Why “For Sale” is More Than Just A Sign: A Checklist to Selling Your Home

Photo by  Fernando Lavin  on  Unsplash

Thinking of selling your home?  Upgrading into a bigger house for your growing family or moving to a new city for work?  There’s a lot to think about and not a decision you want to take lightly. Check out the checklist below to help make the process less stressful and more successful!

1) Find a licensed real estate professional to help sell your home.  

You’ll be so glad you did! Between all the preparation, forms, negotiation, inspections, etc...It’s so good to have a friendly face in your corner to manage the transaction.  

2) Get a free Home Valuation from a real estate agent you trust.  Find out how much your home is worth in today’s market.

3) Discuss your goals. Do you need to move quickly or don’t care how long it takes but need/want to clear a certain amount from your sale? These considerations will affect your pricing. Look at average days on market in your area/price point.  Have a plan!

4) Talk about how the house will be marketed. Do you want an open house every weekend or prefer a more low key approach, like one nice wine & cheese brokers open? How will the house be marketed on social media, on the MLS, yard/pointer signs, postcards, fliers, etc?

There’s lots to do!  Preparing your house to sell is a lot like a great big spring cleaning or purge party...It’s time to put your best foot forward!  

5) Address any deferred maintenance. Haven’t had your HVAC serviced since you moved in? Now is the time! You’ll be glad you did at inspection time.  If there’s a service all that’s overdue, schedule it now.

6) Declutter! Deep clean and get things organized/put away. Box things up in preparation for the move. Place boxes in the basement, attic, garage or closets.  Your agent can give you specific suggestions on making your house more marketable. Maybe painting or replacing that outdated countertop or light fixtures could go a really long way for a little money...lots of bang for your buck if it helps you get a quicker sale/higher sale price in the long run!  To stage or not to stage, so many questions…

7) Take photos of your home for your listing.  Professional photography is so important to help your home really shine!  Ask your agent about Matterport 3D and drone and if your property would benefit from showcasing in these unique ways.  

Photo by  Aaron Huber  on  Unsplash

Photo by Aaron Huber on Unsplash

8) Find any documents for your home. Warranties that transfer, deed restrictions if you are in a neighborhood with an Home Owners Association (HOA), Condo Documents (if applicable) and service records all come in very handy.  Fill out the Seller’s Disclosure carefully. Ask your agent if you have any questions. Now let’s get that sign in the yard!

9) Always be ready for showings. Make sure you have let your agent know any alarms that may be set, door locks with special codes, etc. Have a plan to get out of the house quickly when it’s being shown. If you have an open house scheduled, it’s time to roll out the red carpet. Bake some cookies, write a love letter sighting what you have loved about your house, light candles, etc.  Make your house feel like a home that other folks/families can see themselves in too!

10. Wait for an offer (or three) to come in...Sometimes it happens quickly - First day or even first several hours.  Depending on the condition and price point of your home, some houses take longer to go under contract. What should you expect?  Review with your agent about average days on market in your area or price point, your goals, etc. Have a plan in place. Lay a timeline out in advance addressing when price adjustments will be made if it’s still on the market by a certain date.  Know your bottom line. And prepare for a shifting market to adjust if rates go up or down or the weather changes drastically while you’re on the market.

11). Have a plan for freshening up your listing every once in awhile to get new eyes on it, remind people what a great house you have for sale.

Once you’re under contract, it’s time to relax, right?  Not so fast (lol)!

12) Now it’s time for inspections. The buyers for your lovely abode with ask for repairs after their home inspection. Be prepared. Discuss your level of comfort with making the requested repairs and reply accordingly.  This is the second time your agent will negotiate on your behalf. Hopefully, you and the buyer will eventually agree on the repairs to be made. If not, or if the buyers decide they are unwilling to proceed with the purchase after the inspection, the contract can be voided.

13) After you are through the inspection phase, the appraisal is your last hurdle.  After the appraisal is returned, the lender will let you know if the house appraised.  If it did not, this is the third and last time you, your agent and the buyers will be negotiating. The bank will only lend on the appraised value.  So, you can lower your sale price to the appraised amount, or if you don’t the buyer will have to bring extra money to close that gap. If an agreement cannot be reached, the contract can be terminated.  

Once the appraisal is cleared...Next stop, Closing Day!  

14) Plan your move. Will you be hiring movers or paying friends with pizza?  Renting a truck or borrowing a pick up from a friend? People-Move Movers do a great job!  I personally believe hiring a mover is some of the best money you’ll ever spend! After moving make sure you clean up.  In the contract, you agree to leave the home “broom clean”. Improve your moving karma by leaving the place as good if not better than you found it! The buyers will have a final walk through before closing.

On closing day, remember to bring your photo ID, plus any keys or garage door openers.  Flex those fingers and get ready to sign some serious paperwork.

15) Then it’s time to CELEBRATE!  Congratulations, you just sold your house!!!


If you’re thinking of selling your house or buying your first home, I can help!  Call me for your free home valuation or with any questions you may have about the process.  I’m here and happy to help! Kellie Burton Homepage Realty 502-939-7432 Kellie@KellieBurtonRealtor.com

Free Home Valuation

If you are interested in a Free Home Valuation or simply have questions about the home selling process, call Kellie Burton at 502-939-7432. She is here and always happy to help. No pressure ever, she simply LOVES what she does!