If selling your house feels like an overwhelming task, you’re not alone.
Researchers asked 1,000 people about the most stressful events in their lives, and a whopping 45% said it was moving.
Tackling the Stress
What makes moving so stressful? Sometimes, big moves coincide with challenges like job changes or divorce, complicating both issues. Add another big deal, like getting your house ready to sell, and you have a recipe for anxiety.
Whether you’re a newbie or an old hand at moving, it’s hard to anticipate and prepare for the constant stream of little decisions along the way. Mistakes can be costly, both financially and emotionally.
To protect your finances and your sanity, you need to know how it all works. We’ll give you a 30-day guide to selling your house for the top-dollar with minimum hassle.
Every homeowner has a set of unique circumstances, but you can adapt our tips to homes of all styles, ages, and sizes. Learn what you need to do to get your home ready for the market and avoid the pitfalls that cause delays or monetary losses.
How to Get Your House Ready to Sell in 30 Days
Nothing attracts buyers like a home in tiptop condition that is squeaky clean and has curb appeal. A new kitchen or a mountain view adds charm, but it’s usually not enough to make the sale on its own.
In our week-by-week guide, we show you how to get your house ready for buyers.
Week One – Assess your home and gather documents and supplies
The first week is the time gather documents, assess the condition of your home, separate belongings, and get supplies.
Real estate agents and homebuyers ask a lot of questions and having information nearby makes it easier for you to find answers.
Here is a list of the documents you should gather:
- Tax bills
- Utility info
- Details about repairs
- Any other documents that might be useful to potential buyershow-to-get-your-house-ready-to-sell
Assess the condition of your home and separate belongings
You already know the ups and downs of living in your home, but homeowners get used to glitches that a neutral eye might see differently. Start by asking a friend or handyperson to go through the rooms and make suggestions.
Survey your belongings and separate them into three categories: those you’ll keep and use before the move, those you’ll store until you get to your new place, and those that you’ll sell, donate or throw away.
You want buyers and agents to see your place in the best possible light so you should replace dated light fixtures, and check to see if light bulbs are clean and working properly.
- Decide what supplies you need and buy them – You’ll want duct tape and boxes for removing clutter and packing, and the right ones can save time and money.
- Get extra sets of keys – Most realtors use lockboxes, making it easier for them to show your home when you’re not around. Avoid confusion and delays by making sure you have extra sets of keys when you need them.
Week Two – Clean and Declutter
The second week is the time to clean and declutter.
- Remove unnecessary appliances
- Clear the counters, and clean out the cabinets
- Clean the inside and outside of the refrigerator, and remove magnets and clutter
- Store toiletries and personal items out of sight
- Clean counters and appliances
- Replace worn rugs, towels, and toilet seats
- Spice up the sparkling room with pretty soaps and accessories
The living room is one of the first rooms buyers see.
- Clean the upholstery
- Remove clutter
- Hide unsightly wires
- Get some new throw pillows
- Add fresh paint to outdated walls.
In most homes, the dining room table catches papers, coats, and clutter.
- Cover an old table with a pretty tablecloth and upholster worn chair cushions for a cheerful update
- Clean closets
- Store clutter
- Make sure window coverings are clean and in good shape
- Add a pretty bed cover
- Get rid of over-sized pieces of furniture
Week Three – Clean Storage Areas
By the this week, you’re seeing the results of your labor.
Now that you’ve spruced up the rooms, it’s time to clean the storage areas, and that includes closets, basements, attics, garages, and outside spaces that collect lawn equipment and unwanted junk.
- Resist the urge to use these areas as a holding place for the stuff you don’t want inside.
- Nothing means more to you than those family pictures and trophies, but it’s time to remove them and let buyers imagine their memorabilia in your space. Once again, store, give away, or sell what you no longer want.
- When painting and dirty work is complete, call a carpet cleaner. Don’t forget to clean floors, disguise imperfections or scratches, and tackle old grout.
Note: Go back through the house to see what you’ve missed. If you’ve procrastinated, tackle repairs or cleaning yourself, or call a professional.
Week Four – Finishing Touches
You’ve worked hard, and it’s time for the finishing touches:
- You only get one chance to make a good first impression. Spruce up landscaping, clean the gutters, paint the front door, and add seasonal flowers in a nice pot.
- Don’t forget the backyard and driveway. Remove toys and clutter, mow the lawn, trim dead limbs, and freshen up the deck and lawn furniture.
- Give it the white-gloved test. Look at the house from the street to gauge its appeal, check the yard, and walk through the rooms and garage to look for anything you’ve missed.
- Years of wind and rain take their toll. After cleaning the gutters and painting, hire someone to clean your windows.
- Magic erasers really work. Tackle smudges and stains on walls and doors. Wipe down appliances to get rid of watermarks or fingerprints.
- Odor remover is your friend, especially if you have house pets. Visitors can detect odors when you can’t.
- Get a pre-inspection to find out if unexpected problems show up. You’ll know what to expect and have a chance to inform buyers or make the repairs beforehand.
- Hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your property. The internet plays a major role in home sales, and good photos are a necessity.
Do You Need a Home Stager?
Depending on the condition of your home and your budget, it may be a good idea to get the help of a home stager. The cost varies from minimal for relatively simple changes to more for rented furniture and decor.
Stagers may charge by the hour or by a set fee. If you can’t afford a professional, you can find some helpful DIY tips online.
If you decide to stage your own home, keep these ideas in mind:
- Choose from a palette of soft grays and beiges.
- Keep your favorite hotel in mind when you style the master bedroom.
- Focus on the rooms that are most important to buyers.
- Create small groupings for visual appeal.
- Find a use for awkward spaces.
- Put an emphasis on the entryway.
Staging can increase the selling price from 5% to 20%, and staged houses in California sold five times faster in one study.
Hire a Photographer
According to the National Association of Realtors, around 95% of buyers use the internet during the home-buying process.
That’s why it’s so important to hire a good photographer.
If you decide to have your home staged, wait until the job is complete before taking photos.
If you’re selling a house, it pays to prepare it for the market. If you don’t, the selling price will be lower and the selling time longer.
Even though you know how to get your house ready to sell in 30 days and follow all the steps, circumstances beyond your control may affect the sale. Bad real estate markets and poor economies require special strategies of their own.
If you need to sell quickly, one option is to talk to a company that buys homes for cash. You may be able to get quick cash, avoid making repairs, and skip the lengthy paperwork that goes with a traditional sale.
If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, or San Antonio area, contact us for more information about avoiding foreclosure or selling distressed homes. We’ll reply within 48 hours.
For a quicker, obligation-free reply, call us at 888-724-9603. We buy houses in all conditions, and we charge no fees or commissions. We want to help you.