Getting Your Home Ready To Sell By Owner In The Coming Year

If you’ve read any of our other FSBO (pronounced “fiz-bo”) articles, you probably notice how much we talk about preparation. Well, today we’re going to provide the “guide” to doing that preparation. Ready to break it down into a simple, easy-to-understand explanation? Let’s get started! 

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Prepare your heart

As cheesy as this may sound, it’s actually an important part of the process. Let’s talk about why, so we have a better understanding.

The how-to 

As you prepare to sell your home, working through personal attachment is a normal but difficult process. However, you want to sell your home for a fair price and experience a good selling process, so it’s wise to work through this ahead of time. 

Open Door has an article on how to keep your emotions in check while selling your home that we recommend reading. Something they suggest you do is look at your house through the lenses of the buyer. Your buyer isn’t going to see the memories the house holds or feel the sentimentality that you do. One of the ways to keep this mindset is to look at your house as a product you’re selling – and not as a life. 

Taking out the clutter and personal items will be beneficial – aiding how you feel and also how buyers see the home. If they walk in and are bombarded with your life’s collection of knickknacks, their imagination will plummet. Instead of envisioning themselves living in the house, they’ll just be “admiring” your belongings and clutter. 

One last thing to keep in mind while selling is to keep your eyes set on the next chapter of your life. If you keep your focus on your life in this house and don’t look forward to what’s in store next, you’ll make things harder for yourself. So be encouraged by the thought of moving on, and “moving up.” You never know what’s coming next! 

Prepare your home

As we explore these different aspects of preparation, we come to one of the most vital parts. Namely, preparing your home. We talked about this slightly in “prepare your heart,” but it deserves a little more attention.


Succulent plants on window sill

Yes, the cleaning never ends! This is one of the bigger jobs when selling, but doing it right the first time will save you time in the end. And, it will make for happy buyers. Don’t forget anything and your house will be cleaner than any other house out there. 

Some of the areas that you want to focus on are the ones that normally get forgotten. For instance, check for mold or mildew in bathrooms, on window sills, or around a pipe that has been leaking. Vacuum out the inside of windows and the edges of carpeted rooms. These are all things that can easily be passed over.

Washing grime and fingerprints off of walls, baseboards, and trim might not seem necessary until you see the end result of your labor. Only once you’re done will you notice how dirty things were. If you have a sided house, using a power washer to clean off the layer of dirt is a great way to up the curb appeal of the house. Getting your house sparkling clean will make it more likely to sell, which is always a plus. 


Similar to cleaning, repairs can often be forgotten about. However, they’re a necessary part of a happy selling experience. Leaky pipes, holes in sheetrock, and roughed-up trim or baseboard are a few examples of repairs that often need to be done but are easily forgotten. Most likely, if you’ve lived with something a certain way for a long time, then you feel like it’s normal. But a buyer will notice a hole in the wall faster than you can say, “Jack Robinson!” 

As a side note, right after you’ve finished your cleaning and repairs is a great time to get your house inspection done. Also, be sure to keep your receipts from any repairs. This way you’ll have “proof of investment,” and your word can’t be challenged.

Prepare your documents

Last, but certainly not least, let’s take a look at what documents to have on hand as you prepare to offer your home for sale by owner. 

Which documents do you need?

Some important documents to have are your property survey, certificate of occupancy, and proof of homeowner’s insurance. Your property survey shows the exact boundaries of your property and will be helpful to have when it’s time to explain exactly what is included in the home sale.

The certificate of occupancy verifies that the house is safe to live in and complies with all the necessary building codes. You will receive a certificate once your home has been inspected and has subsequently passed inspection. And proof of homeowner’s insurance is exactly what it sounds like. Your potential buyers will need this as soon as the last papers have been signed. 

Stacks of books

For an even more comprehensive list of documents and paperwork to have on hand, read this article from For Sale By Owner.

Prepare your will to work

And that’s it! Our last suggestion is this – be ready to work hard! Home repairs don’t happen by themselves, so you need to provide the hardworking hands. Give it your all, but don’t burn out all your energy..

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