The decision to sell your home is a very important one, and should not be taken lightly. To that end, here is a loose timeline of what you should do before the “For Sale” goes up in front of your house:
As soon as you get the idea to sell your home, start going to open houses in your neighborhood. This will accomplish several things: you will hopefully get to see homes in “showing” condition – decluttered and clean, which will serve as examples of how your home should look. You will also meet local realtors, who you may decide to hire to market your home and more importantly, you will have actually seen the interior of homes, and then their sale prices, so you will have an educated idea of what your home is likely to sell for in the current market. The price you are able to get for your home is intimately connected to what your neighbors get for theirs. This is a good time to start interviewing realtors, as well.
6 months before – perform any updates to the house. Securing proper permits and contractors can take time. Be sure you have consulted your realtor of choice on this decision – if your home is in a falling market, it may not make sense to make major alterations to your home.
3 months before – have a yard sale! Be sure to announce your impending move to all the relatives whose junk you’ve been storing in your attic/spare room/basement that it is on the auction block if they do not retrieve their items!
1 month before – paint and deep cleaning. Keep all paint tones neutral, and personally, I believe colors should be consistently “warm” or “cool” throughout the house. Put away all personal pictures, replacing them with inexpensive pieces you might find at Pier 1 or Burlington.
1 week before – professional photos are taken for realtor website and local MLS.
Listing Day – your home is officially on the market, and shows beautifully. Good luck!