Your home is the most valuable asset you own. So when you decide to sell it makes sense to put in the time, care and skill necessary to maximize the value of your investment. The level of preparation and care that goes into the presentation of your home can return outsized benefits.
“Because Kitsap County such a wonderful place to live, the real estate market has seen consistently stable demand for years — even as markets in other areas fluctuate. With a little preparation and the right guidance, sellers have a real opportunity to yield higher financial outcomes and reduce risk during negotiations,” says Dana Fitzpatrick, MBA, a Kitsap County Real Estate Broker on Bainbridge Island with Compass Real Estate.
Sellers considering listing their home in the lively spring and summer real estate market should start preparing now to make the most of their investment.
Home seller’s checklist
6 months before listing
- Find an experienced real estate agent. Look for an agent you can trust, easily communicate with, and has excellent marketing and negotiating skills.
- Choose an ideal listing date and start tracking the market. The buyers interested in your property are likely already active– a competitive landscape and assessment will help you understand how your property will present in an online forum.
- Assess the property condition. “The right real estate broker can help you prioritize upgrades that will make you stand out from competition and ease negotiations,” Fitzpatrick says. “This can include an inspection to help understand your property’s strengths and liabilities, which will ultimately protect your long-term negotiation power.”
- Establish a punch list and project management timeline.
60 days before listing
- Create a marketing plan with your real estate broker. 41 percent of buyers are more willing to walk through the home they saw online.1
- Declutter and donate.
- Pull primary title and determine any outstanding liens or risks.
- Complete all routine home maintenance — ducts, gutters, fireplaces, septic, etc.
- Prime landscaping with de-mossing and trimming.
30 days before listing
- Firm up your go-live date.
- Begin the staging process, including painting and landscaping. 83 percent of buyers find it easier to visualize a staged property as their future home.2
- Identify key features and benefits of your home.
2 weeks before listing
- Deep clean interior and windows.
- Schedule staging.
- Schedule photography and videography.
- Meet with your agent to establish the showing process, discuss financial goals and contingencies.
“The marketing of your home needs to reflect its unique value and character, to attract the right buyer and optimize returns,” says Fitzpatrick, who spent two decades as a marketing executive before starting her real estate career.
“A modern real estate marketing plan uses a combination of digital and traditional marketing tools. I’ve had success with traditional channels such as open houses to more data-driven channels such as custom URLs, online message testing, 3D tours and VR. Modern channels allow us to target the specific buyer and set the home apart from comparable properties.”
Dana Fitzpatrick, MBA, implements data-driven marketing services and modern metrics to gather information on pricing and strategy. She was named Best Realtor by the Bainbridge Review in 2021 and 2022, and was recognized as an industry leader in Seattle Agent Magazine’s Who’s Who in 2022. Clients rave about her as being their “fairy godmother,” a “seasoned professional, well versed in all aspects of real estate sales”, and someone who is “sharp as a whip.”