8 Steps to Take Before You List a Home

January 21, 2020

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8 Steps to Take Before You List a Home

2020 is shaping up to be a good time to sell a house.

Home prices are on the rise and Millennial demand is surging. Throw in the historically low mortgage rates we’re seeing, and you might even get a great deal on your move-up home, too.

Are you thinking of taking advantage of the prime selling conditions and listing your house this year?

Just follow these 8 steps and be on your way:

Choose your method.

Will you use a real estate agent? Sell it directly to an iBuyer (like Opendoor, Offerpad, etc.)? Or try your hand at selling your property yourself? There are benefits to all three methods. With an agent, you get professional guidance and marketing know-how. Using an iBuyer means skipping the open market altogether (and all the hassle that comes with it), and selling it yourself saves you handily on those hefty middleman commissions.

Research the market.

Once you know how you’re going to sell your property, it’s time to do a little digging. What’s the market like in your area? Is there a lot of demand and low supply? Then you’ll have the upper hand in negotiations. Are there lots of listings but not enough buyers to snap them up? Then you may have to work a little harder to find a buyer.

Researching your market is also critical to pricing your home properly. Look at recent sales in your ZIP code on Zillow, or ask your agent to pull comparable sales in the neighborhood. What have homes similar to yours been selling for? You’ll probably want to align your price with these numbers to ensure a quick and efficient sale.

Clean, de-clutter, and de-personalize it.

Your next step is to prep the house. First, clean it thoroughly from top to bottom. You’ll also want to clear out the clutter — in the closets, attic, on shelves, in cabinets, etc. If you need to, rent a storage pod to store these items until you’re ready to move. You can also move out unnecessary furniture, too. (A less cramped house looks bigger!)

You should also remove any personal items (photos, artwork, etc.), as this makes it easier for buyers to envision themselves in the home. If you have any bold paint colors or wallpaper, consider covering these up as well. You want the home to be as clean a slate as possible.

Repair any big issues.

Is there a leak in the roof? A broken fence panel? A broken window or door? Make major repairs like these before listing your property. They’ll definitely show up on an inspection, and they could delay your sale or derail it altogether.

If you’re not in the mood to do the necessary repairs, be prepared to lower your asking price a bit in order to make up for it. You should also disclose these items with any buyer interested in the property.

Up your curb appeal.

First impressions are everything, right? To ensure your home makes the best first impression possible, take some time to ramp up your curb appeal before putting it on the market. Plant some flowers, weed the garden, or maybe add a new kickplate or address numbers to your door. Even the smallest changes can make a big difference.

Make a showing plan.

Sit down and make a detailed plan for how you’ll deal with showings. What will you do with your pets? Where will you go to get out of the way? Talk to a friend or neighbor, and see if you can use their house when you need a quick getaway.

You should also invest in a few large storage bins and spread them throughout the house. This can come in handy with last-minute showings. Just throw the toys and clutter in a bin, stuff it in a closet, and hit the road.

Clear your schedule.

People won’t buy what they can’t see, so make sure you’re flexible about showings. Sit down with your family and schedule out large chunks of time you can be out of the house. Maybe plan a short vacation or even just a day trip and have fun with it.

If you can swing it, try to allot a few weeknights for showings, too. Just like you, buyers will have jobs and families they need to tend to. They might need to see the house after work, on a break, or whenever they can find childcare.

Get ready to negotiate.

Unless the market is really competitive, then you should probably prepare for some negotiations. How low are you really willing to go? What concessions can you deal with? Are there appliances you’d be willing to part with if asked? Discussing these items with your family ahead of time can help ensure efficient negotiations and a speedy sale.

Finally, it’s time to list your home. Go forth, and attract those buyers!

Buying a New Home, Too?

If you’re buying a new house simultaneously (or with the profits from your home sale), then don’t forget to get prequalified before getting too far down the road. Prequalification can give you a good idea of your price range, and it can also give you a leg up on other buyers.

Want to get prequalified for your move-up home now? Get in touch with a Premier loan officer today.


Premier Nationwide Lending is an Equal Housing Opportunity lender. Sponsored by NTFN, Inc. 700 State Highway 121 Bypass, Suite 100, Lewisville, TX 75067 NTFN NMLS 75333.

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