Listing a home or property for sale is no small task, and it takes a lot of preparation for a seller to be ready to list. If you've been thinking about selling your home, but you're not completely ready to pull the trigger (maybe you'd like to list within the next few months or even within a year), consider some of the tips listed below to help prepare your home or property for when you're comfortable listing it on the real estate market.
Remove Personal Items
While you've spent a lot of time turning your house into your home, when you decide to sell and list it on the market, there will be a number of people looking at your property (either in person or via the Internet). A step you can take prior to listing is to remove the personal items in your home. You need to walk through the property as a potential buyer: what do you notice? Are there pictures and other things that stick out? The best thing you can do for your home is to create a neutral space or environment for buyers to look at. By removing personal items from your home, you not only help a buyer envision the property as his/her own, you also help break the emotional attachment you have for your own property.
Another thing to consider is renting a storage unit. If you find that you maybe have too many things, and you're not inclined to part with them, renting a small storage unit once you list your home will give you the ability to free up space in your home but also keep those precious items you can't part with.
Ask a Listing Agent for Input
You know your house, and it's pretty likely that you've developed a strong affection for your home. It's common that when we love something, we may become a little blind to some of its issues or things that could be improved. If you know you want to list your property, but you're not totally ready to do so, have an agent or Realtor do a walk through and provide feedback on what they'd change based on their professional experience. An agent spends a lot of time with buyers, and he or she will be able to point to things buyers might object to or find off-putting in a property.
An agent will also be up-to-date on current trends and will be able to provide feedback on what buyers are looking for in your particular area. Getting a professional opinion from someone that knows the market and talks to other real estate professionals on a regular basis is a great way to prepare your home for a future sale. An unbiased opinion about what works and what could be changed regarding your home is an excellent tool for a future successful sale.
Hire a Home Inspector
When you think of a home inspection, it's likely you think of one taking place once an offer has been accepted and papers have been signed. If you're considering listing your house in the future, hiring a home inspector and doing a preliminary home inspection can be a huge asset to your future sale.
A home inspection will let you know what needs to be addressed in terms of your property: a reputable inspector will look at the foundation and other structural components, exterior features, the roof (which includes shingles, flashing and any skylights); electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems, interior features like doors, windows and floors; and an inspector will check the insulation in the attic and any fireplaces in the property.
Many home sales do not succeed or move to the next step because of issues brought up in a home inspection. If you've decided to wait to sell your home, consider doing a preliminary home inspection well before you put your home on the market so you know where your property stands and have time to fix anything that might put off buyers once you do list.