A Checklist for Preparing Your Home for Sale

No matter what method you employ to sell your home, preparation and planning is always required. Due diligence and cautious planning are required when getting ready to sell your home, which is typically your biggest financial asset.

According to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2020, it takes homeowners six months on average to decide to sell their homes. Use this checklist to get ready, no matter how far in advance you plan.

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Choose the ideal listing date

According to sales data from 2019, the first half of May is the best time of year to sell your home in order to increase profit and shorten the amount of time it spends on the market. The most popular day of the week to put your house for sale is Saturday. This may, however, vary a little based on where you reside (further details may be found in the section below labeled “Research the market”), as well as your particular circumstances, such as the local environment, labor market, and general housing market trends.

Planning makes it simpler to time the market effectively, but it’s also important to be flexible because there’s no assurance that your home will sell as quickly as the average one.

How long does the average home sale take?

In 2020, the housing market moved incredibly swiftly, with homes going pending (having an offer accepted but not yet officially closed) after just two to three weeks on average and days in certain particularly speedy regions. Your house might sell as quickly as two months after you placed it on the market once you factor in the extra 45–60 days between the pending and the actual closure dates. These are only averages, so individual homes will sell more quickly or more slowly based on the local real estate market and your price point. Therefore, let yourself three months to be cautious, give yourself time, and de-stress.

Research the market

Find out how much comparable homes are selling for to get a better idea of how much your property is worth. Even though you’ll probably make some tweaks as your listing date draws near, running the comps early doesn’t hurt.

Consider the possibility of substantial seasonal changes in property prices if you’re currently comparing homes. Typically, mid-late spring is the best time of year to sell a property in order to minimize the length of time it is on the market and maximize profits. The ideal window, however, can differ significantly depending on where you live. For instance, the second half of May has generally been the best time to sell in LA in previous years, when homes typically sell for several thousand dollars more and several days quicker than homes listed at other times.

Examine the property’s condition

Knowing the state of your home will allow you to compare it to adjacent comparable properties. Additionally, it gives you the opportunity to fix mistakes before listing. Here is one example. You may need to inform prospective buyers that your basement previously flooded at some point during the selling process, depending on the disclosure regulations in your state. It can be beneficial to handle it straight away in order to keep it a secret.

If you’re unsure of what needs to be fixed on your property, have a pre-listing home inspection done. It gives you the opportunity to spot potential issues and rectify them rather than the buyer discovering them and terminating the contract.

Consider dealing with a representative.

Many sellers get to know their representatives several months in advance. If you don’t already have a trusted local agent in mind, it’s time to start looking. In addition to handling the majority of the pre-listing, marketing, showing, and negotiation duties, this person needs to be able to guide you through the selling process.

 

As an alternative, think about the additional work you’ll have to complete before listing if you plan to sell for sale by the owner (FSBO); we’ll go into more detail on this later.

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