If you’re planning to sell your home next year, when should you start prepping? Many people often put off tasks thinking they have plenty of time, only to end up frantically rushing to get their home show ready and packed up a week or two before it hits the market. What if I told you that the earlier you get moving the better? If you’re looking for a smooth transition and a record-high sale, starting to prepare several months in advance can cut down drastically on your stress levels later AND allow you to present your home in the best possible light when it’s time to go to market. Here are five things you can do right now to prepare for a high-price sale.
1. Start Decluttering – now is a great time to go through your belongings and toss, donate, or sell, items that you no longer use or need. After all, then you won’t have to worry about packing them and dragging them to your new house. Plus, by decluttering, your home will feel more open and storage spaces will appear larger- two big items on most buyers’ must have lists. If you have a few months, tackling one space at a time is a great (and non-overwhelming) way to knock out this task.
2. Start Packing (Seriously) – Once you’ve decluttered, start packing up seasonal items or other things you know you won’t need prior to your move. Getting those first few boxes packed can feel like an accomplishment. Continue to pack a few boxes each week. Tackling packing over time will help you keep everything organized. Plus, you'll avoid the frantic last-minute throw-everything-in-a-box and hope for the best panic packing when things are left to the last minute.
3. Tackle Lingering To-Do Lists – Do you have home maintenance projects you’ve been meaning to tackle or DIY projects you didn’t quite finish? It’s time to check them off of your list. Take a look around your home and pay attention to any defects like rotted trim, chipped paint, damaged walls, etc. Trust me, buyers will notice every imperfection but they’ll pay a premium for homes that appear well cared for and move-in ready.
4. Interview and Select an Agent – Did you know that most people don’t look to hire an agent until they’re a few weeks away from listing their home. It makes sense theoretically; why bring an agent into the picture until you’re ready to sell? But if you do that, you’ll miss out on a lot of the benefits. A great agent can help make suggestions on the best way to prep your home, give you access to preferred vendors, determine the best timing for the sale, and help you create a strategy for a smooth transition.
5. What About Home Updates? The real answer- it depends. Whether or not it is best to update your house for sale depends on a few factors- your price expectations, your timing, and your local real estate market. If you are looking to get a premium price on your home, you must deliver a premium product so, in that case, certain updates may be recommended. If you need to sell now OR your timing would mean doing extensive renovations would put your home on the market at a traditionally slow time of the year, it might be best to forgo major projects and instead focus on quicker cosmetic options like paint, lighting, and hardware swaps. Your local market plays a roll here too, certain price points move faster than others and certain features are more or less in demand depending on exactly where you live. So, before tackling any major updates to sell your home, it’s best to consult with your local real estate agent. That way, you ensure any updates made or money spent will result in the highest possible return on your investment.
These five tasks will help to ensure you’re ahead of the game when it’s time to list your house. Plus, being prepared and having a plan in place can help to drastically cut down on stress and ensure the smoothest possible experience. Have questions about your specific situation or are you considering listing your home in the Atlanta area? I’d love to talk to you. Please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's find some time to talk.