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How To Prepare Your Home For Sale 3-5 Years in The Future: The Definitive Step by Step Guide

Step by step guide to begin preparations today

How To Prepare Your Home For Sale 3-5 Years in The Future: The Definitive Step by Step Guide

Article summary

Your current home isn’t your forever home, but you do plan on living there for 3-5 more years. It’s wise to make the most of the next few years so that when it’s time to move your home sells quickly and makes a profit. Here’s how you can start preparing now.

Step 1: Know your neighborhood- Get an appraisal

We typically associate an appraisal with buying a new house, but it’s important to identify the current value of your home and compare it to other homes that recently sold in your area. Knowing comparable rates prevents you from making too many updates that would raise the asking price far above neighboring houses. It also helps you avoid especially expensive upgrades that won’t provide a return when you sell. 

Step 2: Talk to a local realtor

A local realtor will be able to provide the most comprehensive information about your city’s current market. They’ll know what home features people are looking for and what updates aren’t worth an investment. Make a few inquiries, and you’ll likely be able to find a realtor willing to do a walk-through and suggest updates to make over the next few years. 

Step 3: Make repairs

Since you’re striving toward a long-term goal, you have time to make a repair plan that you can slowly work through. Minor repairs are an obvious first step. Replace broken fixtures and fix leaky faucets. 

You also need to consider the need to replace major items, such as a 20-year-old roof or HVAC system. It may be tempting to put this off and leave the replacement up to the new seller. You can always just deduct their cost from your asking price, right? You can but remember that the cost of these items will continue to increase, and you’ll be giving a larger price reduction in the future rather than paying to replace it at a lower price today.

In addition, if a buyer is going to need to replace a lot of those items right off the bat, your house becomes a “fixer-upper” and its value decreases overall, not just by the amount it would cost for a new roof or HVAC.

Step 4: Make updates

The most profitable places to update your home are the kitchen and the bathrooms. The money you invest in updating these two rooms will be made back when it’s time to sell. While it may be tempting to completely gut and redo either room, first consider small changes that could have a huge impact, like painting cabinets or replacing the sink faucet. A visually appealing kitchen and bathroom will be the selling point of your home.

Don’t forget smaller updates that increase the appeal of your home as well. It takes relatively little time or money to replace dated hardware and freshen up old paint. Do you dread the thought of painting your entire house? Schedule out one room every few months so the task is less overwhelming. Remember not everyone shares your tastes, neutral colors are usually the best choice.

Step 5: Increase your curb appeal

The outside of your home is the first impression future buyers will have, and they'll be drawn to an attractive exterior. Make sure the front of your home is clean and updated. Because you have years to plan, think about what time of year you anticipate selling your home. Could you plant some annuals that come up during that season? Every little detail is another way to entice buyers and sell your home for a great price. 

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding comparable home values before planning upgrades to your home, getting an appraisal, and talking to a local realtor are the best bets.
  • Replacing major systems like a 20-year-old roof or HVAC system can be just as important as upgrades so your house doesn’t get labeled a “fixer-upper”.
  • Visual changes to cabinet or wall colors, hardware, and fixtures are inexpensive ways to freshen up your home and make it look more appealing. Don’t forget the outside of your home as well.