Home Owner Tips, Guest Posts

How to Prepare Your Property For Sale

By Meaghan Loraas Last Updated April 22, 2022 3 min read

Guest Post by Houzeo

In recent years, the property market has shifted. Buyers are picking up homes now rather than waiting, as they fear prices could soar further than they have in the last two years. Homeowners are cashing out some of their net worth by offloading their properties, usually getting tens of thousands — in some instances, hundreds of thousands — more than they paid for the home. But even in this fervent seller’s market, some homeowners have not had great success selling a house. 

Homeowners who fail to attract buyers have to reduce the listing price or eventually resort to accepting an offer that is lower than they think is reasonable.

You can avoid being this kind of seller by preparing your property to sell.

The Secret to Know How to List on MLS Services: Complete These Four Phases 

Plenty of misconceptions exist about FSBO sales. Sellers don’t make as much money selling through flat fee services, or the process takes longer. Most of these misconceptions stem from one thing: sellers being ill-prepared.

Listing your home using FSBO methods, like listing with a traditional agent, requires you to be prepared. If you don’t prepare yourself and your home, you will delay the sale, chasing away many serious buyers.

So, to ensure you have great success when selling a house, the first step to knowing how to list on MLS is being prepared. 

To help you prepare your home, implement these four phases for a lucrative, quick sale.

Phase One: Prepare Critical Documentation

If you’re using a flat fee MLS, the company you approach will need documentation to kickstart the process. This documentation will also be necessary at closing to finalize the transaction. Failing to have them available could sabotage the sale.

  • Sale Contract: The documents from when you bought the home
  • Title and Ownership documents: Documents proving you are the owner of the property
  • Mortgage Documents: Statements or other applicable documents showing up much you still owe on the home.
  • Tax Records: Property tax records stating that you’re up to date on your property taxes.
  • Disclosure Statements: State disclosure agreement detailing the condition of the property.

Besides the disclosure statements, every other document you should have in your possession. But in the case of the disclosure agreement, many flat fee MLS, like Houzeo, Homecoin, and FSBO, will provide you with these documents when listing your home.

You should also keep all documents in both hard and digital copy somewhere safe.

Phase Two: Prepare The Home’s Structure

After preparing the necessary documents for selling a house, shift your focus to preparing the home itself. During this phase, consider the main elements that need repairs or replacement. You don’t need to spend lots of money during this phase, but you should try to fix any pressing issues you may have ignored while owning the home.

Consider fixing the following:

  • Faulty wiring
  • Leaks
  • Window drafts

Prioritize fixing any projects you started on the home but abandoned midway. Incomplete decks, outdoor spaces, bedrooms, or bathrooms should be completed if you can afford to do that. However, if you don’t have the budget, leave these projects as-is as some buyers may consider renovating these areas anyway to suit their tastes. 

Phase Three: Prepare The Home’s Aesthetics

After completing the above preparations, you can focus on aesthetic prep, which includes painting, redecorating, and landscaping.

If you know how to list on MLS services, you know how crucial these aesthetic upgrades are, as they ensure your home is in immaculate condition when it’s photographed. It is absolutely important to post the best pictures of your For Sale By Owner property online. Consider hiring a professional photographer to ensure that the photos that you upload are aesthetically pleasing.

While repairs are critical to securing better offers, beautification will help you get more buyer interest.

When you’re doing these aesthetic changes, keep the buyer in mind. Your preferences aren’t as important as the preferences your buyer will have.

PS: Don’t forget to regrout the tiles in the bathroom.

Phase Four: Conduct Last-Minute Prep

You can clean and declutter last. When cleaning, focus on the bathrooms, laundry room, pantry, kitchen, and master bedroom. You can do the remaining bedrooms and living spaces last unless they’re especially dirty.

The reason you want to spend most of your time cleaning these rooms is that buyers will spend the majority of the viewing time examining these spaces. Cabinets will be opened, imperfections scrutinized. If dirt and grime are present, that is going to be off-putting.

Another room you should consider cleaning when selling a house is the garage. Consider power-washing the floor and clearing away the clutter. Buyers will appreciate these little touches.

If you’re strategic about how you implement the tasks in these four phases, you can have your home ready for listing in under a month. But wait until after you complete these four phases, as each phase plays an integral role in selling a house.