QuickSearch

The Homeseller’s Checklist

1. Before Buying Your Home

2. Waiting to Buy Your Home

3. After Buying Your Home

Submit the form below to have a realtor contact you about buying a home

1. Gauge your need to sell.
a. Define your goals for the next 5-10 years.
b. Weigh the pros and cons of selling your house.
c. Figure out if you can afford to sell, move and buy a new home.
d. Calculate your home equity.
e. Research the local housing market.
f. Consider remodeling the home to fit your needs.
g. Weigh the pros and cons of renting out your home.

2. Calculate your selling expenses.
a. List the repairs and projects you’ll have to do to get your home in selling condition and estimate the costs of hiring supplies and contractors.
b. See what projects you can afford and adjust how much you expect to get for selling your home.
c. To get top dollar, consider remodeling projects and green upgrades that increase your home value.
d. Expect to pay about 7 percent to 10 percent of the home’s sale price in closing costs, including real estate agent commissions, transfer taxes and prorated property taxes.
e. Professional home inspection
f. Capital gains tax
g. Mortgage payoff penalties
h. Staging and marketing expenses
i. Moving expenses
j. Cost of living in new city or neighborhood
k. Costs related to getting a mortgage for new home

3. Plan your selling strategy.
a. Determine how fast you need to sell your house and how much money you want to get from the sale.
b. Interview at least three reputable real estate brokers and list your home on the multiple listing service (MLS).
c. Weigh the pros and cons of selling the home yourself.
d. Learn how to go about selling your home yourself.
e. Consider a physical or online auction for a quick sale in a slow market.
f. Look into home-swapping opportunities online.
g. Plan your sale during the spring or fall peak homebuying seasons.
h. If you go FSBO (For Sale By Owner), hire a real estate agent or attorney.
i. If you hire a listing agent, negotiate terms of your listing contract, such as commissions and termination date.
j. Determine your home’s strengths and unique features and promote them in all advertising.

4. Determine your home’s fair market value (FMV) and set a price.
a. Research public records and collect information on comps — comparable homes in your area with similar square footage, construction, age and condition that sold within the past six months and are currently on the market.
b. Browse listings for homes for sale in your area to get a sense of what is on the market and current home prices.
c. Ask your agent to prepare a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) report.
d. Find out about new construction and foreclosures in your area.
e. Figure out the average cost per square foot for your area, and make sure your home is in line with it.
f. Evaluate market trends, including whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market.
g. Use your FMV to determine your asking price. Consider pricing strategies such as pricing low to urge a bidding war or Value Range Marketing.

5. Advertise and market the home.
a. MLS listings
b. “For Sale” signs
c. Classified sections of local newspapers
d. Real estate publications
e. Put ads on free Web sites like craigslist.com.
f. Create your own Web site to promote your home.
g. Email notices or flyers about your home to real estate agents, friends, family, coworkers, everyone.
h. Use photos to showcase your home. Hire a professional real estate photographer or learn how to take great pictures yourself.
i. Use a handheld video camera to give online buyers a virtual tour of your home, by walking through each room and talking about its features.

