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Five things to do before putting your house on the market

The housing market is turning around and home inventories — the number of homes for sale — in the Twin Cities are tight. There are more buyers than sellers right now, so if you’ve been waiting for the right moment to sell your home, this could be it! An up-to-date, competitively priced home can sell quickly and even command more than your asking price, if you do your homework and put in a bit of polish before the “For Sale” sign goes up in the yard.

Here are five important things to do before putting your house on the market:

Home improvements
Take care of any maintenance you may have been putting off. Clean up the yard, make sure the landscaping is neat and get the windows sparkling. Declutter inside and simplify — if you don’t use something (or just use it once a year, like a Christmas tree), rent a small storage unit and make use of it. Clean the carpets or replace them, if they’re too far gone. If you have hardwood floors, make sure they’re sanded and polished so they’re looking new and not scuffed and dirty. Put fresh, neutral paint on the walls and fix any minor dents, dings or scrapes.

prepare home for sale

Home inspection
Yes, a professional home inspection costs money and yes, it’s worth it to get one before you put your home on the market. Don’t risk being surprised when a potential buyer’s inspector finds a problem with the roof or attic insulation. With an inspector’s report in hand, you can either fix issues before putting your house up for sale or consider repairs to be made by the buyer when pricing the house to sell.

Research the local market
Look up properties similar to yours in your immediate neighborhood and in your zip code so you’ll have a general idea of the condition and pricing of the “competition.” Remember to look up both asking prices and the price a home sold for (where possible), so you have an accurate picture of what the market is currently supporting.

Home appraisal
Spending a few hundred dollars on a home appraisal gives you a good idea of how to price your home. You’ll also have official documentation when the time comes to negotiate price with a potential buyer.

Sales strategy
Work with your REALTOR to come up with a sales strategy for your home that will help you outshine the competition and get your property sold quickly. Sales strategies can include everything from listing your home in the MLS database, to open houses, to flyers to social media promotion.

If you’re ready to sell or have questions, please contact us at any time for a free consultation.