Preparing to Sell Your Home in 2019: Mistakes to Avoid, Moving Tips and More!

by Ben SanfordMarch 27, 2019

Getting Your Home Ready for Sale Doesn’t Have to be a Guessing Game

Congratulations, you’ve decided to sell your home! Now what? Preparing to put your home on the market can be quite a process, and you definitely don’t want to cut any corners. The longer a home sits on the market, the less its perceived value, so it’s better to take the time early on to do things right.

When selling a home, it’s wise to note that the devil is in the details, but so is the profit. Small changes, minor repairs, and some creative strategy can mean selling your home faster and at a higher price. Don’t stress, though. From initial prep to the final move out, here are some of the best ways to make selling your home a breeze.

prepare to sell your home

Say Goodbye, and Move Forward

Letting go can be hard. The home you’ve created is a part of your life, but it’s necessary to make that break. Make the decision to let go of your emotions and focus on the fact that very soon, this house will no longer be yours. Say goodbye to your home, and welcome the future ahead of you. This will help you to start looking at the house like a potential buyer would, and to prepare things accordingly.

Avoid These Common Mistakes

Not Working with the Right Agent: The real estate agent you choose can make or break your home selling experience. A good agent should be able to guide you through every step of the process, and won’t let you get away with the other mistakes included on this list.

Selling at the Wrong Time of Year: Buyers aren’t as likely to be hitting the streets when it’s cold and wet out, and this is true of just about every city in the country. Because of this, it’s important to list in the spring when there’s higher buyer demand. Even a great house can sit on the market simply due to a lack of general interest in home buying.

Not Depersonalizing the Space: This is one of the biggest and most common mistakes a seller can make. It can feel strange to take down all the little things that make it feel like home while you’re still living there. But remember, home selling is as much about psychology as it is about pricing and marketing.

Buyers need to be able to picture themselves living in the space, not you living in the space. If they walk in and see your family photos or a bunch of mail on the entry table, chances are strong they’re going to have a hard time making their own connection with the property. Failing to remove personal items suggests to buyers that this is your home, not theirs.

Pro Tip: It’s a specialized process to make your home as appealing as possible to a diverse range of people. When all else fails, hire a professional home stager to get the job done the right way, from the start.

prepare to sell your home

You Haven’t Properly Decluttered: Just like leaving around personal items, clutter can keep a buyer from being able to see your home as if it were their own. Clutter also makes a home look smaller, takes away from its best assets, and keeps it looking like its past instead of its future. Be liberal, and pack up all the things you know you won’t need (this includes closets), and then store them outside of the house.

Pro Tip: Treat decluttering as a pre-packing exercise. A professional organizer can help you let go of what’s not needed, and make the rest of the house look great for buyers.

Your Listing Pictures Aren’t Great: If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the pictures for your online listing need to be on point! Common mistakes here include using pictures that are too dark, or pictures that show off your clutter. The home you intend to present at showings is the home you should present in your pictures. Turn on all the lights and open all the blinds before taking pictures, and take a lot of them.

prepare to sell your home

Pro Tip: A professional real estate photographer can bring out the best in your home.

Not Making Minor Repairs: Like we said, home selling is all about psychology! Cracked tiles, holes in walls, and burnt out light bulbs all add up in a buyer’s mind to something not-so-positive and inspiring. Having a repaired and more move-in ready house will also show the buyer you took care of things while you lived there.

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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.

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