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Future Home Seller To-Dos

October 2, 2017

Selling your home is a major decision. While it often means a new life chapter is about to begin, there are plenty of details to sort out before you can move on. Before popping up the "For Sale" sign, there are several things you can do to catch the attention of potential buyers and encourage a speedy sale. Getting your home market-ready is not something that happens overnight, so getting started as soon as possible is critical.

If you’re a prospective home seller, here are five things you can do now to get ready:

  1. Conduct a home inspection. Avoid being caught off guard by conducting an inspection before listing your home. Go through every room of your house and make a list of necessary repairs and value-enhancing cosmetic improvements that need to be completed before putting your home on the market. If you are confused about where to start, hiring a professional inspector could be a worthwhile investment. A professional inspection will help you save time, properly price your home, and get ahead of buyer demands that could come up in the closing process.
  2. Finish projects & repairs. Did you start a project years ago that you just haven't finished yet? What about that doorknob in the guest bathroom that you keep forgetting to fix? Now's the time to complete any home improvement projects you've started. Move-in ready homes are appealing to prospective buyers, so map out a game plan for completing projects and repairs by your listing date.
  3. Take exterior pictures. Online "curb appeal" is usually the first thing potential buyers see of your home. Make a great first impression by taking photos when your home looks its best. With the bare trees and snow-covered roofs, winter is probably one of the worst times to take listing photos. Fall in New England is unlike any other; get those exterior shots now to take advantage of the beautiful foliage and autumn light.
  4. Do your homework. Start researching price trends and potential realtors in your market. Monitor other listings in your area to see how your home compares. If you are attending any holiday gatherings this coming season, they are a great place to gain leads on possible agents. Your choice of a listing agent will make a big difference in the home selling process. And remember, don’t pick the realtor that tells you they can sell your home for the highest price; pick the one that has a detailed market analysis and a strong marketing plan.
  5. Pack & declutter. Whether you plan to put your home on the market in a few weeks or a few months, life can get busy and time can sneak up on you. Get ahead of the game by sorting, organizing, and packing now. A great way to pack and declutter your home is by creating three different piles: keep, trash, and donate. Plus, a decluttered household makes it easier for buyers to imagine themselves and their belongings in your home.

Although preparing your home may seem like a daunting task at first, it's a process that has proven to save time and money once your home is on the market.

Jim Oosterman is the Vice President of Melrose Bank. He can be reached by telephone at 781-665-2500, online at, or on Facebook at

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