What To Do Before Selling A House: A Comprehensive Guide

Selling your house is a significant endeavor, one that often marks the start of an exciting new chapter in your life. However, before you can pass the keys to a new owner, there’s a critical checklist of tasks to complete.

From enhancing curb appeal to navigating the complexities of paperwork, this guide will walk you through the essential steps to ensure a successful and profitable home sale.

Whether you’re a seasoned seller or a first-time homeowner looking to maximize your property’s value, join us as we explore what to do before selling your house and set the stage for a smooth and rewarding journey. Read on to find out what to do before selling your house!

A small deck with a pond and a small tree

Preparing Your House for a Successful Sale

Selling your house involves more than just putting up a “For Sale” sign. It’s about presenting your home in the best possible light to attract potential buyers and secure a successful sale. 

1. Assess Your Home's Condition

Start by assessing your home’s condition from top to bottom. Identify any necessary repairs or updates, both inside and outside the house. Pay special attention to your deck – ensure it’s safe, well-maintained, and free from any structural issues.
living room with sofas and palm trees

2. Set the Right Price

Work with a real estate agent to determine the appropriate listing price, taking into account any necessary repairs or upgrades. Pricing your home competitively can attract more buyers.

3. Enhance Curb Appeal

First impressions are critical. Boost your home’s curb appeal by tidying up the front yard, power-washing the exterior, and giving your deck a fresh coat of stain or paint if needed. A well-maintained deck can be a selling point.
repairing a house before selling it

4. Hire Professional Cleaning

Invest in professional cleaning services to deep-clean your home. This will make your home feel fresh and inviting to potential buyers.

5. Declutter and Depersonalize

Clear out clutter and personal items from your home, including the deck. A clutter-free deck showcases its potential as an outdoor living space.

packing boxes to move houses

6. Consider Home Staging

Consider professional home staging to maximize your home’s appeal. If not, use your furniture and decor strategically to create a warm and inviting atmosphere throughout the house.

7. Market Your Property

Work with your agent to create a compelling marketing plan. High-quality photos, virtual tours, and online listings will help attract a broader audience.
house with a for sale sign

8. Complete Necessary Repairs, Including Deck Repairs

Address any issues identified during inspections, especially those related to your deck. A deck repair can be a significant selling point for outdoor enthusiasts.

9. Gather Important Documents

Collect all relevant documents, such as the title deed, property survey, warranties for appliances, and any documentation related to renovations or additions.

10. Legal Compliance

Ensure your home complies with all legal requirements, including permits for renovations or deck enhancements.
An elegant home with white chairs and a fireplace

The paperwork involved house selling

When you sell your home, you need to handle a lot of paperwork. Here are some essential documents you’ll need to deal with when you sell your home:

The sale contract

This is the document that outlines the terms of the sale. It includes information such as the sales price, the closing date, and any contingencies.

Mortgage payoff statement

This statement shows how much money you need to pay off your mortgage to sell your house. You must have this information before putting your house on the market.

The title report

The title report is a document that shows who owns the property and any liens or mortgages that are attached to it. It’s important to ensure there are no outstanding issues on the title before selling your house.

The owner's title insurance

This insurance protects the buyer in case there are any problems with the property’s title. It’s good to have this insurance in place before closing on the sale.
pile of paper and books

The last step when selling a house: Signing the contract

Once you’ve decided on the best price and found a buyer, it’s time to sign the contract. A real estate agent can help you with this process, and they’ll make sure that the terms of the agreement protect both parties.

Focus on clarity

Make sure you understand the terms of the agreement. Don’t sign a contract unless you understand what it says. If there are any questions, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.

Get everything in writing

Be sure that all the agreement details are in writing and that both parties have a copy of the contract. This will help avoid any misunderstandings down the road.

Get a lawyer's opinion

If you’re not sure what something in the contract means or want to make sure that you’re getting a fair deal, it’s always a good idea to get a lawyer’s opinion.
man signing papers

What to do after your house is sold

After you sell your house, there are a few things you need to do. Make sure you have all the paperwork in order and understand what the contract says. If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a real estate agent or lawyer.

Be prepared for the closing process

The closing process can be complicated, so it’s important to be prepared. Make sure you have all the necessary documents and know what needs to be done. If there are any problems or delays, contact your real estate agent immediately.

