea of what comparable homes are selling for in your area and what your home might go for.
While you can do a CMA yourself, it’s best to leave it to your agent who has access to exclusive resources like the multiple listing service (MLS) database and who knows your market inside and out.
3. Save Up
While the financial brunt mostly goes to the buyer, you as the seller don’t exactly escape scot-free. When selling your home you’ll have plenty of costs and fees including taxes, commission fees, paying off your old mortgage, and covering costs for staging and repairs.
You’ll want to have a budget ready and reserves handy to cover both expected and unexpected costs. For instance, while staging your home you may find you need to pay for a storage unit to house all your extra belongings or those needed repairs are more extensive than you thought.
4. Make Any Needed Repairs
You want to ensure the buyer has as few reasons as possible for passing up your home. Now you don’t have to completely gut your kitchen or bathroom and remodel from the ground up, but you can do some inexpensive renovations such as adding a fresh coat of paint or fixing any broken lights or cracks in the bathroom tile.
While not required, some sellers opt to pay for a pre-sale home inspection to help give them a better idea of what repairs need to be fixed. If the inspection uncovers something major like foundation issues or a bad roof, this can give sellers the time to collect funds before the house hits the market.
5. Do a Deep Clean
Your home won’t make a great impression if potential buyers see a dirty shower curtain or are hit with the overwhelming stench of little Fido. Show your home in its best light with a thorough cleaning that includes dusting, washing, mopping, and wiping down every surface.
6. Stage Your Home
You want potential buyers to imagine themselves living in your home and feel a sense of coziness and comfort — staging helps elicit these emotions and can even increase the value of your home by 1% to 5%. So how do you effectively stage your home?
First, remove all clutter and personal items like family photos or your kid’s drawings on the fridge. You don’t want buyers tripping over a laundry basket or distracted by your wedding photos. Brighten up the space with natural lighting or adding lamps to make your home feel bigger and more welcoming.
You’ll also want to rearrange your furniture and possibly remove some pieces that are beat up or outdated. The main areas to focus on are your master bedroom, kitchen, and the bathrooms.
7. Don’t Forget Curb Appeal
This means that your overgrown garden or the chipped paint on your fence will need a little attention. The outside of your home is the first thing potential buyers will see. If it’s not in stellar condition, buyers won’t have high hopes for the rest of the home either.
Fix up any loose siding, slap a fresh coat of paint on your fence and shutters, sweep your walkway and driveway, mow your lawn, and trim overgrown trees and shrubbery. Remember to also remove any lawn ornaments or extraneous personal items that prevent the buyer from imagining themselves in your home.
8. Take Professional Photos
Nowadays the first time buyers will see your home is online. Most buyers will narrow down their home choices based on online photos and descriptions. If you have terrible or few photos, the buyer will eliminate your home before they even step foot on your driveway.
And unless you’re a professional photographer yourself with the right cameras and lighting equipment, leave the photographing to the experts. Make sure you have a multitude of flattering photos that show off each feature of your home. And if you can, opt for a video walk-through of your home to better capture buyer attention.
9. Write a Compelling Description
You can leave this task to your real estate agent. From experience, they know exactly what draws in buyers, what features to highlight to bring in more offers, and how to craft a great description that’s easy to read, straightforward, and detailed.
10. List Your Home!
Now that you’ve checked off everything on your real estate listing checklist, all that’s left is to list your home. Your agent will officially put your home on the market by listing your home on the MLS along with the home description and professional photos. And now, you simply wait for the offers to roll in!
Work with an Experienced Clever Partner Agent
Preparing your home to list is no easy task. But when you partner with a Clever Partner Agent, selling your home immediately becomes manageable and less stressful. Your top-rated Partner Agent will guide you through the entire home selling process from pricing and staging, to listing and negotiations.
With Clever, not only will you not have to worry about missing any steps during the home listing process, but you’ll find even more cost-saving opportunities as our Partner Agents work for a flat fee of $3,000 or 1% if your home sells over $350,000 allowing you to save thousands on commission.
Get in touch with Clever to connect with a Partner Agent who will work to sell your home quickly and for the optimal price.