6. Prepare and stage the home.
a. Inspect your home and see what needs to be fixed
i. What year was your house built?
i. Do your lights flicker, or breakers or fuses blow?
ii. Do you have a fuse box or electrical panel?
iii. Do you have aluminum wiring, or knob and tube?
iv. What condition is your plumbing in?
v. How old is your furnace?
vi. How often do you replace your furnace filters?
vii. Do you have a water softener?
viii. Is your roof in good condition?
ix. Are your windows in good condition?
x. What condition is your foundation in?
xi. If you have a deck or patio, what condition are they in?
xii. Do you have any water problems?
xiii. Have you had problems with mold and mildew?
b. Pre-packing/Clutter/Editing
i. Does each room in your house feel spacious?
ii. Is your house clean from top to bottom?
iii. Pre-pack all items that you do not need while selling your house
iv. Pre-pack off-season clothing and items
v. Decide where you can store your boxes and extra items
vi. How does your garage look?
vii. If your basement is unfinished and used for storage, how does it look?
c. Flooring
i. What condition is your carpet in?
ii. What color is the carpet?
iii. What style is your carpet – Cut pile or Berber?
iv. Take into consideration the rooms you are carpeting, as this will help determine what style to select.
v. If you need to replace your carpet, do you need to re-do every room? If not, select something that will work with rest of the carpet in the house.
vi. What style of vinyl flooring do you have?
vii. Does it need to be replaced?
viii. Do you have hardwood?
ix. Does it need to be refinished?
x. Do you have hardwood under your carpet?
d. Curb Appeal Checklist (Front, Back & Side Yard)
i. What major repairs are needed?
ii. What minor repairs are needed?
iii. Make a list of what needs to be done
iv. Sweep or shovel walkways, driveways, patio/deck (salt in the winter)
v. Maintain front, back and side yard
vi. Place flowers or winter arrangements on your front porch and/or in front of the garage
vii. Remove all festive lights and decorations
e. Paint
i. When was the last time you painted your house?
ii. Do your walls need to be painted a neutral color?
iii. If they are already neutral do they need a fresh coat of paint?
iv. Determine whether your house has a warm tone or cool tone before selecting your paint color
v. Do you have wallpaper?
vi. Remove all wallpaper and paint a neutral color
vii. Do your doors and trim need a fresh coat of paint?
viii. Repair any holes or cracks in the walls and ceilings
ix. Put a fresh coat of paint on the ceiling to give the entire room a clean look
f. Depersonalizing
i. Remove all personal and family photos
ii. Remove all memorabilia
iii. Pre-pack books and music that do not appeal to a wide range of buyers
iv. Pre-pack your collections
v. Remove and pre-pack any items that could be potentially offensive or disagreeable
vi. Store away and organize children’s toys, games and books
g. Main Selling Rooms
i. Front Entrance
1. How do the rooms look from where you are standing?
2. Does your entrance feel spacious?
ii. Kitchen
1. How does the kitchen look and feel when you walk into it?
2. Determine what needs to be done if your kitchen requires some updating
3. How do your cupboards look?
iii. Living Room
1. Does this room feel inviting?
2. How is your furniture positioned?
3. Are there any repairs or upgrades needed in this room?
iv. Dining Room
1. Does this room show its function?
2. Are there any upgrades or repairs needed?
3. How is the furniture positioned?
v. Main Floor Family Room
1. What is the focal point in this room? Is it apparent?
2. Are there any upgrades or repairs needed?
3. How is the furniture positioned?
vi. Master Bedroom
1. Do you feel calm walking into this room?
2. How is your furniture positioned?
3. Are there any updates or repairs needed?
vii. Master Bathroom
1. Are there any updates or repairs needed?
2. Do you feel relaxed when you walk into this room?
h. Updates & Repairs
i. What is your timeline and budget?
ii. What updates have you been putting off?
iii. What repairs are needed?
iv. Repair or replace even the smallest items
v. What condition are your windows in?
vi. What condition are your permanent light fixtures in?
vii. What condition are your doors and trim in?
viii. Do you have any holes or cracks in your walls
i. Furniture Placement & Lighting
i. How much furniture is in each room?
ii. How is your furniture placed?
iii. What size is your furniture?
iv. What condition is your furniture in?
v. Do you need to rent or purchase new furniture?
vi. How much lighting do you have in each room?
vii. What condition are your permanent light fixtures in?
j. Air Quality/Ordor/Pets/Holidays
i. What year was your house built?
ii. Have you had any water issues?
iii. Check for mold or mildew
iv. Inspect your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace if needed
v. Avoid cooking with strong seasonings and foods that have a lingering smell
vi. Remove your pets while the house is on the market
vii. Remove any signs of the pets (e.g. food and water bowls, toys, litter box, leashes)
viii. If your pets must stay in the house, hide any sign of your pet during showings
ix. Keep the litter box out of sight and cleaned daily
x. What time of year are you selling?
xi. Are there going to be any holidays during that time?
xii. Decorate using items that are simple and nondenominational
xiii. Any holiday specific decorations need to be removed immediately after the celebrations

7. Set up showings and open houses.
a. Keep the home in show-ready condition at all times.
b. Take appointments or set up a lockbox so agents can show the home when you’re not available.
c. Hold an exclusive open house for local real estate agents to introduce them to the home and get feedback. Include food and refreshments.
d. Hold an open house for potential buyers. Advertise in local publications and put up signage in the area.

8. Review purchase offers.
a. For each offer, note the proposed offer price, preapproval letter, contingencies, earnest money amount, proposed closing date and offer expiry date.
b. Have a process in place if you expect to get multiple offers.
c. Keep emotions in check when receiving lowball offers.

9. Make counteroffers and negotiate.
a. Approach each offer as an opportunity to negotiate
b. If the buyer’s offer is contingent on selling a home, counter with a Removal of Sale Contingency.
c. If you won’t budge on price, offer financial incentives that don’t require cash out of your pocket, such as paying for part or all of the buyer’s closing costs, repairs found during the property inspections or points
d. Offer to include furniture, appliances, window treatments or lighting fixtures.
e. If you’re worried you won’t be able to buy a home after you sell, include a “rent back” clause which lets you rent back your home from the buyers after escrow closes.
f. Make a full-price counteroffer, if your comps can back it up.
g. Make the sale contingent on your buying a home
h. Don’t forget to set a closing date and move-in date.
i. If you find a serious buyer who is having trouble qualifying for a mortgage, consider offering seller financing, a mortgage assumption or a lease-to-own deal.

