Some homeowners consider the preparation to be the most dreaded part of selling their home, whether it’s an FSBO sale or otherwise; but it really doesn’t have to be. Planning ahead with our For Sale By Owner (FSBO timeline) can make all the difference in getting your house ready to attract buyers and earn top value dollar.

Focusing on those areas that provide the most competitive bang for the buck over a manageable time period is key to making your home sale preparation not only do-able, but successful too.

FSBO Timeline for home sale preparation

ListingDoor has created a step-by-step timeline to make home sale preparation manageable and effective.

2 Months prior to listing your home:

  • Start visiting open houses to get an idea of the features that attract home buyers
  • Research what homes in your area are selling for—avoid overpricing or underpricing your home
  • Research homes that are available for sale in your area—know your competition!
  • Start cleaning out closets, drawers, and garage. De-cluttering is essential.
  • Make a list and start repairs. Be prepared for a home inspection that might derail offers if little fixes (or big fixes) aren’t addressed in advance
  • Have paint touched up to make a good first impression

1 Month prior to listing:

  • Start working on your home’s marketing material
  • Measure room sizes and verify square-footage of home and lot
  • Write a description of your home include short paragraph of why it is special
  • Photograph home—high quality photos are key to a successful listing
  • Makes sure your home’s address is visible from street—if not, make changes needed to make your address visible from the street
  • Work on exterior curb appeal: cleaning up the yard and garage, landscaping, painting or touch-up, front door / porch appearance and power washing go a long way when it comes to curb appeal
  • Make a list of any exclusions

FSBO Preparation: Nearing the home stretch

2 Weeks prior to listing:

  • Order a custom sign advertising your home
  • Create and print a home features brochure (include sales price and exclusions)
    • Color copies for potential buyers who set appointments
    • Black and white copies for information tube attached to yard sign
  • Fill out a seller’s disclosure and make copies to attach to your color copies
  • Create a custom web sit for your home that is mobile friendly

1 Week prior to listing

  • Launch a social media blitz
    • Post your home listing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
    • Launch an email blast asking for friends to forward if they know of a potential buyer. Make sure to add the link to your home sale web site. Also, don’t be afraid to ask friends to post to their Facebook pages as well.
  • Set up a voicemail message if you cannot take calls at any time; include a brief description of your home and the asking price.

Listing Date:

  • Get going on social sharing and list your home on top real estate sites including Zillow and Yahoo!Homes
  • Place your “For Sale” sign in yard

Extra considerations to maximize timeline and your home’s value

As part of the preparation process, consider taking extra steps to make your house show time-ready:

According to the Association of REALTORS®, a fresh coat of paint on your home’s interior can provide the biggest return on investment – as much as 700 percent!

Cleaning and brightening kitchen and bathroom grout can also make a noticeable difference.

Refinishing hard wood floors and installing new carpets is another relatively inexpensive way to make your house outshine the competition.

Depending on its condition, home improvements can end up increasing your home’s value by 5 percent or more. In today’s competitive market, top quality homes are in high demand. Buyers are willing to pay a premium, and you are likely to recoup the costs of your home improvements and then some.

Staging your home is another excellent opportunity to add value, and sell your home faster.

And when you are ready to put your home on the market, plan ahead to see which is the best day of the week to list it.