So you've decided you're ready to sell your home. Wondering what to do before you list? We recommend you go through a short checklist to make sure you will be positioning your home to sell quickly, for the highest value possible. Every small step you can take before your home makes its debut on the market will be one less task you have to scramble to complete after it’s listed.

5 Things You Must do Before You List Your Home for Sale

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Get an Idea of The Property’s Value

Your agent will, of course, be able to give you an expert’s assessment of your property’s value, but it’s important to do your homework beforehand to set expectations about what the market is like and what your home might be worth. Chances are not only that the market has changed since you bought the home, but that the value of comparable homes in the area have changed as well. Use sites like Zillow and Trulia to see comparable values of recently sold homes in your neighborhood. Be realistic and check out homes of similar sizes and on similar plots of land.

Get Your Paperwork Straight

Assuming a good deal of time has passed since you bought your home, you may have filed away important paperwork that would one day be relevant to have in front of you. Now is that day! Gather everything you can before you call in an agent to list the home. You will of course need to have necessary legal documents such as the deed to the house, property tax paperwork, and documents related to your mortgage. In addition, you’ll want to have any building permits, documents or contracts from contractors you may have used for renovations, and warranties for functional structures such as furnaces or kitchen appliances.  

Replace Anything Major That You’ve Been Putting Off

On that note, is your furnace or air conditioner on it’s last legs? Does your oven stop working from time to time? Is your carpeting outdated or stained? Unless you’re planning on marketing your home as a fixer-upper, it’s time to replace those essential, functional pieces. Yes, it could cost you a pretty penny, but chances are you will able to make most of that money back in your sale.

Make Minor Cosmetic Repairs and Touch-ups

Now that you’ve taken care of the big stuff, you might want to make a few minor or cosmetic updates so that your home photographs beautifully (which I’ll get to in a minute...). If you have scuffed paint, any unhinged cabinets, outdated or broken door knobs ot drawer pulls, now is the time to update them. Don’t neglect your front yard, either! Curb appeal matters, so weed your flowerbeds, get old leaves out of your gutter, and mow the lawn. You want your potential buyers to imagine how wonderful it would be to live in your home, not stress about how much work they’d have to do before they could even move in.

Clean, Declutter & Take Awesome Photos

Now for the final touches. While it’s important that your home looks inviting and lived-able, you want to be careful about keeping around any overly personal touches or cluttered aesthetics like a sloppy bookshelf. Take a look around and think about what you can do to tidy the place up. In addition, do a quick clean of your entire home (or hire a professional to do it for you). Once your countertops and bathtubs are sparking clean, you’re ready for photos. Remember that before any potential buyers stop by for a showing or open house, they are likely going to see photos online or in an ad. See here for some of my tips on how to take great photos of your home.


Now that you’ve covered all your bases, you’re ready to find an agent and start the process of listing your home! And if you’re looking to sell your home in DC or the surrounding areas, let’s chat about how to get you a tax-free, cash back rebate by working with Glass House.

Work with Glass House to sell your home fast and earn a cash rebate.

Work with Glass House to sell your home fast and earn a cash rebate.

Khalil El-Ghoul

"Thanks for reading! I’m passionate about empowering home buyers and sellers with professional advice and unbiased information, throughout the real estate transaction. Unlike most agents, I always put clients first. When it comes to negotiating, marketing homes, and sealing the deal, I’ve got the experience and knowledge you’re looking for. If you have any questions about moving to VA, D.C., or MD, don’t hesitate to reach out."