Ready to Sell Your Home? 5 Steps to Prep Your House

Make your home more appealing to buyers, so you can sell faster at the right price

Selling a house can be stressful. But if you take the time do your homework (we know, bad joke), you can quickly tackle a few improvements to make your home more appealing to buyers.

Sold Home For Sale Real Estate Sign and Beautiful New House.

1. Talk to a Realtor.

Before you start making any changes to your home, consult a realtor who knows what buyers are looking for in your neighborhood. Isabelle Monzitta, a realtor in Charlotte, NC, is always ready to help — “When I first meet with a new client, I guide them on market conditions, pricing, expectations for time on the market and repairs and updates needed for listing.”

Your realtor can give you insight into which updates will pay off and which ones are a waste of time and money. They can also recommend preferred contractors, such as HVAC experts like Trane Comfort Specialists.

2. Consider getting an inspection before listing your house.

Known issues that are not addressed must be disclosed to potential buyers and could tarnish their impression of the home”, says Monzitta. That’s why you might want to be proactive and schedule your own home inspection before you put your house on the market.

Inspections can help you competitively price your house and alert you to problems that require repairs or replacement. The more you know, the less there’s a chance for surprises to pop up later in the selling process. Plus, you can manage your repairs budget, instead of answering to the demands of a buyer.

PRO TIP: Don’t be afraid to spend a little money to fix a potential dealbreaker like a leaky roof, broken window or old appliance. An example — if your inspector discovers that your air conditioner is on its last leg, consider replacing it with a more energy efficient HVAC system that could appeal to buyers and add value to your selling price.

3. Make a few cosmetic improvements.

Curb appeal matters, so invest in a handful of upgrades that’ll make your home look great. According to Monzitta, “Updated kitchens and bathrooms are very important to buyers. Extensive outdoor living space also makes your home more marketable”.

Improving these areas could be as simple as new paint or seasonal plants. Landscaping and trimming your yard, cleaning gutters, pressure washing, neutral colored paint and a fresh welcome mat can make your home look more inviting to buyers.

4. Clean from top to bottom.

If you want to make your house really shine, then literally make it shine by cleaning every nook and cranny. Hire a professional window washer to let the light in and make your home look brighter. Bring in a house cleaner to make sure every spot is spotless. Find a professional organizer who can thin out your closets and clear the clutter. They can also help you figure out the best way to store your stuff while you’re staging your home for potential buyers.

PRO TIP: Hit the dollar store to snag some affordable decor to freshen up your kitchen or bath. A new set of towels, shower curtain and rugs will make a big difference at your open house.

5. Take It One Step at a Time.

If you can’t make all the improvements at once, it’s okay. Work with your Realtor to determine which ones will get the most bang for your buck right off the bat. Then have a plan to try different upgrades over time if your home isn’t selling. Trying doing one big repair and a few smaller cosmetic fixes to start.

Don’t forget to set aside extra money in case you need to make more improvements after the buyer’s inspection or if your home stays on the market for longer than expected.

Wondering if you need to update your heating and cooling system?

Talk to your local Trane dealer about whether repairs or a replacement will make your home more marketable.