Selling your home is a big job with many moving pieces and deadlines. And life doesn’t get put on hold while you’re doing it, so expect to juggle school, work, and family simultaneously.
To help you keep track of it all, we’ve put together this checklist for selling a house. It covers the primary things you need to do to ensure you get the most for selling your home.
Most of the tasks here fall into three timeframes — before you list the house, while you show it, and when you close the sale — so you don’t need to worry about everything at the same time.
Let’s walk through the checklist for selling a house to help you through the process.
For the seller, most of the work happens on the front end before the house is posted for sale. It’s the most significant part of the list, but the most important since what you do here can determine how fast your house sells and for how much. It’s not unreasonable to start working six months before you expect to start selling your home.
Select an Agent
Choosing the right agent for selling your home has a trickle-down effect on the rest of the process. They provide an objective eye for the condition and potential selling price of your house.
You can do your homework by keeping up with what goes on the market in your neighborhood and the listing prices. But your agent will be able to track what the properties sold for.
Figure Your Home Equity
Track down your loan documents or your latest mortgage statement. You’ll need it to figure out your mortgage payoff amount. That tells you how much you’ll have to put down on your next home and how low you can go with your selling price.
Collect Your Paperwork
Gather all the documents and paperwork for the house, previous work, and appliances. Having the paperwork all together makes it easier to answer buyers’ questions and fill out the disclosure form. Some you will also need to provide later in the process, so it helps to have them on hand early.
Among the paperwork you might collect would be:
- User manuals and warranties for appliances
- Dates for past repair or renovation work
- Permits for work done
- Property survey
- HOA governing documents
- Listing agreement
- Disclosure document
- Property tax details
- Utility bills
Now it’s time to get the house looking its very best. This is where an objective view of the house can help decide what needs to be done and what you can let slide. You want to remove obvious distractions and create an environment buyers can picture themselves in.
- Repair and Refresh
- Start with obvious defects
- Change out burned-out lightbulbs
- Oil squeaky hinges
- Fix structural defects
- Paint interior walls
- Curb Appeal
- Start with landscaping like planting flowers and trimming back
- Repaint the front door
- Powerwash concrete and siding
- Repair driveway cracks
- Change out light fixtures
- Get rid of things you don’t want to move
- Store knick-knacks and personal items out of sight
- Take everything off the counters, then put one thing back
- Have a plan to deal with new clutter coming in the door
- Deep Clean
- Pay particular attention to smells
- Keep the trash taken out and pet areas cleaned up
- Clean light fixtures and fans
- Shampoo carpets
- Clean windows
- Have a plan for keeping it clean while on the market
Good staging can push your selling price higher than the competition and sell about nine days faster than average. It’s a small investment that can pay big dividends.
The stager will start by moving out excess furniture and personal touches. They might also bring more neutral furniture and art to set the scene.
Show the House
While your house is listed, your checklist involves keeping the place clean and picked up. You want it ready to be shown at any time.
It would help if you had a few things decided about how you want to show the house, for instance, whether you want to allow a lockbox and how much advance notice you want to have.
Then, find a place to go while the house is being shown and store any valuables and personal items.
Your agent will take offers from potential buyers and help you review them. Once you’ve accepted one, see if any others would like to be a backup offer if the first one falls through.
Close the Sale
You’ll have a bit of a waiting period between accepting the offer and signing the documents. At this point, most of the things that must be done are on the buyer’s part as they get their financing in order.
The main thing you might have to deal with at this point would be any repairs that result from the inspection. If you ran through a checklist for a house inspection before listing, you probably took care of most issues already.
The buyer will have an appraisal done if they’re financing the house, and the title company will do the due diligence and issue a title policy.
If there are no obstacles, you’ll head to closing to sign documents to transfer ownership and pay off your mortgage.
Follow a Checklist for Selling a House
Even if you’ve sold a house before, following our checklist for selling a house can make the process run more smoothly. Get your house ready to sell with some sprucing up and good staging, then wait for offers to come in. Once you’ve settled on one, you don’t have much to do until it’s time to sign all the papers.
Are you finding it overwhelming even with a sell-a-house checklist? Then, contact us to get help with selling your Nassau County home quickly and at top dollar.