Deciding to sell your home is a crucial decision, and the process can be demanding. Coldwell Banker is committed to making the sale of your home quick, easy, and profitable.
Here’s a checklist to help you get started:
Hire an agent: Contact one of our agents directly. You can find a specific agent using our Agent Search or run an Office Search to find a regional or local office. We suggest looking for an agent who utilizes tools and communications techniques you are comfortable with and has the following attributes:
- Knowledgeable in your housing market
- Highly trained
- Able to provide references
Declutter: In preparation for staging your home, and moving out, it’s never too soon to start weeding out your possessions. Throw out, recycle, give away, or sell the things that you don’t want to move.
Decide what to take with you: You will also need to decide what will be included in the sale before you start showing your home. If you want to take your washer and dryer with you, for example, tell serious buyers before negotiations start.
Start packing early: Anything that you are sure you will not be using before moving day should be boxed.
Identify your home’s flaws or problems: Sellers are obligated to disclose any major problems or flaws in the structure or property, such as dry rot, termites, asbestos, or a new highway slated to run nearby. The disclosure requirements vary by state, but if you fail to mention the leaky roof or flooding basement, you could be sued for fraud. For more information, see Putting Your Home's Best Foot Forward and Investing in Repairs and Renovations.
Get the house in “showcase” condition: Small cosmetic touches can increase your home’s value by thousands.
Suggested Exterior Improvements
- Painting: Touch up your house’s exterior paint, and paint or clean the front door.
- Lawn: Keep your lawn freshly mowed and neatly trimmed.
- Sidewalks: Sweep your sidewalks daily.
- Shrubbery: Remove or replace any dead or dying trees, hedges, or shrubs; prune anything that looks unsightly or overgrown.
- Flowers: Filling flowerbeds with seasonal flowers is an inexpensive way to add color and charm.
- Repairs: Be sure that all gutters and downspouts are in place and clean. Replace missing roof shingles and broken or cracked windows.
- Make sure the garage door is greased and working properly and the house address numbers are easily visible.
- Repaint or replace your mailbox if it shows signs of wear.
- Windows: Keep your windows spotless.
- Eliminate or hide clutter: Clear everything out of the garage that you don’t need.
Suggested Interior Improvements
- Clean, scrub and polish: Keep your stove, oven, refrigerator, microwave and other appliances spotlessly clean inside and out. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, make sure your home is sparkling clean.
- Clean and spot-treat all carpeting. Polish wood floors and vinyl flooring. Clean walls, doors and woodwork.
- Eliminate odors: Buyers will notice strong smells as soon as they walk through your front door. Eliminate smoke, mildew and pet odors.
- Fix drippy faucets and running toilets: If any of your sinks or bathtubs drain slowly, unclog them.
- Get rid of clutter: Keep clutter off kitchen counters and dirty dishes out of the sink. Straighten all closets.
- Paint, paint, paint: It doesn’t cost much but goes a long way to improving your home’s appeal inside and out. Neutral colors appeal to most people and are your safest bet.
- Here are some staging tips that you can use to increase your house’s “emotional appeal.”
- Kitchen: Aromas from fragrant goodies like freshly baked gingerbread or just-brewed coffee bring back wonderful memories of home.
- Bathrooms: Always have fresh towels in bathrooms. Buy new shower curtains; old ones are usually spotted with mildew. Put new soap in the soap dishes.
- Clear everything off your refrigerator: Most folks use magnets to stick everything from vacation snapshots and finger-painting masterpieces. Create a clean slate.
- Comfort: Keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. A house that’s too hot or too cold isn’t inviting.
- Flowers: Vases of colorful, fresh flowers throughout the house make a wonderful impression on prospective buyers.
For more tips and suggestions, see Increasing Your Home’s Value.