6 Steps Every Seller Should Take Before Listing Their Home

April 08, 2022
Main image blog

Preparing your home for sale helps it spend less time on the market and offers higher profits.

Are you thinking of selling your home soon? Perhaps you are a senior planning to sell your home to fund your chosen retirement community. Before you list it, there are a few things you should do to get your home ready to sell. Preparing your home for sale helps it spend less time on the market and leads to higher offers from buyers, which is great news for your family. 


United Country Real Estate offers the following tips, born of experience, to help you sell your house in record time.

Assess Your Home’s Value

To you, your home is more than four walls and a roof. It’s a place full of memories where you’ve grown your family and moved through chapters of your life. However, you shouldn’t let emotional attachment to your home get in the way of pricing it to sell. Before you meet with a real estate agent, you can do some basic research to assess the resale value of your home. Your home’s appraisal value will be the basis for much of the consequent financial picture, so be sure you understand what all is involved in the assessment. After this step, use online listings to research the sale price of recently sold homes that are similar in size, age, location, and condition to your home to avoid overpricing. 

Complete a Pre-Listing Inspection

If problems with your home’s major systems are revealed during a buyer’s inspection, it could cause the sale to fall through or leave you in a disadvantaged position during negotiations. To prevent this, schedule a pre-listing inspection. If the inspection reveals issues with the home, decide if you’ll fix them before listing, lower your asking price and sell as-is, or offer buyers a repair credit. 


Realize that some issues, like foundation problems (which cost $6,000–$12,000 to fix on average), mold, and water damage, are often considered deal-breakers and could prevent your home from selling if not repaired before listing. While fixing other problems like a malfunctioning HVAC system or aging roof isn’t strictly necessary, doing so maximizes your sale price and gives you a competitive edge when selling.

Handle Minor Repairs

At this point, it’s second nature to pull the back door extra tight to keep it closed or jiggle the toilet handle to make it flush. But for buyers, these distracting issues suggest a home hasn’t been well-maintained. Take care of minor home repairs like leaky faucets, squeaky door hinges, loose doorknobs, and stuck windows before you list. 

Make Cosmetic Improvements

Once you’ve restored your home’s function, turn your attention to its appearance. Does your home have interior design stuck in a bygone era? Walls and flooring are the biggest, most visible components of your home’s interior, and it’s paramount that they’re clean, modern, and in good repair. These are also among the easiest improvements you can make without having to get a building permit (depending on your area).


Repaint your home’s interior—it’ll likely cost you around $400 for each room you want to paint according to Paintzen. Wallpaper can be a more cost-effective solution. While most realtors will recommend neutral paint colors, some tired, old rooms will actually benefit from the extra “oomph” that interesting and tasteful prints allow. Also, wallpaper comes in a massive range of designs that are easy to install or remove, so you can spruce up a space at a fraction of what it costs to hire a professional painter.


For flooring, hardwood is the most popular. If you already have hardwood, it’s easy enough to sand and stain it in a contemporary shade. If you don’t have hardwood and prefer to install a lower-cost flooring option, look to luxury vinyl planks, wood-look tiles, or a high-quality laminate.

Schedule a Deep Cleaning

After you’ve handled repairs and cosmetic updates, there’s one big project left to tackle: deep cleaning your home. Deep cleaning is a key part of making your house presentable to buyers. While you could do it yourself, it’s unlikely you can clean to the same quality that a professional cleaning service is able, especially when you’re busy with everything else that goes into selling a home. Remember, be sure to declutter before hiring cleaners so they can reach every area of your home. A clutter-free home also appears larger and more attractive to prospective buyers.

Revamp Your Marketing Tactics

Once all that hard work is done, you’ll want to show everyone exactly what your home has to offer. Taking great photos is essential, of course, but you can also dress up your listing to add a little extra style to your listing. That, plus help from a professional realtor, is sure to land you a quick sale!


As for the listing photo itself, as iPhone Photography School explains, there are dozens of apps that will give your pictures a little extra “pop,” though you don’t want to go as far as to misrepresent the way your home looks. That will only cause trouble for you when it’s time to welcome prospective buyers into your house. Learn how to balance these photo-enhancing apps with the power of your smartphone’s camera to take some really wonderful pics.


If this to-do list seems like too much work, consider this: spending time preparing your home to sell saves you time once your house is on the market. And because homes that sell quickly get higher offers, you’ll enjoy higher proceeds from your home sale. If maximizing your sale price is important to you, these six steps are a must-do. 

 United Country Real Estate is the leading, fully integrated network of conventional and auction real estate professionals in the nation. The company has been an innovator in lifestyle and country real estate marketing since 1925. For more information, please contact us today!

About the author: 

Natalie Jones enjoys writing about home buying and hopes to inspire homeowners of all stages to enjoy the perks of homeownership. She created homeownerbliss.info to help soon-to-be homeowners in making their decision during house-hunting. Natalie also loves spending time with her husband working on DIY projects for their home.