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Home Selling Checklist

By Heather Sparks

If the thought of putting your house on the market gives you cold sweats, check out our handy, home selling checklist. You’re not alone in wondering how to start this multistep process. To help you avoid overwhelm, we’ve outlined key steps you can take to limit your stress and increase your success when selling. Here are our top five tips to inform your process and equip your Realtor with the information they’ll need to help you navigate and negotiate a smooth transaction. 

1. Know Your Timeline

Given the current market, many homeowners are amazed at how quickly they complete the selling process. It can take as little as 25 days to go from on-market to signed title transfer! But, sometimes a sale will take longer.

With this being the case, it’s important to set a timeline that doesn’t stress you out. Some of the factors that you’ll want to take into account include- (1) the need to sync up with the purchase of a new home, (2) factoring in any repair timelines, and/or (3) needing to accommodate moving timelines. 

This latter consideration can actually be included within the negotiations in the form of what’s called a “Rent-Back”. This option provides the opportunity to complete the sale of your home while still retaining access to the property.   

2. Gather Key Documents

If you’re like most homeowners, you have probably amassed an untidy collection of appliance manuals and warranties within a dark corner of your kitchen. Time to dust these off along with any receipts or verification of work, i.e. building permits, that show the repairs and improvements that you’ve made to your home.

Other items that you’ll want to include within your “document gather list” are instructions on how to operate systems such as your sprinklers and alarm, and if you want to go above and beyond, drawing up a simple schematic of where to locate critical infrastructure elements like sewer clean-outs, water shut-offs, etc. Your time spent on gathering all of these documents will go a long way in making your buyers feel even more confident about their purchase. 

3. Assess Your Home’s Condition

To assess the condition of your home, we recommend conducting a general walkthrough of your home to identify any possible issues or items for repair. The key to the success of this walkthrough is to try to view your home from your potential buyer’s eyes. The reason for this is that many homeowners have become blind to little issues and defects while potential buyers are looking for these to assess if this is the home for them and how these affect their purchase price. 

Along with doing your walkthrough, we would also generally recommend taking the step of ordering a pest inspection. Though the inspection would typically be done by the buyer once in escrow, the benefit of being proactive is that you can factor any findings into your pricing strategy and avoid the possibility of getting a big repair request once you’re in contract. 

4. Confirm Your Gameplan

With your timeline in place and your assessments completed, its time to begin mapping out a more concrete gameplan with your Realtor. A key topic of this conversation will be to discuss the need for any repairs or the possibility of factoring in any issues into the pricing to limit the demand on your time and upfront expenses. 

Discussing other factors such as the need to synchronize the sale of your home with the purchase of a new one, or working within set deadlines will be key in informing how your Realtor can structure the marketing and negotiation strategy so that it best meets your needs. 

5. Start Packing!

To avoid falling into the trap of scrambling to pack at the last minute, we would encourage you to get the process started at the beginning of your conversation with your Realtor. In general, the goals for this process are to (1) declutter your home to amplify the perception of space, (2) depersonalize to allow Buyers to see themselves in the home, and (3) to remove any items of value from easy access. To view some actionable tips that can help make this process easier for you, simply click here to check out our “Moving Made Easy” post. 

These are a few of the key steps that you can take to help ensure a smooth and successful transaction. We can help make sure that you get started on the right foot. Schedule a short (and super helpful) call to start the process.