Notify Relevant Parties

Inform all relevant parties about your change of address. This includes the post office, utilities, insurance providers, banks, and any subscriptions or services you receive regularly. Make sure your mail is forwarded to your new address to avoid missing important documents.

Cancel or Transfer Utilities

Contact your utility providers to schedule the cancellation or transfer of services. Ensure that gas, water, electricity, internet, cable, and other utilities are switched to your new residence if necessary. Don’t forget to settle any outstanding bills.

Complete the Move-Out Process

If you haven’t already done so, complete the move-out process by packing up your belongings and cleaning the house thoroughly. Ensure that all personal items and trash are removed, and the property is in the condition agreed upon in the sales contract.
closing a house sale


Homeowners who are most likely to sell their homes include:

  • Empty Nesters: Parents whose children have moved out may downsize or sell their larger family homes.
  • Relocating for Work: Individuals or families who are moving to a new city or area due to work-related reasons often need to sell their current homes.
  • Financial Reasons: Homeowners facing financial challenges, such as foreclosure or excessive debt, may sell to alleviate financial burdens.
  • Upgrading or Downsizing: Some homeowners sell to upgrade to a larger or more luxurious property, while others downsize to smaller, more manageable homes.
  • Life Changes: Major life events like marriage, divorce, or retirement can prompt people to sell their homes.
  • Investment Properties: Investors may sell rental properties to cash in on their investments or adjust their real estate portfolios.
  • Estate Sales: The heirs of a deceased person may sell a home as part of settling the estate.

Emptying your house quickly can be achieved by following these steps:

  • Declutter: Begin by decluttering and getting rid of items you no longer need. Donate, sell, or dispose of belongings that won’t be moving with you.
  • Pack Efficiently: Pack room by room, labeling boxes clearly. Keep essential items accessible until moving day.
  • Hire Movers: Professional movers can streamline the process and handle heavy lifting. Get quotes from multiple moving companies.
  • Set a Schedule: Create a timeline and stick to it. Set specific goals for each day to stay on track.
  • Sell Items Online: Use online platforms like Craigslist, eBay, or Facebook Marketplace to sell furniture and other valuable items quickly.
  • Donate: Give away items to local charities or shelters to reduce waste and help those in need.
  • Recruit Help: Enlist friends and family to assist with packing, moving, and cleaning.
  • Storage Solutions: Consider renting a storage unit for items you don’t immediately need in your new home.
  • Prepare for Cleaning: Ensure the house is clean and ready for the next occupants once you’ve moved out.
  • Plan for Disposal: Arrange for the removal of any items that can’t be sold, donated, or moved to your new location.

Before selling your house, consider these essential steps:

  • Find a Real Estate Agent: Choose a reputable real estate agent who knows your local market and can guide you through the process.
  • Set the Right Price: Work with your agent to determine the right listing price based on a comparative market analysis.
  • Prepare Your Home: Make necessary repairs, declutter, and improve curb appeal to make your home more attractive to potential buyers.
  • Stage Your Home: Consider professional staging or rearrange furniture to showcase your home’s best features.
  • Gather Documents: Collect important documents, including the title deed, property survey, and any warranties or manuals for appliances and systems.
  • Legal Compliance: Ensure your home meets all legal requirements, such as obtaining necessary permits for renovations.
  • Market Your Property: Work with your agent to create a marketing plan that includes online listings, professional photos, and open houses.
  • Negotiate Offers: Review and negotiate offers from potential buyers with the guidance of your real estate agent.
  • Complete Repairs: Address any inspection-related issues and complete any agreed-upon repairs or improvements.
  • Closing Preparation: Work with your agent and a real estate attorney to prepare for the closing process, including signing paperwork and transferring ownership.
  • Move-Out Plan: Plan your move and ensure you’ve emptied the house before closing.
  • Final Walk-Through: Accompany the buyer during the final walk-through to ensure the property is in the agreed-upon condition.


Is your deck in need of repairs before selling your home? Don’t wait! Contact us today for expert deck repair services that will enhance your outdoor space’s safety and beauty. Our skilled team is ready to transform your deck. Now that you know what to do before selling your house, reach out to us to help you on your journey!