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Six Tips to Prepare Putting Your House on the Market

A "For Sale" sign sits in the front yard of a house that is being prepared to put on the market

Putting your house on the market can be intimidating, and there’s a lot of prep work that goes into it. From finding a real estate agent, decluttering, to securing your home insurance, it can be hard to know where to begin. Here are six tips for putting your house on the market. 

1. Understand Housekeeping Items

There are a variety of steps to take before putting your house on the market.

  • Declutter: When your house is clutter free, potential buyers can focus more on your actual home rather than all of your things. 
  • Deep clean your house: Wiping down surfaces, mopping floors, cleaning toilets, cleaning rugs and more is important to make sure your house looks its best. You could consider hiring a professional cleaner to ensure your house is spotless. 
  • Stock up on light bulbs: You’ll want to keep all light fixtures and lamps on when showing your house, so you’ll want to make sure you have working and back-up light bulbs. 
  • Work on your curb appeal: First impressions are crucial and there are several inexpensive ways to increase your curb appeal. Cleaning up the landscaping, updating light fixtures and the numbers on the mailbox are a quick fix that can make all the difference. 
  • Get an inspection: Getting a home inspection before putting your house on the market can help you identify any issues that may cause trouble when selling your house. 
  • Stage your home: Staging your home can help potential buyers picture how to use the space in your home and will also help it sell faster. 

2. Find a Great Real Estate Agent

Your real estate agent will help you through the entire home selling process, so you’ll want to find the right match. As you search for a real estate agent, you’ll want to know what houses they’ve sold in your area, how long they’ve been in the industry, how they’ll market your home and what they charge. You’ll want to evaluate a few agents and consider asking your friends and family for recommendations. 

3. Create a Manageable Timeline

Depending on local market conditions, selling a house can take about two to four months from start to finish. But before it’s even on the market, there are quite a few things you’ll need to do to prepare. Once you’ve decided to sell, you’ll want to strategize with your agent about when to put your house on the market. 

In the meantime, you’ll need to declutter, make repairs, get professional photos taken and work on staging your home. Take the time to get organized on what you need to get done so you can set up a manageable timeline to prepare and get your house on the market. 

4. Schedule Professional Photos to be Taken of Your Home

Since many buyers often begin their house hunting process online, having professional photos of your home is crucial for your online listing. Your realtor may have a professional photographer in mind, and they can help you stage your home to produce photos that resonate and appeal to buyers. 

5. Set a Realistic Price and Negotiate Offers

The pricing of your home can be the single most important factor when selling your home, and overpricing your home can cause you to lose a portion of potential buyers. While you may have an ideal price in your head, you’ll want to receive a professional estimate from your real estate agent as well as a comparative market analysis. 

You’ll also have the opportunity for negotiations and you should consider all terms of the offer and not just the final listing price to ensure you get the best deal. 

6. Avoid These Mistakes When Selling Your Home

  • Low quality photos: Photos are one of the first things that can pique a buyer’s interest. Not having the best lighting and the right angles
  • Setting an unrealistic price: It’s easy to be biased about your own home, but making sure your house is priced fairly is the best way to ensure your home is sold in a reasonable amount of time. Setting the price on the lower side can help generate more offers and allow for negotiations.
  • Selling during the winter months: Winter time and around the holidays is often a slow time of year for home sales. 
  • Hiding major problems: Any major problems with your home will be uncovered during the buyer’s inspection. You can either fix the problem ahead of time, adjust the price to account for the problem, or offer the buyer credit to fix the problem. 

Easily Sell Your Home and Shop Home Insurance with SelectQuote

It can be stressful and emotional when selling your home. At SelectQuote, we’re here to take one of your stressors away, which is figuring out your home insurance coverage. When you’re ready to move into your next home, we can provide home insurance quotes from some of the most trusted carriers to find coverage that fits your needs and budget.

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