Selling Your Home Checklist

couple moving out of house
Photo: iStock
From cleanup to closing, this guide will walk you through the steps (even if you don't use a real estate agent to sell your pad).

Click here to download the PDF file

Step 1: Make Quick Fixes

Exterior:

  • Sweep or shovel sidewalk
  • Clean up your yard (mow lawn or rake leaves)
  • Trim bushes
  • Plant flowers
  • Clean gutters
  • Touch up chipped paintInterior:
  • Repaint bold walls with neutral colors (neutral tones make a home easier to sell)
  • Do any DIY fixes (leaky faucets, squeaky doors)
  • Unclutter your closets and bookshelves
  • Store items that are clunky, unattractive, or too personal

Step 2: Price Your Property

Regardless of whether you're going to sell with an agent or by yourselves, call an agent from one of your city's major real estate agencies (who's approved by the National Association of Realtors) and schedule a meeting at your home. Tell them you want to know this info:

  • A realistic selling price
  • A realistic listing price
  • Three comparable homes that they've represented that sold within the last few months
  • Three comparable homes currently on the market: what they're listed for and how long they've been for sale
  • Three comparable homes that were taken off the market (and why)
  • What they'd do to get your home ready to sell

Step 3: Option A - Work With a Realtor

If you decide to hire a Realtor to help you sell your home:

  • Choose an agent you trust and like working with
  • Keep your contract short so the agent has incentive to sell fast
  • Pick a day for an open house (usually two to three hours on a weekend afternoon)
  • Make sure your agent lists the house around town
  • Hire a lawyer to help with complex offers, mortgages, leases, and contracts

Option B - Work Without a Realtor

If you decide to sell your home yourself:

  • Take pictures when house is clean, clutter-free, and has optimum sunlight coming in
  • Decide what you're going to list the house for (get number from agent you invited over and from researching similar homes online)
  • Set a date for an open house (usually two to three hours on a weekend afternoon)
  • Post your open house with basic info and pictures in local newspapers and online services
  • Put up a sign on your front lawn and print flyers wtih house pictures to post around town
  • Hire a lawyer to help with complex offers, mortgages, leases, and contracts

Step 4: Get a Home Inspection

Find a credentialed inspector (check out TheNest.com local message boards to see who other people in your area recommend). Use your home inspector to help find out the following:

  • Square footage
  • Size of each room
  • Purchase date of appliances
  • Taxes
  • Local schools
  • Distance to public transportation

Step 5: Create Sell Sheet

Fill out this detailed list on house specifics:

  • Listing price
  • Square footage
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Size of each room
  • Appliances and date purchased
  • List of amenities
  • Distance to public transportation
  • Schools (names and addresses)