Seller’s Checklist

Ready to sell your home?

Start with a detailed checklist 📋

What do you need to do to sell your house?

Follow a detailed timeline to prepare your home for sale.

Complete a deep cleaning of the entire home

Get a pre-inspection

Do any repairs and touch-ups

Order an appraisal

Declutter and stage

Decide on your list price

Take photos and plan your marketing

Step 1

What to do if you are ready to sell your home.

Think about your current mortgage:

  • Obtain a payoff and evaluate you mortgage balance. Calculate the available equity in your home. This exercise will help you determine price and outcome of the sale.
  • Make a list of what is important to you in buying a new home and selling your current home. Be honest about what needs to be done to get your home to make it list ready. What is you pre-listing home improvement budget? Determine what sale price to place on your home.

Step 2

Take a deep dive and clean.

Preparing to sell your home takes work. Hire professional to help you work through the cleaning process. Have a pre-inspection done to expose any defects and have them addressed. You want the new buyer to feel the same way you felt when you first fell in love with your home.  After all, you want buyers to fall in love with your home, the same way you did when you met your home for the first time. Spend some time getting your home move-in ready, in a way that will appeal to the broadest range of potential buyers.
Your real estate agent can be a big help in identifying the items that should be on your to-do list. Whatever you decide to do, here are a few tips for home improvements.

Do have a pre-inspection: The buyer will have an inspection as part of the purchase process, sellers often perform their own pre-inspection. Among sellers who worked with an agent determined a pre-inspection can help you avoid surprises down the road and gives you a chance to fix the items that an inspector would flag for a buyer.

Make popular improvements: Consider adding some of the home features that today’s buyers love. Professional kitchen appliances, hardwood floors, stone countertops, backyard oasis, stone front, solar panels, and more.

Don’t forget curb appeal: To make that all-important first impression, spend some time in your front yard. Power wash driveways and sidewalks, add some seasonal plants to pots and garden beds, cut back overgrown plants, and rake leaves.

Don’t avoid improvements by selling as-is: You will likely pocket less money in the end, selling a home as-is, without completing any major improvements, is a way to speed up your overall sale process and limit upfront out-of-pocket costs.

Step 3

Price your home competitively

One of the most important factors in a successful home sale is finding the right listing price for your home. It can be tough. Homes that are accurately priced are more likely to sell in a timely manner. To sell quickly, use all the tools at your disposal to help you price your home for sale.

Comparables: Recent homes that have sold and their sale price. It’s important that the comps you use as reference are of a similar size and condition as yours, and in a very similar area.

An appraiser can be hired: Having a professional appraisal done on your home is small price to pay if it helps you sell your home quickly and for an appropriate price.

Your agent has the answers. Let us help: Your real estate agent should be an expert in home values in your area, so they are a great resource for finding the right listing price. Plus, they can provide guidance on a pricing strategy that will spark the most interest and maybe even inspire a bidding war.

Step 4

Staging your house

Cut the clutter, clean and depersonalize: Having too much stuff in a room can make your home feel small and crowded. Having too many personal items can make it hard for buyers to picture themselves living in the home.

Choose a method to stage your home: What is your budget to stage your home? Will you hire a professional or will you undertake the project? Stay on track with your timeline and meet your listing date.

Step 5

With your agent, craft a marketing plan

Once your home is ready for buyers, the next step is getting your listing in front of as many buyers as possible. Here are some tips for how to list a home for sale.

Your agent will advertise across multiple channels: Today’s home buyers search for homes in many ways, from surfing online listings, to looking for ‘for sale’ or ‘open house’ signs in front yards. The more places your listing shows up, the more buyers will see it — and the more likely you are to find a buyer.

pexels-michael-burrows-7128991Professional marketing photos are a must: With the majority of buyers (and their agents) searching online, your home’s MLS listing is your home’s first impression, and professional photos can go a long way toward making your home stand out. Make sure the photos are realistic and high quality. Video tours are also a great way to give a prospective buyer a view of your property.


Step 6

Approaching the closing

Once your home goes under contract there are things that can come up between acceptance and closing day.

After the inspection report: The home inspection a buyer does on your home can raise red flags, and when major issues are uncovered, a buyer might decide the fixes are too expensive and walk away from the deal. Whether the inspection report reveals small fixes or big problems, be prepared to negotiate after the report is completed.

If the appraisal comes in too low: If your buyer is financing the home, their lender  order an appraisal to make sure the home is worth the amount being financed. If the value of the home comes in below the loan amount, further negotiations may be necessary to resolve the difference and to close the deal.

Step 7

Moving out and into your NextHome

How will you move your things? Cost? If you hire a moving company calculate the expense. Will you need additional storage?  Time the move accordingly. No matter your decision, do your research.

Step 8

Finalize what was agreed upon in the contract

When it comes time to close on the home, you as the seller are responsible for some legal documents and processes.

Complete repairs and obtain certifications: If you are obligated to complete repairs as a condition of your post-inspection negotiations, it is your responsibility to complete those tasks before closing. Additionally, if the buyers asked for (and you agreed to) any specific inspections or certifications, like a sewer line inspection or roof condition certification, those should be completed as well.

Hand over keys: The keys are handed over to the buyer once you vacate the premises, and as dictated in your contract with the buyer. If the buyer is taking immediate possession, you might hand over the keys at the closing appointment. Or, depending on the terms of your agreement.

Close the transaction: At closing, the settlement agent (either the closing attorney or escrow company hired at the outset of the transaction) will record the new deed for the home with the county, pay off your remaining mortgage balance, pay all closing costs and make sure you receive your profit.