I’m considering selling my home next year.  What should I start doing now to get ready?

It’s a well-known fact that right now is not the optimal time to sell a home in our area.  It is, however, the right time to start getting things in place if you’re thinking of selling next year, so that you’re ready for the very busy selling season.  Here are the first things to do to get ready.

(1)  Think about where you’ll be when your home is on the market.  Do you already have your next home set?  Are you renting or buying the next place? If you’re buying, do you need to sell before you buy?  (This is a question most people need to explore with a good loan professional.) If you’re going to sell before buying a new home, will you be moving to a short term rental, or will you be living in the home when it is for sale?  Most sellers in our area move out before selling. It’s not required or absolutely essential, but it makes the process of preparing the home for sale, and of showing it looking its absolute best to prospective buyers, much easier.

(2) Choose your timetable.  When will your home come on the market?  The schedule will depend on the timing of any preparation work to be done, and should factor in the best time to hit the market.  For

some homes, that’s during the busy spring season.  For other properties, it may be better to be a bit earlier, when there are fewer other homes on the market.

(3) Hire the right stager (well in advance).  Great staging will bring top dollar in a sale, but it needs to be the right staging for your particular home.  Bad staging is a waste of money, while good staging pays for itself many times over with a higher sale price.  The best stagers book far in advance, but they’re worth planning ahead for!  Also, a good stager will suggest improvements to the property that will add value, and choose colors and finishes so that the final look is cohesive and attractive to buyers.

(4) Do non-cosmetic repairs now.  Cosmetic improvements and painting are best done in consultation with the stager, usually just before the home hits the market.  If, however, there are functional repairs that you know are needed (for example, an electrical issue, a leaking skylight, rodents in the subarea, dual pane windows that have fogged) that will affect buyers’ perception of your home, now is a great time to get those repairs done.  If the repairs require choosing surfaces or fixtures (for example, replacing a light or a faucet), the stager can help choose the best reasonably-priced but stylish options.

(5) Decide what needs to be repainted, and choose a painter.   Painters, like stagers, get booked up early in the months leading to the busy spring selling season.

(6) Hire a great agent who specializes in your area.  Your agent can help you with steps 1 to 5 above, and also get you ready for the next steps.   If you’d like to see all the steps in selling a house, email me at marilyn@marilyngarcia.com, and I’d be happy to send you the detailed list!