12 Tips on Things to Do Before Listing Your House For Sale

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Selling your home is a bit more complicated than deciding to sell it and then hammering a “For Sale” sign into the front yard. At least, it’s more complicated if you want to get the best price you can for the house.

And don’t think that putting a few photos online is any better than putting up that sign. Selling a home, even in today’s seller’s market, demands attention to a myriad of details if you are looking to realize the best price.

The pros at Realtor.com recommend getting your house in shape to sell before putting it on the market. This may take some time, some work, and some money, but the pros generally agree that it is time, effort, and cash well spent.

Here are 12 things you can do before listing your house that will help you get the most out of the sale.

Find a great real estate agent
Don’t settle for the first one you talk to. Interview a few and choose one who knows the market in your area.

Look at your home’s curb appeal
Make a strong first impression by investing some time and a little effort in making the home look its best.

Declutter living areas
The more stuff you leave lying around, the smaller the house looks.Buyers might wonder if all their stuff will fit in such a tiny space. Pack up your stuff and store it.

Depersonalize your space
You might love all those family photos in the hallway or that huge stuffed moosehead over the fireplace, but you need to pack this stuff away and leave the house a blank canvas for prospective buyers.

Repaint walls in a neutral tone
Again, this is part of depersonalizing the home. A light, neutral color works just like a blank canvas and allows prospective buyers to visualize the home their way.

Touch up any scuff marks
Taking care of small details gives potential buyers confidence that you’ve taken good care of the house.

Fix any loose handles
Again, this demonstrates an attention to maintenance and detail. Dripping faucets, light bulbs that need replacement, loose door knobs — fix them.

Add some plants
These help create a welcoming environment, as does a bowl of fresh flowers or fruit.

Conduct a smell test
Foul odors can sink a sale. If you detect one, don’t try to cover it up. Fix the problem.

Clean and then clean again
The home needs to be spotless everywhere. Pay special attention to the bathrooms.

Hide valuables
Expensive artwork and jewelry need to be stored out of sight or off-site.

Consider staging
Get some help from a professional stager, especially if your home is older and has some features that don’t fire-up 21st century buyers.

For more tips and details, visit Realtor.com.