How to Sell a House in Durham: A Pre-Listing Checklist

Are you thinking of selling your house in Durham? A pre-listing checklist is a list of steps you should take as you prepare to sell your house. Think of it as a planning strategy session with your Realtor where you’ll review your goals and do everything you can to get your house ready for a successful sale, with your price and terms. 

During the pre-listing process, I like to review certain aspects of your home and offer advice on steps you can take to meet your goals and get top dollar. Let’s take a sneak peak into some key aspects of the pre-listing process.  

Benefits of a Pre-Listing Process

Marketing starts far before your home officially hits the market – it begins as soon as you decide to sell your house. A pre-listing checklist allows you to be completely prepared and always one step ahead of the curve. Establishing and following a pre-listing process is beneficial as it:

  • Reduces any surprises in the selling process. By meeting with a real estate agent and going through a pre-listing process, you can prepare for what needs to be done and how to complete those action items in order to meet your goals.

  • Gives you a chance to make any necessary home improvements. Having a real estate professional look through your home before a potential buyer even looks at a photo online will do wonders for your bottom line. I will be able to make improvement suggestions to help you reach your selling goals. 

  • Lays out a plan. A pre-listing process lays out everything from repairs, de-cluttering, staging, and a timeline to ensure you can meet your real estate goal.

The pre-listing process essentially allows your home to better compete in the marketplace. It is essential to ensure your home sells exactly how you want it to when it’s time to sell. 

The Steps of the Pre-Listing Process

1. Determine a Listing Price

The first step in a pre-listing process is to determine your listing price. This will often be a range of the absolute lowest price you are willing to sell your house for and what top-dollar price you’ll first list your home.

House scale dollar sign.jpeg

To determine your listing price, take a detailed look at what homes have recently sold for in your neighborhood. Make sure the homes have similar features to yours (bedrooms, baths, etc.) and you’re looking at the actual sold price, not the listing price. I can provide this information to you, make recommendations for minor improvements that may result in an instant increase in equity, and ensure your price is able to compete in the marketplace. 

2. Make Any Necessary Improvements

You’d be surprised at how much of an impact a few, simple updates can make. From painting a room to replacing an old appliance, a real estate pro can give you professional, room-by-room advice for what improvements will impact the sale and what will not. 


For example, simply painting your front door, replacing light fixtures, and adding some fun flowers can do wonders for curb appeal.

Or, painting something besides the walls such as the fireplace hearth are among the ideas on which a real estate agent can advise. 

3. Declutter and Stage

To put it simply, clutter eats away at equity. Buyers do not want to see someone else’s things when they are trying to envision their new home. At the very least, put away all personal photos and too many family knick-knacks.

Decluttering allows the buyer to see the amenities and beauty of the home, not the seller’s things. It allows them to envision their family in the home and helps them feel like it could be their future home. 

Before and After of a principal bedroom de-clutter session

Before and After of a principal bedroom de-clutter session

Hiring a professional stager is a great idea during the pre-listing process. They will highlight the best aspects of your home and source the perfect piece of furniture that accentuate the positives and minimize the negatives. As part of the staging process, you should plan to increase the amount of light coming into a home, remove items obstructing windows and doors, and overall do as much as you can to increase the amount of space in your home. 

4. Professional Photography

Professional photography is also a great way to ensure to peak the interest of as many buyers as possible. With the Internet being the primary way buyers see a home, good photos are essential to gain interest. Professional photos will highlight your space and provide that ever-important great first impression. 

The pre-listing process has been proven to result in a smoother sale. It is all about being prepared, knowing exactly what to expect, making any necessary updates, and in turn, meeting more of your goals when selling your home. Once the pre-listing process is complete, you’re officially ready to put your house on the market! Contact me at to schedule your pre-listing appointment to get your house ready for the Durham real estate market!