- Breaking down the to-do list of getting your house market-ready makes it more manageable and less stressful.
- Decluttering, organizing and cleaning your space are essential to selling.
- Begin working on DIY projects and home updates to get your home ready to list.
- Work with a licensed REALTOR® early on in the process to get the most out of their selling expertise.
If selling your house is on the to-do list this year, you may be overwhelmed when you think about all the work that goes into getting it ready for the market. By breaking down your to-do list into definitive goals, you can make the process more manageable and remove some of the stress that comes with selling a home. It can also help build momentum and space out your tasks so you’re not trying to take on too much all that once.
Make these goals part of your New Year’s resolutions to ensure your home is ready for showings, and turn making your home seller-ready into bite-size, manageable goals.
Goal 1: Declutter
Decluttering can benefit your life in a multitude of ways. It helps you get organized, improves mental health, removes chaos and allows you to appreciate what you have. Selling items no longer needed can add some extra cash to your bank account (did you add “start saving more” to your 2024 resolutions?). You could also donate items for an extra-good feeling of helping those in need.
- KonMari: Keeping only the things that bring you joy.
- Swedish Death Cleaning: Simplifying your life by removing things you no longer need.
- The Four Box method: Turing decluttering into four options for each item you own—should it be donated, trashed, relocated, or kept?
- 12-12-12 challenge: Filling a quota by finding 12 things to donate, 12 to toss and 12 to put away.
It doesn’t really matter how you declutter; the most important thing is finding a method that works best for you and your family. It’s also a good step to take when estate planning and taking stock of assets.
Goal 2: Get organized
Now that you’ve removed all the “extras,” it’s time to get everything back in order. Not only will this make everyday living easier and keep your household running smoothly, but it will also be a huge benefit for when you move. Just like decluttering, there are plenty of ways to organize your home, and the most important part is finding what works for you.
This step might involve a small investment if you need to buy bins, containers or other storage solutions, but the good news is that there is a huge market with a variety of price points and aesthetic options out there to fit your needs.
Goal 3: Deep clean the house
There are probably a couple of spaces in your home that haven’t been given the once-over in a while (when was the last time you washed your washing machine or cleaned behind the fridge?). Take a weekend for a “spring” cleaning, or create a hit list to accomplish during the week and get those out-of-sight, out-of-mind areas spick and span. (Plus, if your New Year’s resolutions include being more active, you’ll be burning calories as you clean!) Keep your space fresh and clean by creating a weekly cleaning schedule and help prevent last-minute panic cleans in the future.
Then, mark your calendar to tackle those spots again every couple of months to keep them under control. While your calendar is out, consider scheduling some maintenance checks on your big-ticket home items like your furnace, HVAC system and water heater. If you have any concerns about your roof and windows or installation, now would be a good time to check them out to avoid costly surprises when the time comes to sell.
Goal 4: Tackle DIY projects
Every home has a few dings, scrapes or design flaws, but those small imperfections can appear more glaring to potential buyers. Make a list of all the little annoyances your home has and repair as many as you can. You’d be surprised how much of a difference minor updates like painting a room or updating your mudroom can make—not just in your resale value, but in how much you’ll enjoy your home while you’re still in it! Just keep in mind how any aesthetic changes can impact your home sale—while your favorite color might be pink, you might want to stick to a neutral paint color for staging and selling purposes.
For bigger projects, you may need to hire a contractor, plumber, electrician or other tradesperson. If you’re considering updating larger areas like your kitchen or bathroom, consider what your return on investment will be when you sell and if the work you’ll put in will pay off in the end.
Goal 5: Find a REALTOR®
Some things you know you need to do on your own, like replacing a stained carpet or cleaning out the garage. But there are going to be plenty of things you won’t necessarily know to do, or how to do them.
That’s where the expertise of a REALTOR comes in. They can guide you on practical matters like what plants will create the best curb appeal, as well as guide you through the home selling process and provide you with a comprehensive checklist for getting your home ready to sell.
If you wait to find an agent right when you want to sell, you’ll be missing out on all their guidance and pre-listing work they can provide to help improve your odds of getting a quicker close at a higher value.