What to Do Before Listing
The Bella Realty Team is so excited to help you get your home ready to sell! Before we list a home, we always take the time to meet with you and walk through your home with you, room by room, to discuss possible improvements that you can do with little to no out-of-pocket expense. Investing your time, energy, and resources into our suggestions can help you net thousands more on your home.
We have created this checklist to help our sellers have an idea of what they can do to make their home really appeal to buyers. The items on our checklist are not a requirement to sell, but they are highly recommended to make sure you get top dollar.
The first picture a potential buyer sees of your home is (usually) the front exterior – as well as the first thing they see when they pull up. We always recommend having a landscaper come out (or if you do your yard maintenance yourself that is totally fine) and making sure the yard is in tip-top shape – trim trees, remove any dead shrubs, plant new plants, cut grass, and etc. If needed, having the exterior painted is always a huge plus but can always get away with just painting certain areas that need it most.
If you have already started to pack, consider storing any boxes in the garage or a storage unit. Bulky furniture, toys, and large items you don’t need or use often are also things that you can store away to help your home showcase how spacious it is. Decluttering closets, cabinets, and shelves is always recommended.
Make a list of all the little stuff that you are aware of that needs to be done around the house like that leaky faucet, filling in nail holes, repairing that trim piece around the door, replacing air filters, and etc. If you aren’t handy, let us know and we can help pair you with an awesome handyman who can help you.
A fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest and most cost-efficient ways to freshen up your home. Bold colors are expected to be a turn-off to some buyers, so using a good neutral color is best. Lighter colors help small rooms appear and feel larger. Taking the time to put a fresh coat of paint on baseboards always makes a huge difference. If you need suggestions with colors (or what to paint), The Bella Realty Team will definitely help assist you.
Investing in professional window cleaning is always suggested. If you aren’t able to have them professionally cleaned, cleaning them yourself is much better than having fingerprints, dirt, streaks, smudges, and water deposits on them. We want your windows sparkly and clean so the natural light can brighten up the home – every buyer loves when a home boasts a lot of natural light.
Replacing outdated or broken fixtures throughout your home can really help make your home pop. This includes light fixtures, faucets, door handles, and etc. We love Wayfair, Amazon, Home Depot, Lowes, and FB Marketplace/Offer Up. If you are on a tight budget, FB marketplace and apps like Offer-Up always have a plethora of lightly used (or brand new) fixtures.
You will want to have your carpets steamed cleaned unless they are brand new. Freshly cleaned carpets can make a HUGE difference with not only the appeal of clean carpets, but it can also help your home smell clean. You can also rent a carpet cleaner at Home Depot or Lowes for around $30 (for 24 hours) and clean them yourself to save money.
If your tile grout is discolored, you may want to consider having the tile/grout professionally cleaned. Buyers always notice when the grout is super dirty.
Most buyers will have a reaction to your home within 15 seconds of entering, so creating an inviting entrance is vital. You will want your front entrance to be clean, de-cluttered, and “homey”. Paint or stain your front door if needed, add a cute doormat, add some potted plants, and complete with a simple wreath.
The most important room in the house to most buyers, so don’t skip this! You will want the counters to be completely de-cluttered so the kitchen can appear as spacious as possible. Cleaning out the oven and microwave is always a bonus. The sink can be a focal point of most kitchens – so if you need to replace the faucet and sink, we highly recommend it. Amazon and Wayfair have a ton of fairly priced faucets and sinks. Decluttering the exterior of the fridge is helpful too – so taking down pictures, calendars, magnets, and etc. Add some fresh flowers on the island (or kitchen table) and BOOM!
Remove all toiletries you have on display – you will want the counters to be completely free of clutter. If you need to, purchase new hand towels and bath mats so the bathroom has an updated feel to it. Always go with lighter colors – think white and bright!
You guessed it, more decluttering! You want the bedrooms to feel inviting and comfortable – remember, buyers who are viewing your home are trying to envision making it a home for themselves. Remove any bulk furniture, posters, tapestries, and string lights. If needed, add throw pillows to the beds and possibly a new comforter too.
Replace any outdated or non-working ceiling fans throughout the house. A brand-new ceiling fan can do a room well, trust us! If you do not need to replace any fans, make sure all of them are dusted, have new light bulbs where needed, and broken pull strings are repaired/replaced.
Backyards are a huge selling point here in AZ. Since we have 7 (ish) months of great weather, we Arizonians love sitting on our patios. What we listed under “Curb Appeal” applies to the backyard as well. In addition, stage or freshen up the patio if needed. Think newly potted plants, furniture cushions, throw pillows, and etc. If you have a pool, ensure the water is clear and the pool tile is clean. You want your backyard to be inviting!
This can be done yourself, but we always recommend having a professional cleaner come in right before photos and showings begin. A deep clean is what we suggest – baseboards, shutters/blinds, ceiling fans, dusting, vacuuming and mopping the floors, and everything else in between!
A strong scent can defer a buyer (especially cigarette smoke and smells curated from pets), so making sure your home is smelling fresh is very important. Wall plug-ins, candles, and wax-warmers are all great ways to keep your house smelling nice and inviting. You may also want to limit cooking certain things right before showings.
Make sure you store special items appropriately, along with medications. Although the buyers walk the home with their agent, we still highly recommend that you take extra precautions with your special belongings.
Before you go live on the MLS, you will want to have a game plan for your special critters. You will want your pets to be removed from the house during all showings. If this is not possible, then you will need to have your pet crated.
There are certain situations where light or full staging may be necessary. The Bella Realty Team will help advise in these situations.