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What to Do in the Months Before You Put Your Home on the Market

Published February 17, 2016

Selling a home is a complicated process that requires planning in order to be success. Know what you are getting into before you get started.

You’ve decided to sell your home. However, you are not quite ready to put it on the market. Selling a home is a complicated process that requires a concerted effort. Have you done everything that is needed to enable a smooth process for selling your home?

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Before you call a Realtor, there is some prep work that needs to be done. Your Realtor’s job is to help you sell your home. Therefore, in order to allow your Realtor to focus on this important task, you must make sure that everything is in order.

As a homeowner, you may want to leave everything up to your real estate agent. However, if you want the process to move at a faster pace, it is important that you get involved.

Find Important Documents

The first step to getting ready to sell your home is to find the necessary paperwork for the sales process. You should make sure that you have the following documents on hand:

●operating manuals for appliances;

●warranty information on items that will stay behind in the house;

●key documents in regards to the title, survey, mortgage and insurance on the property.

As you search for these documents, you may find that you need to order copies from local agencies or update the information on these documents. Take care of these issues well in advance so that you don’t have to waste time on this once you contact a real estate agent.

Obtain Estimates

The next step is to obtain estimates for repairing old, worn out items in your home. Pick items that buyers are likely to be concerned about (such as old appliances or worn out furniture). By obtaining estimates, you can gain traction during the process of negotiations later on in the selling process.

There is a high likelihood that if a home has clear issues that need to be addressed, a buyer will likely want to factor those issues into the terms regarding the purchase of the home. In order to avoid ending up in a situation where the buyer is the only person with estimates regarding repairs, obtain your own estimates in advance.

Clean Your Home

Cleaning your home is an absolute must before you have a Realtor come take a look at the property. If you want the Realtor to get a realistic impression of your home, he or she can’t do that while there is junk piled everywhere.

Cleaning your home to get it ready for sale means that you should make major changes. This includes packing up the personal effects that are currently lying about your home. You should also make sure that you pay attention to commonly neglected areas such as attics or garages. You should wash the windows and the exterior of the home if they haven’t been cleaned in years.

“Your agent will want to hold a couple of open houses as soon as possible, which is why you shouldn’t list your house until it’s ready for showing. This means you’ll probably be swamped with last-minute touch-ups and clean-ups to get the house ready.” says Rick Hazeltine of Realtor.com.

In addition, a home that has not been cleaned is unlikely to attract many buyers unless the price is a serious lowball offer. Therefore, if you want to make the best first impression on a real estate agent, cleaning your home is important. In addition, a thorough cleaning initially can make it easier to keep up with the routine chores once the sales process is underway.

Arrange for a Pre-sale Home Inspection

Failing to arrange for a pre-sale home inspection is one of the most common mistakes that first-time sellers make. A pre-sale home inspection can allow you to obtain insight into the trouble areas of your home that will immediately attract the attention of buyers. By performing a pre-sale home inspection, you will have the opportunity to make repairs to the home before the sales process begins.

Once you have addressed all of these issues, it is time to start searching for an agent. Look for an agent by using referral from family members, friends and colleagues.

“Having an experienced agent represent you is critically important; especially with the online shift that is occurring in the real estate industry. Marketing a home has become sophisticated and it requires a skilled, professional marketing strategy. A good real estate agent can identify the notable features of your home which will help you maximize the way you showcase those features.” says Monte Mohr of tenneseedreamhomes.com.

Get Recommendations

After you have taken the initial steps to find a Realtor, get recommendations from the agents that you interview in order to determine what changes you should make to your home. A real estate agent might suggest renovations or minor fixes that could improve the appeal of your home. You should work with a real estate agent whose advice you trust and is someone that has demonstrated experience with top-producing sales numbers.

Selling your property does not have to be stressful if you take the time to prepare. By learning what to do in the months before you put your home on the market, you can avoid some of the pitfalls that are common among inexperienced home sellers. In addition, you will also make the process of selling your home faster and easier for your real estate agent.