Every homeowner wants their home to sell quickly for a large profit, but it takes more than luck to make this happen. It involves careful planning and knowing how to professionally prepare your house so that it appeals to buyers and results in multiple offers.
- Pick an ideal listing date:
Nationally, the best time of year to list your home to maximize profit and minimize time on market is the first half of May; the best day of the week to list your home for sale is a Saturday.
However, this can vary somewhat based on where you live. (For example, in Los Angeles, the best time of year to list a home for sale is the second half of May) homes listed in this window typically sell three days faster than homes listed at other times and for $6,000 more. The best day of the week to list a home in Los Angeles is Thursday. Remember this data refers to the date your home goes on the market, not the date you go under contract with a buyer or close the sale.
- Research the Market:
Learn what homes similar to yours are selling for so you can get a better sense of what your home is worth. Although you’ll probably make some adjustments as you get closer to your listing date, it doesn’t hurt to run the comps early.
If you’re looking at comps now, remember that home prices can change drastically depending on the season. If you have flexibility in your timeline, aim to sell in the best window for your local real estate market. But remember, even with research, real estate is unpredictable. Keep an eye on factors that may affect pricing in your area, like interest rate changes, property tax increases and job market trends.
- Assess Property Condition:
Understanding the condition of your home will help you match it to comparable properties in your area. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to fix known issues before listing. Here’s an example. If your basement flooded recently, you may have to disclose that to buyers at some point in the sale process, depending on disclosure laws in your state. It might be worth fixing it now so you don’t have to disclose.
If you’re unsure of what needs fixing in your home, get a pre-listing home inspection. It allows you to discover potential issues and address them, instead of the buyer finding them and calling off the deal.
- Find An Agent:
Many sellers establish relationships with agents months in advance. If you don’t have a trustworthy agent in mind yet, now’s the time to start looking for a local professional who can guide you through the selling process and manage most of the pre-listing, marketing, showing and negotiation tasks.
Alternatively, if you plan to sell for sale by owner, account for the additional tasks you’ll have to complete before listing we’ll talk more about this later.
Painting your home a month before listing is the perfect time the walls will still look freshly painted when your home goes on the market, and you’ve already done some of the packing and moving, so you won’t scratch or damage newly painted walls.
Painting a home’s interior is one of the most common pre-listing tasks. According to the Zillow Group Report, 36% of sellers paint the interior before selling. When painting to sell, it’s best to choose a light neutral tone. We found that homes with light-taupe living rooms sell for $2,793 more than expected.