When it’s time to sell your initial thought may be, “what do I do first?” With a fast-trailing second thought being, “what do I need to do before I sell my home that will net me the most money?”

Let’s Create A Checklist Together

Consult with a Pro. It may be because I am good at helping others make decisions, but I believe a skilled Realtor is best suited for this type of consultation because they’re so experienced in getting your house ready to sell. Select your brokerage/agent and then set your plan in motion. The agent can give you input on items that will be of value and benefit, as well as those items that may not worth the return and consequently advise you against doing. A walk-through of your home can result in a list of the most important things to focus on before putting your home on the market for sale.

A Home Pre-Inspection? Usually not needed. If you live in your property, you will know the conditional issues and what needs attention. As the homeowner, it will save you money to seek out the specific tradesman, or a handyman, to address your needs. We work with those in the community who have great reputations, so always feel free to ask for a few names no matter the trade.

Define Work To Do Before Sale. Whether it’s a walk-through by yourself, or with a pro/tradesman, develop a list of items to handle before selling. Paint and flooring are common needs, but it may simply be updating a fixture in the kitchen or bath, replacing cabinetry handles, reglazing a tub, or repairing an appliance, servicing a system-item specific to the property, clearing the rain gutters, or swapping out window blinds/coverings for a clean updated look.

Paint & Flooring: Big Bang! New paint is the most cost-effective improvement a homeowner will consider. It makes everything look fresh and clean, so buyers don’t see something they immediately want to change. Flooring is more expensive but consider it if you have old, colorful, or multiple flooring types throughout. Neutral is the way to go. Carpeting is okay in the bedrooms, but the preference for alternate living spaces is typically wood or vinyl plank.

Exteriors are Essential. Landscape and curb appeal are judged first by the buyer. Take a look at your home’s exterior to determine what you need to do. Anything from raking needles and leaves, trimming trees or bushes, planting pretty color flowerpots or beds, wiping down the BBQ, cleaning the dirt and dust off your front door and porch, cleaning up patio furniture, setting out a fresh Welcome mat, and ensuring the lighting works can make a difference in curb appeal.

Yard/Garage Sales. It’s a great time to get rid of items you don’t want to move to the new place – especially if you’re being charged by the pound! I have found that “Virtual Sales” are very efficient. Simply take good photographs of the items you want to sell and go onto Marketplace on Facebook or other social sites, like, and post them with pricing. It’s always good to have a few helpers at a yard sale to help keep an eye on the flurry of shoppers, and someone else home if you’re showing something posted online. Be cautious.

Simple Staging. Your home may be arranged to sell in a different manner than that which you have it set for your day to day living. Let your Realtor walk you through rooms and identify what items to remove from countertops, what towels and rugs look good, the best angle for furnishings to maximize room space, what personal effects to remove so the buyers can envision themselves in the home, and more! If the property is vacant, ask your Realtor about possibly setting up a staging service.

Scent and Lighting. A welcoming scent does wonders. If you didn’t just finish baking cookies before the start of an open house or showing, plug-ins, candles, and fresh flowers are a nice touch. In addition, go room-to-room and make sure all light bulbs work, match and are the same color hue (like a bathroom vanity panel). Identify which lights may be left on should showings include arrivals after dark. When a Realtor shows a property or holds an open house, and during professional photography, all lights are on. So make sure your bulbs are nice.

At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Advantage Realty, our agents go above and beyond. Give us a call and let’s do business together this year! For more info visit our website at

Kelly Giurbino

Designated Broker, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Advantage Realty

AZ Real Estate Lic #BR690481000

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