Four Steps to Prepare for a Home Sale This Year

You’ve already resolved to sell your home this year. Congratulations! This will be a year of big changes for you. Now that the decision has been made, the real preparations begin. But where do you start?

Happy senior couple sits on couch across from real estate agent discussing home sale.

Putting your home on the market can be an arduous process, but it doesn’t have to be. Ease your way into it by doing these four things first.

1. Prepare yourself emotionally

Selling a home can absolutely be an emotional experience. You’ve lived, loved, and grown in your house, and you have lots of powerful memories attached to it. However, for the purposes of the sales process, it’s best to try to separate your personal feelings about your home from any criticisms or feedback you might receive. Potential buyers may make comments you don’t agree with, or the agent may suggest a price for your house that you feel is not adequate. Try to take all comments with a grain of salt, and attempt to address any items or attributes that may have inspired vocalization

At the end of the day, a house is just a house. Your home is where your loved ones are.

2. Choose your supporting cast

Your real estate agent will be your lifeline and expert in the realm of real estate, but they aren’t the only important person involved with a home sale. You’ll want to enlist your friends and family members to help and support you during the process. Perhaps you have a next door neighbor who’s willing to let you hang out in their living room during home showings, or maybe you have an aunt who could take care of your pets for a week or two, so you can have the house clear of litter boxes and feeding bowls during prime open house time.

It’s important to have a personal network to rely on, vent to, and share with during the demanding process of selling your home. Lean on your friends, neighbors, and coworkers during this time, and don’t forget to return the favor when one of them decides to move into a new space themselves.

3. List the new and improved

In order to help your real estate agent market your home properly, put together a list of the upgrades you’ve made to your home. Renovations often recoup a fair amount of money (especially if you remodeled the bathroom or kitchen), but other, less exciting, items can also help your home sell. Did you know that adding a steel entry door to your house will net an estimated 101.8 percent return on investment? New windows, a fresh hot water heater, or an updated garage door can be very appealing to buyers that don’t want to pay big bucks for repairs right after they’ve moved in.

4. Beautify the exterior space

Winter is not the ideal time of year to be sprucing up your landscaping or worrying about curb appeal, but the exterior charm of your house is a key factor in landing a successful sale. If you live in an area that receives a lot of snowfall, make sure all of the outdoor spaces of your house, including porches, walkways, and patios are clear of snow and ice. Adding some outdoor lighting, be it simple white lights on trees and bushes, landscape lighting, or porch lights, will make the house seem warm and inviting. Evoke feelings of springtime by decorating your entryway with a few pots of winter pansies, evergreens, and winter cabbage.

Amping up your curb appeal can really pique the interest of prospective buyers who drive by to see your property, not to mention the impact beautiful listing photos can have on your sale.

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