Things to Do Before Listing Your Home

Are you preparing to sell your home? If so, you probably have a dollar amount that you need to get in order to pay off your current mortgage or to purchase your next home. Ideally, though, you'll get more than that. In order to get your asking price or more, you need to make certain your house is in the best condition possible. Before you list your home, here are a few things you can do to improve your chances of getting your asking price.

The first thing you can do is paint. That may seem like a very small detail, but it can do a lot to make your home look better. Even if the paint doesn't have any chips, scratches, or marks on it, chances are that it has faded. By putting down a new coat of paint, even if it's the same color, you'll make your home look better. Don't forget to touch up the exterior, too. Your curb appeal is incredibly important. If the exterior has missing paint and is obviously dirty and dingy, you won't get as many lookers. Even if you have recently painted, you might think about doing one new topcoat, especially over white or other light colors.

Take the time to de-clutter your home. You want a potential buyer to be able to imagine themselves living in your house, and it's hard for them to do that if you have things spread out all over. Pick up laundry, put away your children's toys, and straight up any piles of mail you have. Do whatever you can to make your home look as spacious as possible, even if that means putting some things in boxes or taking them out to the garage. If possible, you may even want to rent a storage unit and store a lot of your unused furniture and items there. The less stuff you have crammed in a room, the larger that room is going to look. That, in turn, will make it more attractive to the buyer.

If you're going to continue to live in your house while it's being shown to potential buyers, you have to keep it as clean as possible. In fact, you're going to want to go above and beyond your normal level of cleaning. That's going to be somewhat difficult to maintain, especially if you have children or pets, but do your best. If possible, clean some rooms and stop using them except when you absolutely need to. People will understand if you're still living in the home, but remember, the cleaner, the better.

Pay special attention to the floors. In fact, you will want to have your carpets cleaned by a professional. Make sure the halls, entryway, and any other area with high traffic is given a very thorough cleaning. When someone walks into your home, they should see a pristine, clean area.

Your real estate agent may ask that you leave the home when someone comes to view it. Ask them to give you as much notice as possible so you can do some last-minute cleaning and straightening before you go. Don't be alarmed at this request, either. Agents generally prefer to show an empty house. Potential buyers may get very nervous if you're still there. They need to have the freedom to really look at the home and ask the agent any questions they might have.

Get the Yard in shape. Remember that one of the first things your real estate agent is going to do is take pictures of the property for its online listing. You want those pictures to look amazing. That means get your yard cleaned up, mowed, and looking as good as possible. Trim up the trees, get rid of any dead plants, and make sure there's nothing overgrown or out of control. Even though the plants may not be a part of the house itself, people will assume you treat the house the same way you treat the yard. If it's well-kept, they will assume the house is, too. If it shows that you don't pay attention to it, potential buyers might assume you haven't paid attention to any of the little details in the house, either.

Fix anything that's broken or even slightly damaged. Light fixtures, windows, mirrors, towel bars, and anything else that is cracked or otherwise in need of repair needs to be fixed. What might seem like a minor thing to you may be a deal breaker to someone else.

Finding the right real estate agent is another key component of selling your home for your asking price. For those who are in the LGBT community, finding an agent who identifies as a member of that community can be a good idea. These agents will understand your particular needs and will be able to help you find buyers who will be interested in your home. You can find these real estate agents on, a website dedicated to LGBT real estate.

Once you've found a great agent, as them to do a walk-through of your home and make notes. Your agent is going to know the market and what people are currently looking for. They will be able to make suggestions about what to change or repair in order to attract the most buyers. They may have a few ideas that aren't on this list that buyers in your specific area have been asking for. Follow their advice-your agent is your best source of information.

With the right real estate agent on your side, you'll be able to prepare your home to impress potential buyers. Just always do what you can to repair as much as possible and then keep your home clean. While it can be a challenge if you're still living there, it will pay off in the long run.

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