Plan your next housing situation

Don’t jump the gun too early and start the home selling process without knowing what your next housing situation is. Determine if you are going to buy a home, build a new home, or rent. Odds are you will be buying a home, so below are some great high-level steps to take when preparing to buy a house. We wrote a complete Home Buying Step by Step Guide with great detail on the steps below.

  • Check your credit report and dispute any inaccuracies
  • Be smart with your money
  • Figure out how much you can afford
  • Gather required tax, legal, and bank documents for your mortgage lending process
  • Research desirable areas to live
  • Find a great real estate agent & mortgage lender


It could be a good idea to hire your own independent home inspector before considering listing your house on the market. A home inspection will give you a list of any major repairs that might be needed before you sell your home. It is also important to take note of any issues or specifics on your home that may pop-up during a later inspection or home buyer request.

  • Get an independent home inspection
  • Make a list of home features, broken items, and maintenance items
    • Year the house was built
    • Appliances in work order and year replaced
    • Roofing age and condition
    • HVAC age and condition
    • Windows age and condition
    • Siding age and condition
    • Sprinkler system condition
    • Known issues with foundation
    • Mold and mildew problems
    • Lead paint
    • Smoke alarm and carbon monoxide systems
    • Pest problems
    • Plumbing problems
    • Average utility bill amount
    • Electrical system (fuse or electrical panel)

Get a top-notch real estate agent

Once you are comfortable that your house is getting closer to peak “market-readiness”, it is time to start looking for a great real estate agent. Choosing the right real estate agent will ease the remaining processes to selling your home, and your real estate agent will help you evaluate repairing items, cleaning, decluttering, and staging your home!

  • Gather real estate agent recommendations from friends and family
  • Talk to at least three real estate agents
  • Narrow down and select your real estate agent
  • Find out how much you owe on your existing mortgage
  • Ballpark your net proceeds from selling your home

Let Captain Home Finder guide you on your journey to selling your home!

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Evaluate. Fix. Repair.

Sit down with your real estate agent and determine what updates and repairs are necessary. You will want to know how much you are willing to spend on these pre-market repairs and how much time you want to invest improving the appearance of your home.

  • Determine a repair budget
  • Gather your list of known issues and findings from the home inspector
  • Evaluate the pros and cons of completing a repair or upgrade
  • Write down your repair and improvement timeline
    • Prioritize your list
    • Assess who will complete the work
    • Gather estimates if you are hiring a professional to complete a major repair
  • Document and gather any necessary permits for repairs and upgrades


Once you have completed all of your repairs and upgrades the next step is to start cleaning your house.

  • Whole house items
    • Light switches coverings
    • Light bulbs and fixtures
    • Carpet cleaning
    • Mop/Swiffer flooring
    • Blinds and window coverings
    • Wash windows
    • Vents
    • Paint
    • Dust walls, ceilings, baseboards, windows, and fans
  • Kitchen
    • Countertops, backsplash, and grouting
    • Stove
    • Oven
    • Microwave
    • Dishwasher
    • Refrigerator
    • Sink
  • Living Room/Dining Room
    • Tables and side tables
    • Chairs
    • Dust and clean any entertainment towers or stations
    • Dust TV
    • Built-ins
    • Fireplace and mantel
  • Bedrooms
    • Clean bedspreads, sheets, and pillows
    • Nightstands
    • Headboards
    • Closet spaces
    • Dressers
  • Bathrooms
    • Countertops, sinks, and faucets
    • Shower or tub
    • Mirrors
    • Shower curtains
    • Cabinet space
  • Laundry/Mud Room
    • Appliances
    • Countertops

Declutter and Depersonalize

With your home now shining and clean, you can start to declutter and depersonalize. The key concepts to keep in mind during this stage is simplicity and “one room, one purpose”. This means if you have a bonus room you use as a toy room, office, and occasional guest bedroom, it is best to prepare and show it for one of those purposes.

  • Remove any family photos
  • Remove items hanging on your fridge
  • Reduce hanging art to only a few items per room
  • Keep busy items off all tables; only have decorative show pieces
  • Store all toys
  • Put all cleaning supplies out of sight
  • Reduce clothes in closet to maximize the perception of space
  • Take out the garbage
  • Box up any sparingly used cooking appliances/utensils from the kitchen counters


You have reached the home stretch! Depending on the current condition and decor of your home, you may not have much staging to do. If you have already moved to a new house or apartment you could have a lot of staging!

  • Determine if you need to get additional furniture pieces to fill blank spaces
  • Rearrange furniture to highlight your homes floorplan and space
  • Place a nice centerpiece and table runner on the dining table
  • White towels in the bathrooms
  • Throw pillows for bedrooms and couches
  • Decorative blankets for couches and bedrooms
  • Open curtains
  • Remove pets and evidence of pets from the home
  • Turn on all of your lights and install higher wattage bulbs to make rooms brighter
  • Remove rugs that hide too much hardwood flooring
  • Trim any shrubs or trees
  • Rake yard and pick up any fallen sticks
  • Clear walkways and driveway of debris

Closing Thoughts

There are definitely a lot of things to do to get your house ready to sell, but if you take it step by step and plan it out you will be well ahead of your competitors. In the end, it is not about repairing and upgrading your home to perfection, it is about making your home stand out from your comps and ultimately having the place home buyers put offers in on! We wish you good luck on your home selling journey and would love to help you check some items off this list!