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Getting Your Home Ready For Sale

What you'll learn: Learn about the steps you should take prior to listing your home for sale


Getting Your Home Ready For Sale


So you are going to put your house on the market, and you want to get the best price you can for it. How do you get your home ready for sale? Even in a hot market, you want to present your home in the best way possible to get the highest price. Here are some important steps to take to get your home sale-ready and ensure that you receive the best offer possible. 

Know your home’s value

How do you price your home? Research the local housing market online and talk to a realtor. Knowing comparable sales or ‘comps’ in your neighborhood will help you determine a list price in relation to square feet, features, and location. If a neighbor’s home sold for $500,000, but yours is significantly smaller, you will likely need to set a lower listing price. If your homes are about the same size, but you have a pool, you may be able to set a higher price. You want to set an attractive price to bring in buyers but not so much so that you are leaving money on the table.  Websites like Zillow and Redfin can assist but are only estimates – it’s important to work closely with your realtor to determine the best comps in your area.

Find a great listing agent

An agent can help you know the comps and will have a feel for the market. How to find an excellent listing agent? You can find one online, through word-of-mouth recommendations, or by driving around your neighborhood to find other listing signs. When interviewing a potential agent, ask about their experience in the area, social media expertise, and possible buyer connections. Any potential listing agent should provide you with a thorough plan to sell your property. How to find the best real estate agent offers some great advice to set you off in the best direction.

Clean and brighten your home

You want your home to make a great first impression, so dirty floors, dusty surfaces, and bad smells are buyer turnoffs. To prepare your home for sale, you want your home to have a thorough deep clean before listing. Clean toilets, scrub sinks and showers, wipe down all surfaces, mop the floors, clean the windows, and have your rugs and carpets steam-cleaned. If you can’t get it to a professional level of cleanliness, hire a professional to do so; it’s an investment that will pay you back. 

Buy and replace lightbulbs. You want to have all light fixtures on when you show your home and have replacement bulbs ready.  Here are 10 mistakes to avoid when selling your home.

Declutter and depersonalize

By decluttering and organizing your space, you will go far in adding appeal to buyers. A clutter-free home lets buyers focus on the home instead of its contents, with overflowing bookcases and closets. Use decluttering as an opportunity to purge your belongings, clear the house of excess, and prepare for your move. If you are willing to rent a temporary storage unit or, better still, a moving ‘cube’ before selling, your belongings will already be safe and packed, making your move that much easier. 

You also want to balance depersonalized with a warm, inviting home. This balance means putting away most framed photos (leave a few nice ones), personal items, bulletin boards, calendars, magazines, and toys. 

Paint the interior

Paint over any extreme colors (bright orange, green) with neutrals like whites, greys, and beiges. These color choices will make the space look larger and more welcoming while also covering up any wall imperfections and they are meant as a blank slate for new owners. 

Stage your home

There are many studies showing that home staging can help sell a home faster and for a higher price. Staging the interior neither has to be complicated nor expensive and don’t neglect to stage the entrance for curb appeal; again, first impressions are so important. The grass needs to be cut, and the yard landscaped. If the home looks dated, a new coat of exterior paint may be needed.   

Get everything fixed

Make sure that anything in your home that is not working prefectly gets fixed. This includes door locks, squeaky hinges, loose hardware, leaky faucets, running toilets, cracks in paint, broken appliances, tears in window and door screens, and replacing the air filters on air conditioners. A home with any issues like these gives buyers the impression that your home was not well taken care of, and what they can’t see maybe even worse.

Having your handyman on speed dial is also warranted to solve any issues that come up. 

Have professional photos taken

Now that your home is in tip-top shape, cleaned, decluttered, and staged inside and out, you want to have great photos taken. Many potential buyers will be searching online, and having high-quality photos will ensure that your home is not overlooked. You don’t need pictures of everything, but you want to make sure to highlight your home’s best features so that the buyers will be interested and want to see the home in person. 

A realtor should be able to help you find a professional photographer; this is one of those questions you can ask them when conducting your listing agent interviews.  

Plan an open house

An open house with your realtor can create a new listing buzz, attracting many buyers and buyers agents. An open house can lead to multiple bids, and you will not have to show your home again if you receive the right offer.   

Show your home and market it

Flexibility with showings can ensure you sell the home quickly and at a good price. Be accommodating and keep your home as clean as possible, putting any clutter in a car or outdoor shed and leaving home when it is being shown. 

Marketing can be done with social media, emails, mailers, and open houses, and harnessing a full marketing mix strategy will allow you to find the most potential buyers. A good realtor will define such a strategy.

Don’t over improve

While you want to have your home in a top presentable state, don’t make massive renovations that take forever to complete and will not provide you a return on your investment. Simple improvements go a long way to cover obvious issues and are well worth their time, effort, and expense.

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Apply before becoming a member.

After your application, we’ll help you:

1. Discover you’re eligible to become a PenFed member

2. Open a Savings/Share Account and deposit at least $5


1Rates are updated daily at 10:15am EST. The advertised rates and points are subject to change. The information provided is based on discount point, which equals percent of the loan amount, and assumes the purpose of the loan is to purchase a property with a 30-year, conforming, fixed-rate loan. Loan amount of $400,000; loan-to-value ratio of 75%; credit score of 760; and DTI of 18% or less. The property is an existing single-family home and will be used as a primary residence. The advertised rates are based on certain assumptions and loan scenarios, and the rate you may receive will depend on your individual circumstances, including your credit history, loan amount, down payment, and our internal credit criteria. Other rates, points, and terms may be available. All loans are subject to credit and property approval.