There are many unavoidable tasks to tackle as you prepare to sell your home and move. However, you can reduce some of the stress with this checklist. Use it as a guide to avoid over-thinking and over-doing a few things. You've got enough to do already!
First: Hire an Agent
You want to get the best price for your home and there are plenty of potential pitfalls before reaching that goal. A good agent will help you set the right price, handle marketing, manage negotiations and guide you through all the necessary paperwork. You will increase your chance for a quick sale with an agent working for you, so hire a well qualified person and listen to their advice. Let your agent shoulder some of the stress.
Restrain Your Urge to Decorate
A few strategic changes to your home may really boost your asking-price, but don't overdo it. Replacing worn carpet and paint are good ideas, but choose neutral colors even if that may not be your taste. You might love a Southwest motif, but your potential buyers might flinch. Going neutral with everything as you prepare for a sale should make decorating decisions easier.
Don't Over Do Improvements
Again, there are changes you can make that will help your house sell, but don't worry about the small stuff. You might opt to replace outdated appliances or broken door hinges. Concentrate on necessary fixes, but don't overdue it. There are plenty of repairs that you could make that will neither increase the home's value nor accelerate the sale. Be sure to ask your REALTOR® what you should fix and what you should ignore before your house goes on the market.
Start Packing to Eliminate Clutter
Reducing the clutter around your house is a stress reliever because it helps get part of your packing done. This is your chance to weed out items you don't want to keep: donate some, recycle others and toss the rest. A thorough clutter reduction before the house goes on the market will make it easier for you to do a quick clean up before each showing, too.
It's Not Personal
When your house is for sale, you need to think like a business person and not a home owner. That means having a thick skin when prospective buyers are judging the pros and cons of your place. Of course, you have lots of emotion, memories and dreams tied up in your home. You need to put all that aside and distance yourself during the sale. Don't feel badly if potential buyers complain about your choice of draperies or talk about digging up your rose bushes. Just get the house sold and then make plans for your next garden.
Don't Stick Around
Get the entire family out the door when a showing is scheduled, including pets if possible. Buyers need to be able to imagine themselves in your home and that's difficult if you are there. Refer back to the "It's Not Personal" item above. They will likely say things that could hurt your feelings, so don't stick around to hear their discussion. Avoid this stress, leave the house, and at the very least wait in the backyard while they are there.
Moving is a hard task and you want to get the sale completed quickly. Remove the stressors where you can. Before you know it, you'll be handed the keys to your new dream house and be ready to start your next chapter.