The months leading up to your home sale can be a complicated time — there’s a lot to juggle between preparing your home for sale, and preparing yourself for your move.
At Orchard, we take our commitment to make home selling simple seriously, so we created this timeline of tips to help make the lead-up to your home sale easier to handle.
There’s more to selling your home than taking some pictures and uploading it to a real estate site. This checklist — based on a timeline of 90, 60, and 30 days out from officially listing your home — will help you get on (and off) the market fast, and maximize your home’s value.
They say home is where the heart is for good reason. Your home becomes a part of you, especially if you’ve lived there for a long time. It can be difficult to let go of a home you love, even if you’re turning a tidy profit.
When preparing your house for sale, it’s important to find ways to emotionally detach so that you can imagine another family creating their own memories in “your” home. While you might expect it to take months for your home to sell, in a hot market, it might take days. Set your mind on the future, to the next home where you’ll make new memories because you might be there sooner than you realize.
A good way to start emotionally and practically preparing your home for a quick sale is to imagine seeing your home for the first time from a potential buyer’s perspective.
Walk through each room and criticize them from a neutral point of view — will everyone love your man-cave? Probably not. And those purple walls probably won’t be a hit with most buyers. But your hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances are sure to shine.
Take note of the qualities of your home that you would want a buyer to know when touring your home and discuss them with your agent. They’ll be able to highlight these features in your listing description and on tours of your home.
Depersonalizing is the process of neutralizing your space by removing your personal touches from the home. Think of those special things that make your house yours: family pictures, knickknacks, and other décor. Removing these touches can help homebuyers envision themselves in your home and put in an offer.
As you depersonalize, use this as an opportunity to declutter, too. A house overflowing with clutter sends the message that it isn’t big enough. If there isn’t enough space to store these things, buyers might think that they too won’t have enough room.
Bonus: decluttering now will make packing and moving to your new home that much easier! Every box you donate or throw out is one less to pack.
Nobody wants to inherit the loose door handles, loose floorboards, or dead light bulbs that have been sitting on your to-do list for months. It may seem small, but even a single defect can make a potential buyer wonder what else needs fixing that they haven’t found.
Buying a home is an enormous endeavor for most people, so buyers may be picky. Ensuring they don’t find anything that needs immediate fixing is a good way to keep their minds at ease and focused on the positive qualities of your home.
Your taste might not be everyone’s taste. So that neon green accent wall in the primary bedroom? Ask your Listing Agent if you should paint it white or other neutral tones.
Bold colors may attract some buyers, but to others, they just see another expense. Neutral, consistent colors throughout your home will help potential buyers fill in the blanks with their own colors. If you’re unsure what palette to choose, warm grays or greiges (a mix of beige and gray) are popular choices for buyers.
Moving consistently ranks as one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. Don’t add to that stress by leaving the moving company booking for the last minute. Not only could this delay closing, but it could cost you: If you’re not moved out by your agreed upon move-out date, your buyers could delay funds in escrow or sue.
Get ahead of the curve and book a moving company at least eight weeks ahead of your move date. Giving yourself this window ensures that you have multiple companies to choose from and that you will get your preferred dates.
Curb appeal is the real estate equivalent of judging a book by its cover. Potential buyers will make a quick first impression of your home from the exterior because, let’s face it, we all want to live in an attractive house. (And yes, that applies to condos and housing developments, too.)
Plus, your home’s exterior serves as the cover photo for your home listing once it goes live on major home search websites. A great photo with strong curb appeal will make your house stand out from the rest.
Investing a little time and money in simple cosmetic updates can make a big difference. It could mean your house spends less time on market or even garner a solid return on investment. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
You never know who might see a for sale sign in front of a beautiful house and decide to take a tour.
You may have noticed unique odors in the homes you’ve visited throughout your life.
A strong scent can be a turn off to buyers. Deep-clean your home to get rid of pet funk, mustiness, and other odors. Then use candles or plug-in deodorizers to replace your unique scent with a recognizably clean one.
If you live in a community with a homeowners association, you have additional responsibilities when selling your home. It’s your duty to ensure that all of your dues are paid and turn over documentation to the new owners. After all, they’re about to become members of your neighborhood and HOA.
Here are a few pointers to cover your (and your buyer’s) bases:
A property survey is a schematic diagram of your property lines that details the land, structures, and features that you legally own. Sometimes they even include topography, utilities, and upgrades to the property.
A survey is sometimes required to sell your home, particularly when the property’s boundaries are not well defined (by, say, a fence). Check with your real estate agent to see if you live in a community that requires a survey. If you do, your agent should also be able to offer you recommendations of surveyors in the area who can help.
Orchard makes home selling simple by handling the heavy lifting so you can focus on moving into your new home. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all there is to do, check out some of the services we offer.
When you work with Orchard, we help ensure your home prep is easy and sets you — and your home sale — up for success. That means expert marketing and prep, and mindful service that recognizes what an important event this is for you.
Orchard’s Move First program allows homeowners to buy their new home before they sell, upending the traditional (and inconvenient) process that forced homeowners to sell their home before finding a new one. This means no double mortgages or double moves and no worries about keeping your home showing-ready while you’re living your life and packing up to move.
So how does it work? A Home Advisor will help you shop for homes and make a compelling non-contingent offer. You’ll move into your new home, and Orchard will prep, list, and sell your old home for top dollar.
With Orchard, you don’t have to worry about your house sitting on the market, because we guarantee your home sale. If you don’t receive an offer on your home within 120 days, Orchard will buy it from you at an agreed-upon amount.
We call this your guaranteed offer, which amounts to up to 90% of your home value. The best news? 97% of our listings sell above this offer.
Orchard homes sell at or above list price 35% more than the market average. And that’s no coincidence. Here’s how we do it:
Our Concierge service gives your house the white glove treatment to get it show-ready. We’ll recommend repairs and upgrades that you can make to help your home stand out and sell faster. We’ll even manage the work ourselves and execute the upgrades with our vetted vendor partners. All with no fee or upfront cost to you.
These are just some of the repairs that Concierge handles:
Once your home is ready for listing, we invest over $1,500 to make your listing shine. This includes professional photography, a 3D home tour, and an aggressive marketing strategy to help sell your home fast. Our expertise makes a big difference, too: On average, our homes sell in 13 days. That’s nearly 20% faster than the market average.
The days leading up to your home sale can feel overwhelming, but you’re not alone. Tap into the expertise of your Listing Agent, Home Advisor, General Manager, or other real estate professional to help stay on top of all the tasks to do to prepare your home for sale. We’re here to help at every step of the journey.
Orchard guarantees your home will sell, so you can buy your next one worry-free.
We provide peace of mind that your home will sell, plus list your home on the market to maximize your earnings.
Use our home sale calculator to estimate your net proceeds.
Our Home Advisors are experienced local agents who know how to sell for top dollar and help win your dream home.
All Orchard Home Advisors are experienced agents who know your local market inside and out. Request a consult today.
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