Top 8 Pre-Listing Steps You Need to Know

Ashley Crain


With rising prices and strong buyer demand for properties, the Birmingham real estate market is robust. Those who are listing Birmingham homes for sale this fall or winter will be well-positioned to attract many prospective buyers and get their homes sold quickly at their asking price. If you’re planning to sell, you need to prepare your home properly and follow critical pre-listing practices to ensure you take full advantage of these favorable market conditions. Let’s take a look at some of these steps to take. 

Step 1:  Identify Large Repairs

When deals are finalized on Birmingham homes for sale, the buyer has to order a home inspection to identify any costly problems with it. To be proactive, many sellers opt for a pre-listing inspection to identify necessary repairs and address them before they list their home. A pre-listing inspection will identify any issues in a home including plumbing, electrical system, roof, HVAC, and more to be remedied before the property can be sold. A pre-listing inspection will also allow you to budget for large repairs and work with reputable contractors to ensure your home is in top shape and ready for the market.

Step 2:  Make Small Repairs

Though small repairs like touching up paint, fixing chipped floor or counter tiles, and refinishing wood floors will likely not be required by a home inspection company, these still need your attention. Birmingham homes in pristine condition will always be more attractive to buyers than those featuring any disrepair. Walk through your home with your Birmingham real estate agent and a handyman or contractor to identify problem areas and schedule the repairs immediately to facilitate the pre-listing process.

Step 3:  Declutter

The focus of prospective buyers of Birmingham homes should be the house itself and not its contents. When your house is cluttered with personal belongings, it can be distracting to buyers. Clutter also makes a home look smaller, cramped, and not well cared for. Decluttering every area of your home is a must during the pre-listing process. If you haven’t purchased a new home yet where you can put excess belongings, rent a storage unit to avoid storing clutter in closets, basements, or other spaces buyers will look in. Clear off countertops, hallways, cupboards, drawers, windowsills, and bookcases by removing any unnecessary items not a part of the room’s staging. If you are still living in the home and need access to some items, pack them into storage containers and keep them out of sight.

Step 4:  Depersonalize

Buyers of Birmingham homes need to visualize their lives in your home. This can be hard to do when confronted with family photos, memorabilia of your favorite football team, and the various tools used for your woodworking hobby. Before you list, you need to depersonalize your home by removing any unique items that don’t have wide appeal. The aim is to make your home a blank slate buyers can imagine decorated with their own items which reflect their tastes and interests.

Step 5:  Deep Clean

Your home needs to sparkle if you want it to be competitive against other Birmingham homes on the market. This is a job best left to the professionals as they have the tools, equipment, and experience needed to ensure each nook and cranny of your home is ready for the scrutiny of prospective buyers. Ask your Birmingham real estate agent for cleaning company recommendations, especially for ones that specialize in preparing homes for the market.

Step 6:  Increase Curb Appeal

Your buyers will form their first impression of your home before they walk through the front door. Impress them early by putting time and energy into the front exterior to increase curb appeal. At the minimum, Birmingham homes for sale need to have a lawn, trees, and shrubs which are all trimmed and tidy. Then, you can move on to adding visual appeal with high-quality patio furniture, a cheery welcome mat, and potted plants and flowers along the walkway and on the front porch. If you really want to maximize the appeal, consider repainting or replacing the garage and front door, as these larger-scale projects will have a more significant impact on a buyer’s first impression of the house.

Step 7:  Have Your Home Staged

Having your home professionally staged can boost the sale price by as much as 10%. Staged homes also sell faster than their non-staged counterparts, making this a project well worth the investment. A hired professional stager works in your home, redecorating and adding or removing furniture to make each room appear as spacious and attractive as possible. A stager will also position each room to have a clearly stated purpose such as a dedicated home office, guest room, or home gym.

Step 8:  Remove Pet Evidence 

Though they may have pets themselves, prospective buyers of Birmingham homes don’t want to see evidence of yours. Before you list, find a temporary home for your pets and remove all evidence including toys, food, bowls, and beds. You may also need to have carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned and walls repainted to eradicate any lingering pet odors or stains.

With continued low mortgage interest rates and favorable local market conditions, now is an excellent time to list Birmingham homes for sale. Ready to take the next step? Reach out to trusted local agent Ashley Crain to help accomplish your pre-listing checklist and sell for your asking price.  



Ashley has always had a passion for architecture and design, and she knows the market well. She brings Midwestern values and an ethic appreciated by all her clients, and she makes sure that all her clients needs are met from start to finish.

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