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As a seller, the thought of getting your home ready to sell can be stressful, but these efforts often lead to achieving the best home value. Before you list on the MLS there’s some things you should do. They aren’t mandatory, of course, but your house will be more salable than a comparable house whose homeowner doesn’t do these things. It’ll put you, undoubtedly, in a better position to sell for more, faster. I counsel my Truckee home sellers on these tips, and now I’ll share them.

Real Estate Preparations for Home Sellers

I’m not going to sugarcoat it – this takes some work. But you are planning to move, right? Just think of these seller tips as a jumpstart – a springboard for motivation and a head start on packing up for your move. Sound better? Start your checklist and get to it!

1. Curb Appeal:
You have only one chance for a good first impression. Walk outside your home and try to look at it through a buyer’s lens. Can you make small improvements? Added flower pots? Painting a chipped mailbox?

2. Take Care of Needed Repairs:
(C’mon you know what they are). ​There is an actual price on elbow grease, and it’s in the triple digits. That in mind – fixing that dreaded faucet now will be far more affordable than being required to hire a professional during escrow and repair negotiations. ​ Here in Truckee, homebuyers are often living remotely, and will not consider buying a home that has a list of needed repairs and deferred maintenance. Repairs are a major deterrent to making an offer on your home, and it’s easy to take care of, so just get it done (and at worst – if you choose to ignore those needed repairs, you may just be putting more value on comparable homes, and devaluing yours).

3. What You Love is Not What Your Buyer Loves:
These potential buyers are trying to envision themselves in your home, so that 20 piece family photo shrine has got to go – and take with it the red walls and themed decor. Show the buyer that they can make it their own by storing the family heirlooms in well-marked boxes stacked neatly in the garage. Neutralize anything that might be distasteful to the buyer, and minimize personalization. When you de-personalize a home, you’re allowing the buyer to envision themselves in your home, so box up the kid’s artwork and nick- knacks to put in your new home.

4. A Clean, Well-Maintained Home Has The Potential to Gain You More Profit:
The overall feeling of your home is what a potential home buyer will take away with them. I recommend a total clean-out. After you’ve depersonalized and boxed up knick-knacks, have a professional house cleaner come in; in most cases, they just do a better job. They come in with a fresh look at what is needed and do the deep clean that your buyers will notice. Your job will just be to keep it show-ready after the cleaners do their part.

5. Price Your Home Right:
Your home shines the brightest and attracts the most attention during the first few days on the market. If you overprice your home then the right buyer will never see it. It won’t even come up in their search results. And even worse, a listing that stagnates on the market leads buyers to question – “What’s wrong with it?” I cannot place enough importance on pricing your home right at the get-go. Don’t ‘wait and see’.

6. Marketing Your Home:
Truckee home sellers, I’ll take care of this part, but since marketing is such an important component to selling your home for more, it has to be mentioned here. My brokerage will pay for professional photography, and we will boost your home through signage, MLS, Zillow, Trulia,, social media sites, realtor news, open houses, and targeted email marketing.

Timeline for Listing Your Home

1 Month before you’d like to list your home: start realtor interviews. Make sure the realtor you choose comes with a brilliant marketing plan – that’s how your home get’s sold. Truckee home sellers, I’d love to help you out with your sale, but it won’t offend me if you meet with other listing agents – I’m used to it! (in real estate you get thick skin).

2 Weeks before listing: you’ve selected a top realtor, now start getting your home prepared for sale with the tips I’ve laid out above.

1 Week before listing: home photography – ideally your realtor will arrange to have the property professionally photographed.

Day of Listing (and until you enter escrow with an accepted offer): Keep your home maintained. Sellers usually hate last minute showings, but please be as flexible as you can. If you don’t allow the buyer to see the home when it’s convenient for them, they may pass on seeing your home altogether.

Blog courtesy of: Live in Truckee