Home Selling Tips | Home Seller's Checklist | Chicago For Sale By Owner

Home Seller Checklist

  1. Find a Listing Agent - Interview a few agents and select someone you are comfortable with who has experience in the area you’re selling.
  2. Inspect Main Systems - Any damage or issues with your home’s key structural or functional elements should be assessed. Material defects must be disclosed, so it can really pay off to have them fixed.
  3. Make Minor Repairs - Small problems, such as loose door handles and peeling paint, can easily be corrected without too much expense or time.
  4. Spring Cleaning - Clean like you’ve never cleaned before. From the window panes to the bathtub grout, everything in your home should be spotless.
  5. Replace Worn Out Items - After years of use, some stuff just needs to be replaced. Change heating and A/C filters, get new carpeting if needed, re-caulk the bath tiles, switch out old bulbs, etc.
  6. Do Your Yard Work - Mow the lawn, prune bushes, rake and bag leaves, plant flowers, trim trees touching your house, sweep the porch and driveway, and keep it up until the home is sold.
  7. Organize Your Paperwork - Have on hand the manuals and warranties for household fundamentals, such as the air conditioner, furnace, kitchen appliances, roof, carpeting, etc.
  8. Have a Garage Sale - Go through every inch of your home and get rid of any items you don’t want to bring to the next place. Hold a yard sale (or a couple) before putting the house on the market.
  9. De-Personalize Your Home - Take down family photos, personal mementos, your kid’s refrigerator art…
  10. Neutralize It - Paint over brightly colored walls with neutral shades (beige, taupe, light hues) and simplify the space by removing knick-knacks and excess furniture.
  11. De-Clutter the Counters - Clean excess objects off of tables, counters and other surfaces. Even put away items like coffee makers, toaster ovens, dish drainers, toothbrushes, junk mail and magazines.
  12. Store Nonessentials - Box up surplus belongings and store them (you may need to rent a locker). Eliminate off-season clothing from your closet and clear off bookcases and store both.
  13. Get CMAs - A Comparative Market Analysis specifies what similar properties in your area have sold for during the past three months. It provides a point of reference for your home’s value.
  14. Price Your Home - Work with your agent and a home appraiser to determine a reasonable and satisfactory asking price.
  15. Sell Your Home - Your agent will be showing your home to prospective buyers, but open houses can catch random weekend house hunters who are just driving through the neighborhood.

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