Top Five Most Important Things on a Home Selling Checklist

Be Prepared Before Selling Your Home

Are you thinking about a home sale in Brookings, SD? No matter if you’ve sold a property before or you’re a first-time seller, the process of selling a home can be overwhelming at times if you’re not ready. That’s why it’s important to prepare both your house and yourself before listing your home to make the best, first impression possible. Luckily, you don’t need to worry! Avoid common home-selling mistakes with this home seller’s checklist from Brookings Home Team.

1. Find a Trusted Real Estate Team

When you’ve decided to sell your home, it may be tempting to try the “for sale by owner” route. This strategy is attractive to some homeowners because they get to avoid paying any type of commission to a real estate agent. But this shouldn’t be seen as an expense. Selling your house is a major financial transaction and using a trusted group like the Brookings Home Team will save you both time and money. Moreover, these experts have invaluable knowledge of the real estate industry and local market and will be able to answer questions, provide insight, and maximize your dollar.

2. Show Your Home in its Best Light

No matter if you’re talking about a first date, job interview, or selling a house, first impressions are a big deal. A messy or unkempt home might lead potential homebuyers to think there could be other things wrong with the house. Additionally, they need to be able to picture themselves creating a life in your home and that’s difficult with clutter, keepsakes, and everyday messes getting in the way. Tidy up your house with these three tasks:

  • Declutter Your Home

    This is a beneficial exercise whether you’re moving or not. Organizing and decluttering your home is a great opportunity to get rid of unnecessary/unused items, donate what you don’t need, and downsize before you move. While tables and countertops are the usual suspects, it would be wise to do a clean sweep of every bedroom, closet, and bathroom, as well as the kitchen and living room.

  • Clean Your Home

    It doesn’t matter which step comes first, the decluttering, cleaning, or de-personalizing, but it must be done. And just when you think your house couldn’t look any more pristine, clean it some more. Reach the back of every closet. Clean behind every appliance. Tackle every cabinet, both inside and out. You never know when a last-minute showing will present itself. If you’re selling a home with pets, be sure to ask a family member or friend to come over after you’ve finished cleaning to see if your home passes the smell test.

3. Stage With Your Buyer in Mind

This step could be the most difficult from an emotional standpoint. Sure, you may have spent years making your house a home, but now it’s time to disassociate. Again, buyers need to see this space as their potential, next living space and that’s difficult with family photos, personal artwork, and unique furniture pieces distracting them. If you live in a smaller house, it might be a good idea to rent a storage unit for all of your keepsakes, which will both declutter and de-personalize your home.

4. Address Home Repairs

In the same vein as messiness and clutter, blemishes such as leaky faucets, loose handles, and burnt-out lightbulbs might give homebuyers the wrong impression. If they can’t be bothered to replace a lightbulb what else are they failing to maintain? Yes, these are minor issues but they add up quickly and you’d hate to have something as insignificant as a loose door handle cost you the sale.

While checking your home for small repairs, be on the lookout for any major problems with your electrical, plumbing, HVAC, roof, and foundation. Being proactive and catching one of these issues before you list your house will save you from unwanted surprises during the home inspection (and having to lower your asking price). You may need to call a professional to fix the shower or replace a window but it’s worth it in the long run.

5. The "Little Things" Add Up

This last suggestion is less of an item to cross off your list and more of a helpful piece of advice: Go above and beyond! It’s all about perception and whether or not homebuyers can see themselves living in your house. Consider some of these recommendations before you decide to list your home for sale:

  • Lighting: At the very least, ensure that all lightbulbs are working properly on both the interior and exterior of your house. A well-lit home is a welcoming home, so consider adding a stylish lantern to your front porch or sidewalk lighting along the pathway to your doorstep.
  • Repaint the Walls: Painting your walls will not only breathe new life into your home and cover up any imperfections, but fresh paint will also make your rooms appear larger when you use neutral colors like light gray, light beige, or white.
  • Touch-ups: If you choose not to repaint, the next best thing would be to wipe down the walls, baseboards, and molding, and touch up any scuff marks. This will brighten up your rooms and the attention to detail will show buyers you have taken good care of the house.
  • Home Staging: Professional home staging can update the interior design of your home and reorganize/rearrange objects in a more effective way.