Top Ten Things to Do Before Listing Your Property for Sale

Listing your home for sale might seem relatively simple; and while it can be done with a few clicks of the mouse, successful property sales require a little research and elbow grease first. Before listing your property for sale, whether it's a house, condominimum, or a plot of land, you'll want to make sure it's properly presented and valued. Even minor imperfections, such as peeling paint or unsightly landscaping, can turn off prospective buyers. Below are the top ten things to do before listing your property for sale.

10. Before you put your house on the market, even if you think it is in pristine condition, contact a real-estate agent to walk through it. The agent may have suggestions for repairs or small improvements that could help you sell your house.

9. Maintain your lawn, garden, and shrubs. Keep the lawn watered and plant some flowers.

8. If you have a beautiful perennial garden or an herb garden that keep coming back each spring, shoot up a roll of film and put the pictures in an album for prospective buyers to look at. In the winter, people may have a hard time visualizing what the yard and garden will look like during the growing season. See Home Marketing Tips for more suggestions.

7. Touch up the exterior paint if it's starting to flake or peel.

6. Have the chimney for both the furnace and the fireplace checked and cleaned.

5. Evaluate what your house looks like as you step in through the door. Does it look crowded or cluttered? Does it look like nobody lives there? Can people see past the "you" in the room and see the room itself?

4. Clean every room in the house thoroughly and get rid of the clutter and excess furniture. Have the carpets and draperies professionally cleaned. Put things in a storage locker if you have a lot of stuff -- before listing your property. You'll make the rooms look bigger and brighter.

3. Make small fixes: touch up interior paint, or install new panels on the electrical switches. Fix drippy faucets, and update the knobs and handles on the kitchen cabinets. If a room really needs it, give it a new coat of paint in a neutral color. Have broken or cracked windows repaired or replaced. Wash the windows inside and out.

2. Clean the mildew out of your shower and touch up the grout.

1. Line up a professional cleaning service to come in while your house is on the market so you are always ready for short-notice calls seeking to set up viewings. Additionally, read Tips for Holding an Open House.

Contact an Attorney Before Listing Your Property for a Free Evaluation

Are you absolutely sure you're accurately promoting your property for sale? Have you left out any important disclosures? It's important to fully understand both the value of the property and any necessary disclosures -- while ensuring you've done everything possible to make it attractive to buyers -- before you put it on the market. If you have any doubts, it's in your best interests to seek legal counsel in order to avoid any problems down the road. An experienced real estate attorney near you can give you a free evaluation of your legal needs.

Next Steps

Contact a qualified real estate attorney to help guide you through the process of selling your home.

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