4 Things to do Before Listing Your House in Santa Cruz

If you’re getting ready to sell your house, you know you can’t just stick a for-sale sign in the front yard and expect buyers to start rolling. No, you have to do a lot to get it ready – so much to do that it can be overwhelming. So where do you begin, and what tasks should you really take care of? You have limited time, money, and energy, and some things just won’t yield a good return on the investment. We’ve got you covered. Read on to discover the 4 most important things to do before listing your house in Santa Cruz.

1. Declutter and Depersonalize

Any major job begins with seeing to the basics and doing first things first. And when it comes to what you should do before listing your house in Santa Cruz, that means decluttering and depersonalizing.

So you first need to get rid of (or get out of sight) all that stuff cluttering up your home. “Less is definitely more when it comes to getting your house ready to [list] . . . Do a clean sweep of counters, windowsills, tables, and all other visible areas, and then tackle behind closed doors: closets, drawers, and cupboards – since virtually nothing is off-limits for curious buyers. If the house is overflowing with stuff, buyers might worry that the house won’t have ample space for their own belongings. They won’t sign up to pay a mortgage if they think they’ll also have to rent a storage space.”

In addition to decluttering, you also need to think about depersonalizing. That means you need to remove anything that imprints your personality on the home. Buyers need to be able to envision the house as their home with all their belongings in place. So “remove personal items and family photos, as well as bold artwork and furniture that might make the home less appealing to the general public. The goal is to create a blank canvas on which buyers can project their own visions of living there, and loving it.”

2. Take Care of Maintenance and Make Minor Repairs

Also, before listing your house, you should take care of (possibly deferred) maintenance tasks and make any needed minor repairs. 

You must make sure everything is in good working order because buyers will notice anything that isn’t functioning properly. Here are some of the common maintenance tasks to be taken care of before listing your house . . . 

  • Service the HVAC system
  • Change all air filters
  • Patch any holes in the drywall
  • Make sure windows open and close easily and are well sealed
  • Replace burnt-out light bulbs
  • Fix any leaking faucets
  • Make sure bathroom fixtures and kitchen appliances are working as they should

Also, before listing your house, you need to make all the needed repairs that are called for. According to industry pros, “repairs can make or break a sale.”

“Replace cracked floor or counter tiles, and patch any holes in the walls. Fix leaky faucets and doors that don’t close properly, as well as kitchen drawers that jam. Consider painting walls neutral colors, especially if they’re currently hot pink or purple. Don’t give buyers any reason to remember your home as ’the one with the orange bathroom.’ . . . You want the buyer’s experience to be as positive as possible.”

3. Work on Curb Appeal 

And don’t neglect curb appeal when preparing for listing your house in Santa Cruz. [F]or better or worse, buyers do tend to judge a book by its cover. You want to make sure potential buyers’ first impression of your home is a good one – and inspires them to stop by the open house or schedule a tour – so they can see more.”

You don’t have to spend a ton of money on major landscaping either. Taking care of the small things can make a huge difference, such things as mowing and edging, trimming shrubs, planting flowers, and painting the front door.

Consider, for example, that laying down fresh mulch in beds typically yields a 126% ROI. And just simple landscaping can make your home worth up to 10% more than similar homes with no landscaping.

4. Find an Experienced Local Agent

Finally – and this may be the most effective thing you can do before listing your house – you need to find an experienced Santa Cruz agent. 

Yes, you can sell your house on your own, especially in the seller’s market that currently obtains in most areas. But should you? Most of the time, sellers are better off working with an agent, both in terms of speed of sale and sale price. One top agent said that “a ‘for sale by owner’ transaction is almost always a disaster, leading you to sacrifice both money and time. That’s why one of the most important things to do before selling your house is finding a great real estate agent.”

But you don’t want to hire just any agent or because your best friend recommended one. You should, rather, research agents, read reviews, and conduct extensive interviews once you have a shortlist. However, the problem with this is that it’s highly labor-intensive and time-consuming. But there is a better and easier way to find a great agent.

That way is to go directly to a premier agency known for its experienced, results-getting agents. We have such agents. So when listing your house in Santa Cruz is on your horizon, be sure to contact us at 831-588-2334.

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