What They Don’t Tell You About Preparing Your House for Sale

Photo by Eduard Militaru on Unsplash
  1. Paint the exterior of the house or power wash it
  2. Pump out the septic system (at least annually depending on home usage)
  3. Clean chimneys
  4. Clear gutters
  5. Remove dead branches and debris
  6. Seal or refinish driveway
  7. Keep cars inside the garage and trash cans out of sight
  8. Regrout tiles where necessary, especially in baths where mildew accumulates
  9. Change Air Conditioning filters & have A/C serviced
  10. Clear away old unused wires such as cable or phone lines
  11. Get rid of old wallpaper
  12. Clean or refinish floors
  13. Paint or touch up walls in neutral colors
  14. Discard old, worn, and heavy draperies and window dressings
  15. Touch up or paint dark colored cabinetry in lighter colors
  16. Clear food pantry of old items and reorganize to make more space
  17. Free up space in closets
  18. Pick up items or toys from floors and surfaces
  19. Wipe down surfaces for smudges and germs
  20. Clean kitchen and bathrooms so they sparkle
  21. Ensure all outlets and GFI’s are working
  22. Replace burned-out bulbs
  23. Remove too many wall hangings and objets d’art
  24. Depersonalize — buyers should focus on rooms sizes/layouts, not on personal items
  25. Donate or discard oversized furnishings that may dwarf the size of the room
  26. Stage a room (s) if necessary
  27. Secure an assumable Home Warranty. It’s an attractive incentive to the buyer.
  28. Update your survey. If you’ve been in the home for many years, you may want to ensure that the property boundaries have not changed. We learned that our neighbor’s new fence was encroaching about 2 feet into our property. This may be insignificant in a large property, but when you live in town, every inch counts.
  29. Check for liens on the property. Don’t assume your agent, lawyer or title searcher will do this. Years ago I was about to list a house and learned that it had a lien for $27 for a hospital bill! Not a big deal but that lien could have been for $100,000 and could have delayed or prevented a closing. Contractors are renowned for placing liens on homes if there is a dispute on payment.
  30. Clear Title. My sister went to close on a property only to learn that the Title company, as well as the agent, did not do a proper title search. The property was not in the same name as the listing. Her closing was held up over one year.
  31. Check to see if your flood or home insurance is assumable. This may help if you live in a flood zone as the rate may remain the same if a buyer can take over the policy.
  32. Know and be able to talk about how much you love your neighbors and neighborhood to your agent. After all, the first point of sale is the person who will represent you in the sale of your property.
  33. Have fresh flowers, soft music, and deodorize the house before meeting with agents and before showings.
Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

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Lives in Greenwich, CT. Broker brand built on expertise, results & service. Former commodities trader. Founder Laptop Freedom Experts. Author Agapanthus Rising.

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