Pre Listing Checklist -Steps to Selling Your Home

6 Steps to Preparing Your Home for Listing in the MLS

Congratulations! You have signed a Residential Listing Agreement to list your home for sale. What’s next?

Here’s my Listing Checklist for preparing your home for listing in the MLS.

6 Steps to Preparing Your Home for Listing in the MLS

  • Property Details
  • Seller Disclosures
  • Cleaning & Staging
  • Photography Appointment
  • Schedule Open Houses
  • For Sale Sign

Property Details

My first step in preparing your home for listing is gathering Property Details. As your listing agent, I want the online listing and other marketing materials to be as complete as possible. I ask about building materials, upgrades, repairs, and appliance specifications. I also ask for any special details about the homeowner’s association, neighborhood, and community. I will recommend any repairs to improve a buyer’s first impression of the home.

Seller Disclosures

My second step in preparing your home for listing is completing the Seller Disclosures. Sellers are required to fill out a number of seller disclosures, such as the Seller Property Questionnaire, Transfer Disclosure Statement, and the Carbon Monoxide Detector Notice. Sellers must disclose any material facts they are aware of, such as leaks, broken appliances, and any other issues with the property. Read more about Seller Disclosures.

Cleaning & Staging

My third step in preparing your home for listing is cleaning and staging. I always recommend a professional cleaning, including interior and exterior window washing. Once the property has been professionally cleaned, it is ready to be staged.  Professionally staged homes tend to sell faster, and for more money.

Whether or not you decide to pay for full professional staging, I offer my clients a Home Staging Consultation, that gives you detailed room-by-room recommendations to enhance the presentation of your home. The professional stager will also define areas in the home to create flow and function. Suggestions may include rearranging or changing out furniture, adding accessories, and decluttering.

Photography Appointment

My fourth step in preparing your home for listing is the Photography Appointment. The Internet photographs of your home are very important, because they usually create a buyer’s first impression.

My professional photographer works to show your home in the best condition for online viewers. Here are some tips to prepare your home for the photography appointment:

  1. If you have turfgrass in your front yard, mow it the day before and clean up trimmings and weeds. Trim hedges.
  2. Organize any toys and other items in your front and backyards.
  3. Keeping water restrictions in mind, you may want to give the front of your home and garage door a quick rinse with a hose, to remove dust and cobwebs.
  4. Sweep your front entryway.
  5. If needed, touch up the paint on your front door.
  6. Inside, clear off tables and countertops as much as possible. Your home should look like a hotel, with clean, clear surfaces, and minimal decorations.
  7. Remove all pets and pet-related items, such as food bowls, leashes, and toys.
  8. Open all curtains and blinds. Let in as much natural light as possible.

Schedule Open Houses

My fifth step in preparing your home for listing is scheduling open houses. Often, I list on a Thursday, to give buyers and their agents time to schedule for a weekend showing. I prefer hold open houses on both Saturday and Sunday, to attract as many interested buyers as possible.

For Sale Sign

My sixth and final step in preparing your home for listing is the installation of the For Sale sign in your front yard or window. I also drop off property flyers and business cards for prospective buyers and their agents. This usually happens a couple of days before your home is listed in the MLS.

If anyone knocks on your door requesting a showing, just hand them my business card, or tell them to call the phone number printed on the For Sale sign.

What’s Next?

In San Diego County, most homes go into escrow within two or three weeks. Every case is a little different, but homes that are priced appropriately and in good showing condition are usually sold quickly. My Seller Escrow Timeline article gives you an idea of what to expect during the escrow process.

As always, contact me with any questions, or if you are interesting in selling your home. You can also read more about my Home Seller Services and Seller Closing Costs.