Find a great listing agent who is willing to give you attention and answer your questions
This is one of the most important steps during your home-selling process. A great agent is not defined by their ability to answer a question quickly (because they might be as clueless as you and just making things up!), but by their ability to say “I’m not sure but I will ask someone who knows and get back to you later on today” and get you the answers you seek ASAP.
I have seen a lot of home sellers mess up here because they assume that an agent who has been on the field for 5-10 years is better than the new agent who just got licensed 3 months ago, yet the new agent is willing to devote more time to the client, ask questions when confused, and acknowledge that they don’t know everything because every transaction is different.
Moral of the story: forget about how long they’ve been an agent for and focus on their willingness to give you their time and have your questions answered. That’s the best transaction and best partner.
Ask your agent about their marketing plan (because you need to know if that agent can get eyes on your house!)
Imagine listing your home and having no idea how it’s going to sell. Yikes.
Every agent must have a “sauce.” A marketing/advertising strategy to get buyers to notice your home, picture themselves in it, and request to see it.
After all, nobody is going to put in an offer if they don’t know your home exists!
Ask your agent for their marketing plan. This is NEVER a one-size fits all scenario because each home and each seller is different from the last.
Ask how they are marketing YOUR home based on your needs.
Sign the listing agreement
After knowing that you and your agent are a great match, and being confident that your agent will get your home sold… time to sign the listing agreement.
The listing agreement is a dated contract between you and your agent (the agent’s brokerage) with an expiration date that states that you agree to list your home with them, go over some legal disclosures, details about your home, go over the commission to be paid to the agents involved, and other moving parts.
Do a pre-listing home inspection
A lot of buyers and sellers think that inspections are only done during the offer and negotiation phase of the home purchase process.
That is not true.
Getting a home inspection done BEFORE you even think about pricing and listing your home can potentially save you hundreds of dollars and headaches down the line.
Of course, this will be at your expense, but considering how much you can save and prevent, this inspection is worth every penny.
Did you know that the home inspection is usually where sales fall apart? I know, shocker. By getting this inspection done prior to listing your home, your home will be in better shape during the next home inspection, which will be done by the buyer.
This can help you sell your home for more and quicker.
Fix the issues the pre-inspection showsbefore listing the property
Obviously, you are not doing a pre-listing inspection just to say that you’ve done it.
Now you have to do the work and make the improvements.
Do not get scared or frozen here. Your agent should have a list of preferred vendors that they can recommend you work with. You can contact them, compare quotes, and choose the one that works for you!
Remember that these improvements have to get done anyway if the buyer’s inspection points things out that have to get fixed. If you do your own pre-inspection, you will save time and money.
This is the easy way.
A fresh coat of paint will instantly revive your home. Paint!
Who doesn’t love a fresh coat of paint!?
It makes the house look very uniform, welcoming, and new.
I can almost always fix everything with paint! Unless something is broken, like a pipe, then flex tape will do (I’m joking, please don’t flex tape anything!)
Painting is crucial for places like the kitchen where the entire family gathers and create unforgettable memories.
You want to spend time in the kitchen painting the cabinets to make them look brand new, as well as the walls and ceiling.
You don’t even have to hire a professional painter as long as you can do it yourself and do it fast and well.
Clean up. Seriously. Clean everything or stage
Understand the importance of CLEANING when you want to sell your house.
You are getting out of there anyway, so why not clean now!?
My dad has always taught me that people eat with their eyes first and then with their mouth. The same applies to home-selling.
Do you have any idea how easy it is to remove things from the countertops, tables, nightstands, and just hide them elsewhere?
This is going to make your property issues stand out, draw more eyes in, get more showings booked, and attract more buyers in general.
Don’t get lazy with this because your home sale depends on it.
IF your home is empty, do not underestimate the power of staging.
Did you know that staged homes spend 90% less time on the market, and increase the sale price by up to 5%?
Staging highlights the best qualities of your home. It also makes your home pictures stand out, and can even disguise certain flaws of your home! It’s truly amazing.
Get the pictures taken by photographer
Don’t take the pictures yourself; let a photographer do that.
A lot of home sellers and agents refuse to hire a professional photographer because they think that their latest iPhone 15 can take photos just as good.
This is not true.
Some agents cover this expense, and I am one of those.
I cannot let my clients settle for less when it is my job to offer more.
Moral of the story: get your home photography done by a professional.
List your home & communicate with your agent
Are you ready for a smoother and faster transaction? I sure am!
Now that you took care of your home and got it ready to sell, it’s time for the fun part: pricing and listing!
You are going to meet with your agent and come up with a listing price for your home. Don’t worry, your agent will run the numbers and explain the process to you.
Then your agent is going to list your home, upload those beautiful pictures of your clean and painted home, and then start implementing their marketing strategies to get home buyers in your home.
I’m Elenny, a NJ Realtor brokered by eXp. If you plan on selling your home and want to experience a smoother transaction, then feel free to text me at (201) 244-4880. If you are not in New Jersey, I can still help you by referring you to one of my partners from your state!