How long does it take to get a house ready to list and sell?

Are you becoming an empty nester? Are you looking for a larger or smaller home? Are you being relocated? Is it time for a change?

In the best circumstances, selling your home isn't something you do in a rush. It calls for planning and preparation. But if you're like most homeowners, you probably aren't sure exactly where to start. Try following these steps:


Pick a date

Assuming you don't have to relocate for a new job next month, you should first decide when you want to sell. The world is full of advice about the best and worst times to sell. All too often it's contradictory. 

Two months before listing

Contact me to help you research your local market and review your home for sale

I will work with you to set a ballpark price by providing comparable properties that have sold in your neighborhood. We can even visit some home on the market to get understand pricing, get ideas for staging, and assess the competition.

We will do a walk-through of your home to discuss and repairs and/or remodeling work that will enhance the sale of your home.

In addition, I will provide a Home Stager for direction on how to prepare your home for sale so that we get top-dollar in the shortest amount of time.

Six weeks before listing

Get your house ready

Hire the necessary trades to repair and/or remodel your home. Paint (or at least wash) interior walls. Fix any cosmetic or functional items that will turn off buyers. Be brutally honest with yourself. This probably isn't the time to do an extensive kitchen remodel, but if you have cabinets that don't close or an avocado green dishwasher in an otherwise modern kitchen, fix it.

One month before listing

Execute your staging plan
If you can, get a storage pod or unit and start packing up, a little at a time. Not only will this help you with the eventual move, but a home that isn't overloaded with furniture and personal items just shows better. If you've been using rooms for storage, time to move the storage offsite. Pack up as many personal items as you can. 

Talk with your neighbors about your plans. Not only is it nice to give them a heads up that you're leaving, but they can help market the property. They may have friends looking for a house who already love your neighborhood.

Two to three weeks before listing

Check your financial picture
Get your loan payout information for your mortgage. You're going to need to know how much you owe so you can figure out what your sales proceeds will be – or if you are going to be doing a short sale in which the sales price won't satisfy the mortgage. Clear up any liens on the property.

Keep cleaning and decluttering
Remove personal items. Make sure furniture makes sense for the space. You don't want potential buyers looking at a room and trying to figure out a function for it. Have a window washer clean your windows to make them sparkle, and be sure the exterior of your home is inviting.

One week before listing

Lights, camera… marketing
Once you've got the house looking its best, time for pictures. I will hire a professional real estate photographer to photograph the interior and exterior of your home. I will also have a virtual floorplan/Matterport developed. I will attend the photography seesion to be sure your home photographs in its best light. You want your home to look good enough that you say "why didn't I do this before?" 

I will create an engaging, accurate and upbeat description of your home. Think about what made you fall in love (or at least in like) with it when you bought it. This will help me in my narrative when I show your home to potantial buyers (I accompany all showings to be sure a buyer understands how great your home and location are).

Listing day and beyond

Go live
It is likely that we have already begun marketing your house as "coming soon". At this time your home will go live in the Multiple Listing Service for all to see (that is if we didn't sell during pre-marketing. In addition, we will have a full markting plan running, including brochures, postcards, advertising and more. 

Live in a perpetual state of clean
You never know when a buyer will call to see your home. Wwe can ask for advanced notice, but one of the keys to successful homeselling is to make your home available when someone wants to see it. Be ready to clear out fast, leaving a sparkling home. Even if you do not have a showing schedule, every bed must be made every morning and the kitchen and baths must be clean.

Watch the offers roll in. Or not
I will provide you with feedback after every showing and open house. If you aren't getting a lot of showings and it's a hot market, an early price adjustment may be in order. Remember, in any market, the sooner you sell, the higher the price you're likely to get. So in these early days, you want to be responsive to what the market has to say.