10. Get through escrow.
a. Create a formal plan for handling home repairs, including when they should be made and who pays for them
b. Clean and prepare the home for the appraisal and home inspections
c. Choose an escrow officer who will order a title search, request payoff information for your mortgage and other liens on the home, prepare and record documents, hold and disburse funds and prepare closing statements.
d. Prepare for the final walk-through inspection.
e. Sign the closing documents and move out of your home
f. Keep copies of your documents for reporting the sale on federal and state tax forms.
Staging Your Home The Details Check List
1. Inspect your home and see what needs to be fixed
k. What year was your house built?
l. Do your lights flicker, or breakers or fuses blow?
m. Do you have a fuse box or electrical panel?
n. Do you have aluminum wiring, or knob and tube?
o. What condition is your plumbing in?
p. How old is your furnace?
q. How often do you replace your furnace filters?
r. Do you have a water softener?
s. Is your roof in good condition?
t. Are your windows in good condition?
u. What condition is your foundation in?
v. If you have a deck or patio, what condition are they in?
w. Do you have any water problems?
x. Have you had problems with mold and mildew?
2. Pre-packing/Clutter/Editing
a. Does each room in your house feel spacious?
b. Is your house clean from top to bottom?
c. Pre-pack all items that you do not need while selling your house
d. Pre-pack off-season clothing and items
e. Decide where you can store your boxes and extra items
f. How does your garage look?
g. If your basement is unfinished and used for storage, how does it look?
3. Flooring
a. What condition is your carpet in?
b. What color is the carpet?
c. What style is your carpet – Cut pile or Berber?
d. Take into consideration the rooms you are carpeting, as this will help determine what style to select.
e. If you need to replace your carpet, do you need to re-do every room? If not, select something that will work with rest of the carpet in the house.
f. What style of vinyl flooring do you have?
g. Does it need to be replaced?
h. Do you have hardwood?
i. Does it need to be refinished?
j. Do you have hardwood under your carpet?
4. Curb Appeal Checklist (Front, Back & Side Yard)
a. What major repairs are needed?
b. What minor repairs are needed?
c. Make a list of what needs to be done
d. Sweep or shovel walkways, driveways, patio/deck (salt in the winter)
e. Maintain front, back and side yard
f. Place flowers or winter arrangements on your front porch and/or in front of the garage
g. Remove all festive lights and decorations
5. Paint
a. When was the last time you painted your house?
b. Do your walls need to be painted a neutral color?
c. If they are already neutral do they need a fresh coat of paint?
d. Determine whether your house has a warm tone or cool tone before selecting your paint color
e. Do you have wallpaper?
f. Remove all wallpaper and paint a neutral color
g. Do your doors and trim need a fresh coat of paint?
h. Repair any holes or cracks in the walls and ceilings
i. Put a fresh coat of paint on the ceiling to give the entire room a clean look
6. Depersonalizing
a. Remove all personal and family photos
b. Remove all memorabilia
c. Pre-pack books and music that do not appeal to a wide range of buyers
d. Pre-pack your collections
e. Remove and pre-pack any items that could be potentially offensive or disagreeable
f. Store away and organize children’s toys, games and books
7. Main Selling Rooms
a. Front Entrance
i. How do the rooms look from where you are standing?
ii. Does your entrance feel spacious?
b. Kitchen
i. How does the kitchen look and feel when you walk into it?
ii. Determine what needs to be done if your kitchen requires some updating
iii. How do your cupboards look?
c. Living Room
i. Does this room feel inviting?
ii. How is your furniture positioned?
iii. Are there any repairs or upgrades needed in this room?
d. Dining Room
i. Does this room show its function?
ii. Are there any upgrades or repairs needed?
iii. How is the furniture positioned?
e. Main Floor Family Room
i. What is the focal point in this room? Is it apparent?
ii. Are there any upgrades or repairs needed?
iii. How is the furniture positioned?
f. Master Bedroom
i. Do you feel calm walking into this room?
ii. How is your furniture positioned?
iii. Are there any updates or repairs needed?
g. Master Bathroom
i. Are there any updates or repairs needed?
ii. Do you feel relaxed when you walk into this room?
8. Updates & Repairs
a. What is your timeline and budget?
b. What updates have you been putting off?
c. What repairs are needed?
d. Repair or replace even the smallest items
e. What condition are your windows in?
f. What condition are your permanent light fixtures in?
g. What condition are your doors and trim in?
h. Do you have any holes or cracks in your walls
9. Furniture Placement & Lighting
a. How much furniture is in each room?
b. How is your furniture placed?
c. What size is your furniture?
d. What condition is your furniture in?
e. Do you need to rent or purchase new furniture?
f. How much lighting do you have in each room?
g. What condition are your permanent light fixtures in?
10. Air Quality/Ordor/Pets/Holidays
a. What year was your house built?
b. Have you had any water issues?
c. Check for mold or mildew
d. Inspect your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace if needed
e. Avoid cooking with strong seasonings and foods that have a lingering smell
f. Remove your pets while the house is on the market
g. Remove any signs of the pets (e.g. food and water bowls, toys, litter box, leashes)
h. If your pets must stay in the house, hide any sign of your pet during showings
i. Keep the litter box out of sight and cleaned daily
j. What time of year are you selling?
k. Are there going to be any holidays during that time?
l. Decorate using items that are simple and nondenominational
m. Any holiday specific decorations need to be removed immediately after the celebrations