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  • Michelle Plunkett

12 Steps of Home Selling Prep Guide

Updated: Dec 14, 2022

Are you considering selling your home in the near future? Could you successfully hit the market tomorrow? If your answer is “yes,” you deserve an award but you should also continue reading in case you are unaware of some details that you should be considering now. How much time do you need to prepare your home for sale? A day, a week, a month, a few months? The answer is that it depends.

In the spirit of the 12 Days of Christmas, we have put together a 12 Steps of Home Selling Prep Guide (in 4 phases) to help you plan:


ONE] The first step is to assess the condition of your home. Typically, your real estate agent can add a ton of value at this step. Having an objective opinion from a professional that knows the local market is priceless.

TWO] Put together a budget and a target date for your preparation. This will help you determine which projects will be completed and which you may pass on.

THREE] Analyze and prioritize your list so that you can make sure that the most important items will be addressed.


FOUR] Collect bids to determine what projects will cost and how long they will take.

FIVE] Select projects to complete and professionals to do the work.

SIX] Create a “to do” list or schedule for the projects that you choose to complete based on your discussions with the professionals and your agent. Makes sure to include your agent since they can help prioritizing, planning, sharing trusted referrals to do the necessary work, and helping you stay on track in terms of time, cost, and results.


SEVEN] Congratulations! Your home’s condition is now ready for sale and you can shift to marketing concerns. The key is to create an environment that will motivate prospective buyers to appreciate your home and to envision living there. This can include professional window cleaning, final landscape touches, paring down your personal items, and similar tasks.

EIGHT] Do you need to stage? This is likely a “yes” in some form or other. While your furniture may work for appealing photos and video, perhaps it needs to be rearranged and/or cleaned. Maybe some of it needs to be removed.

NINE] Once these final touches have been made, professional photos and video shoots are required. This media must highlight your home’s best features in an appealing way. A good agent has reliable content producers for this.


TEN] Our new normalized market means homes are staying on the market longer. This means that you and your family, including the pets, need to be ready for this process. Secure valuable assets that could be easily picked up and carried away during open houses. Sadly, this includes any medical prescriptions (as discussed in Matthew Perry’s new memoir).

ELEVEN] Have a safe place for the pets during showings and open houses; ideally off property. This can be a big obstacle. The goal is to avoid escapes and to create an enjoyable showing for each prospective buyer. It is hard to believe but, every buyer may not love dogs the way you and I do!

TWELVE] Make the rest of the family’s schedule flexible for showings and open houses as needed in order to sell your home. Have a plan of where to go during showings. As working from home has become so popular, this has become harder for some families. Perhaps you can choose specific showing windows up front so that you know ahead of time when you can be home and when you can expect to be away. Doing this up front keeps frustrating interruptions to a minimum.

As you can see, having a trusted local real estate agent involved early in the process will help you during this challenge. Team Plunkett is locked and loaded to get you moving forward smoothly.

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