A Checklist for Getting Your House Ready to Sell

No matter how you choose to sell your house, planning and preparation are always necessary. Since your home is frequently your biggest financial asset, getting ready to sell needs careful planning and due research.

The Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2020 states that it takes sellers an average of six months to decide to sell a home. No matter how far in advance you’re thinking, use our checklist to get ready.

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Select the best listing date

The first part of May is the ideal time of year to list your property to maximize profit and reduce time on the market, according to sales statistics from 2019. Saturday is the most popular week day to list your house for sale. However, this may differ slightly depending on where you live (additional information may be found in the part below titled “Research the market”), as well as your unique circumstances, including the local environment, labor market, and general housing market trends.

It’s easier to pace the market strategically if you plan, but there’s no guarantee your home will sell at quickly as the average, so it’s crucial to be adaptable.

How long does it typically take to sell a house?

In 2020, the real estate market moved extraordinarily quickly, with homes going pending — having an offer accepted but not yet officially closed — after just two to three weeks across the board and just days in certain exceptionally quick regions. Once you account for the additional 45–60 days between the pending and the actual closure date, your home may sell as rapidly as two months after you put it on the market. However, these are merely averages, and depending on local market conditions and your price point, some homes will sell more quickly while others will take longer. So, to be cautious, give yourself time and reduce stress, pencil in roughly three months.

Study the market

To get a better idea of what your property is worth, find out how much similar properties are selling for. Running the comps early doesn’t hurt, even if you’ll undoubtedly make some adjustments as your listing date approaches.

If you’re currently comparing homes, keep in mind that seasonal variations in property prices might be significant. The optimum time of year to sell a property is typically mid-late spring to reduce the amount of time it spends on the market and maximize profits. But depending on where you reside, the optimal window can vary greatly. For instance, in recent years, the second half of May has typically been the best time to sell in LA, when homes typically sell for several thousand dollars more and several days faster than homes listed at other periods.

Analyze the state of the property

You can compare your home to nearby comparable properties by knowing its condition. Additionally, it provides you with a chance to address errors before listing. Here is one instance. Depending on the disclosure requirements in your state, you might need to tell potential buyers that your basement recently flooded at some time during the selling process. It could be worthwhile to address it right now so you can avoid disclosing it.

Get a pre-listing home inspection if you’re not sure what needs to be fixed in your house. Instead of the buyer finding them and canceling the contract, it enables you to identify possible difficulties and fix them.

Think about working with an agent

A lot of sellers start getting to know their agents months in advance. It’s time to start looking for a reputable local agent if you don’t already have one in mind. This person should be able to help you through the selling process and handle the majority of the pre-listing, marketing, showing, and negotiation responsibilities.

As an alternative, if you intend to sell for sale by the owner (FSBO), consider the extra work you’ll need to do before listing; we’ll cover this in more detail later.


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