Tips to Follow Before Putting Your Home on the Market

Thomas Short
Military VA Loan contributor

Spring has started and summer is just around the corner. This is the time of the year when the housing market heats up, with home sales normally happening the most during June-August.

Interestingly, these summer months also tend to see peak prices for home sales. Over the past four years, the highest median sale price for houses at any point in the year has come in July. For anyone who is considering selling their home, this is worth keeping in mind.

Before you rush to put your home on the market, you’ll want to make sure you’re ready. If you start now, you should be able to have your home on the market by mid-summer, helping you get a higher price for your home. Here are tips to follow before putting your home on the market.

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Get a real estate agent

No, you don’t need a real estate agent to sell your home, but you should always consider getting one. Real estate agents are aware of the market, and they have plenty of connections. They’re job is also to get your home sold – meaning less work for you to do.

In most cases, real estate agents can also negotiate for a better deal. They’ll get a percentage of the sale price as their fee, so it’s in their best interest to get you the highest price possible for you house. You will spend some money on this, but the end result will likely be a faster, easier sale for you.

Fix any small issues

If you notice a problem with your home, there’s a good chance that someone touring your home will also notice it. Loose door handles, damaged window screens, dead lightbulbs, leaking faucets, etc. are all problems that are easily noticeable.

The good news? These are all problems you can fix by yourself at a relatively low cost. These changes might seem small, but you’re getting your home ready for someone else. These little issues could be enough to make them rule out your home immediately.

Clean and prep

Before anyone comes to look at your house, you need to clean everything. Yes, everything. The walls, floorboards, cabinets, floors, ceilings, you name it. If you’re worried about how well you can clean your home, consider hiring a cleaner. If your walls have permanent markings on them, get them re-painted.

While doing this, go around and declutter your home. The more clutter you have, the smaller your home is going to feel. Prospective buyers want bigger homes, so getting rid of clutter will give the illusion that your home is bigger than it is.

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Add curb appeal

Curb appeal doesn’t matter once someone is in your house, but it plays a large role in their decision making before they walk through the front door. A home with a nice front area immediately stands out, and this makes buyers more likely to remember your home.

Easy ways to add to your curb appeal are new plants, cleaning off the driveway and walkway and painting the front of the house. Painting your front door a different color is an easy way to add curb appeal as well. A bright red door stands out, and shoppers will be able to differentiate it from the other houses nearby more easily.

Get an inspection done

Typically, inspections are required by the home buyer, not the seller. However, paying for an inspection will let you know ahead of time if you need to get anything fixed by a professional. Getting an inspection will likely save you time and energy but avoiding it can save you money. This is a judgment call you have to make.

Stage your home

Your home may look great to you, but there are home buyers that disagree. If you’re suspicious that this might be the case, then a home stager is the way to go.

Home stagers will rearrange your house (and sometimes bring in new furniture and pieces) to make it appeal to buyers. There’s a science to it, too; stagers are excellent at making your home feel larger and more welcoming while also giving buyers some ideas of what they could do with the house.

Staging your home isn’t required, but it’s certainly worth the cost to many sellers.

Once you’re happy with where your home is, it’s time to put it on the market – just in time for the busy summer season!

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