6 Steps You Should Take Before Listing Your House

By: John Garcia | Date Posted: September 11, 2022

You have decided it is time to sell your house and move into a new one. You’re ready to do a deep clean and have the photographers snap some photos. You are eager to put up that for sale sign, get your listing up and watch the offers start to come in. Not so fast.

If you’ve sold a home before, you know something about what goes into it, although there’s a good chance you’ve blocked some of it out. But if it’s your first time selling a house, you need to know that it’s not a straightforward process where you can simply tidy up, list your home, and make a great sale.

There is much that goes into selling a home long before listing it – especially if you’re hoping to get the highest sale price, which most people do hope for. We’ve put together a list of things you should do before listing your house. Before you get too discouraged about the long list of jobs, remember that while some steps are more involved, many tasks are quick and easy. Implement as many as possible to get a great offer on your home.

Find the Right Real Estate Agent

First, you can’t sell your home without a great real estate agent. Well, you can, but if you’re hoping to get the best possible price, you need to get an experienced local agent. Many homeowners are tempted to sell their house themselves and pocket the commission, but that impulse is shortsighted.

A professional real estate agent has the tools and resources to advise and help stage your home, understands how to market your home, and will come up with strategies to help garner a good sale price.

However, just because hiring a real estate agent is recommended doesn’t mean you should hire any real estate agent. Do some research, ask your network for referrals, speak to a few real estate agents, and choose the one you feel comfortable working with. If you are aiming to sell your Whitby or Ajax home for the highest price possible, you need to find great real estate agents in Whitby and Ajax.

Find the Right Real Estate Agent

Turn Up the Appeal

In real estate, snap judgments are the name of the game. In hot markets, it’s not uncommon for buyers to plan to make an offer before even seeing a house in person. Because of this, it’s essential to make sure the first impression your home gives off is positive. When buyers are scrolling through listing after listing, you want your home to make them stop in their tracks and want to see more. This is where curb appeal comes in.

Curb appeal, the appeal your home has from the curb, is critical to getting a good price for your home, so it’s worth investing in. The good news is that many curb appeal fixes are very affordable and don’t require a significant time investment. Simply adding some container plants, giving your front door a fresh coat of paint, adding some outdoor lighting, and keeping your lawn healthy and well-maintained can work wonders in getting buyers wanting to check out your home.

Declutter and Depersonalize

Over the years, you’ve made your house into a home, but when selling, you need to make your home into a house. Specifically, you need to make it into a house in which buyers can envision living their own lives. Reducing clutter is key to this strategy, especially any personal items like family photos, religious items, and unique decor.

Remove excess items and furniture. You want all surfaces to be visible and want to avoid any areas of your home seeming like they are crowded or overflowing. This includes closets, cupboards, and drawers – everywhere are fair game when buyers look at your house. Remove excess furniture so people can walk freely throughout the home. Removing all this clutter has the added benefit of making your home seem bigger.

Make a Blank Canvas

One of the critical things in making a home feel lived in is painting it. But just as your personal belongings distract homeowners from envisioning their life in your home, so too does your color scheme. You might love that beautiful shade of blue, but perhaps a potential buyer is turned off by it. Even if they are not, it prevents them from imagining what the house would look like if they lived there.

Painting the walls with neutral colors creates a blank canvas, free from distraction, that allows buyers to picture themselves living there. Neutral colors are just that – neutral. People tend not to have strong feelings about them one way or another, so you don’t have to worry about them turning off buyers.

Get Hands-On

With selling a house comes the big debate: How much do you invest in repairs and upgrades? On the one hand, you don’t want to spend too much money fixing up a house you’re not going to live in much longer, but on the other hand, putting money into those repairs and upgrades now can see you earn some or all of your investment back when you sell.

However much you choose to spend fixing your house up, some things should be a given. Fix the small but noticeable things like loose handles, leaky faucets, running toilets, and any scuff marks on walls, doors, or baseboards. They may seem insignificant, but if a buyer notices a drip or feels a jiggly handle, they might begin to wonder what other areas of your home have been neglected.

Get Cleaning

Before photos are taken and before every walkthrough and open house, it’s important to clean. And then clean again. And then clean some more. Keeping your house unnaturally clean throughout the listing process is non-negotiable.

You need to focus on not just the usual, high-traffic areas. Get in behind appliances, in the nooks and crannies of furniture and counters. You never know what will catch a potential buyer’s attention, and you want to ensure that anywhere they inspect up close is sparkling and shining.

Use these tips to get your home ready to list. It will be well worth it when that for sale sign finally does go up, and even more so when a sold sign replaces it.

Thank you for reading!


John is the founder and chief editor of Homienjoy. With over 15 years of experience in the home improvement industry, John is passionate about helping homeowners confidently tackle their projects. Holding a civil engineering degree and working as a contractor, project manager, and consultant, John brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Homienjoy community.

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