5 Things Every Homeowner Should Do Prior to Listing Their House

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When it comes time to sell your house, many homeowners get so caught up in the big picture that they fail to pay attention to the dozens of smaller aspects that significantly influence the value of their property. 

Here are some suggestions to help you avoid making the same mistakes: 


  • Fix any Major Issues


If there are any major issues with your home, you’ll need to fix them prior to listing. Any serious buyer is going to make an offer that’s contingent on a home inspection. And you can rest assured that the home inspector is going to find whatever is wrong with your house.

Major issues involve important systems of your home. This includes foundation, roofing, flooring, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and appliances. Dealing with problems now will ensure the sale process goes off without a hitch.


  • Implement the 15-Minute Rule


While major issues always need to be fixed prior to listing, sellers often wonder what they should do about the dozens of smaller issues. We’re talking about things like chipped paint, loose hardware, a kitchen cabinet that won’t close properly, etc. 

When it comes to small issues like these, you can focus your attention by using the 15-minute rule. This unofficial rule states that, if you can do something in 15 minutes or less, you should. If it takes longer than 15 minutes, you can use your judgment to determine the ROI of making the fix. 

For example, let’s say you have a small hole in the drywall of your bedroom. If it’s only going to take you 14 minutes to grab some spackle, paste it on, sand it down, and paint it, you should do it! If, on the other hand, there’s a cracked piece of tile in the corner of your bathroom and you know it’ll take you two hours to fix, it’s probably not worth your time.

The 15-minute rule isn’t a hard and fast rule, but it is a good rule of thumb to keep in the back of your mind. If nothing else, it helps you manage your to-do list. 


  • Declutter and Depersonalize 


When buyers enter into your home, they should be allowed to imagine themselves in the space. This is hard to do if it’s filled with your own family photos and personal knickknacks. 

It’s highly recommended that you declutter your house and purge it of all personal items prior to listing. This is a small step, but it can spark significant results.

“Clearing out personal space and limiting personalized décor will make more room for buyers to come through,” Green Residential explains. “Bare walls, on the other hand, may look intimidating and uncomfortable. Try staging your home with a few tasteful, generic décor items that dress up the space without overwhelming it.”


  • Deep Clean


According to HomeLight, “A messy house is a red flag for many buyers, who’ll suspect repair problems lurking beneath the dirt. A spotless home sends the unspoken signal that yours is a well-maintained property.”

After decluttering and moving out items that you don’t currently need, take the proper steps to deep clean your house. You can either hire professionals to do it, or you can spend a weekend doing it yourself. 

The key with a deep clean is to make sure you address everything. By the time you’re done with the space, there should be no dirt, grime, or dust – visible or otherwise. 


  • Address Landscaping


When selling a house, curb appeal is everything. It sets the stage by establishing the first impression – good or bad. And if there’s one sure-fire way to enhance your curb appeal with minimal cost, it’s by addressing your property’s landscaping.

Spend a couple hundred dollars and hire a landscaping crew to spend a few hours pruning bushes, pulling weeds, mulching flower beds, and getting everything in order. This is a no-brainer investment.  

Don’t Rush the Process

Your home is likely your single largest financial asset. Rather than trying to rush your way through a home sale so that you can purchase your next property, take your time and prepare. The work you put in up front will results in higher sale price in a faster period of time. Good luck!

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