This post originally appeared on Trulia.
If you’re planning to sell your home, chances are good that you’re seeking a lifestyle level-up: you want to bring your home’s size, shape, features, location, maintenance and financial obligations into better alignment with your life – or your future. Making sure that you execute a home sale that actually does align your home with your life requires a lot of prep work.
For most home sellers, it’s the property preparation work that is top of mind. You’ve gotta pick an agent, let them come and tell you all the junk that has to go, pack up that stuff and then let the painters and housekeepers do their job. Then, and only then, the stagers can begin, telling you to pack up all the rest of your stuff so they can create a really clutter-free, updated, neutrally-chic vignette of an irresistible life in your home for the next folks. (Be forewarned – sellers have been known to love their post-staging house so much they question their decision to move!)
But there are a number of financial prep steps that also need to happen to ensure your home’s sale actually does improve your life the way you hope it will, without creating any surprise dramas or burdens. Here are four of those money-do’s to add into your list of home sale prep steps:
1. Get clear on your current credit status.
I know, I know—checking credit is an ever-present item on a home buyer’s prep checklist. But if you’re selling a home, chances are good that you’ll want to buy a replacement one. The best time to spot credit glitches and hitches—bills you need to pay down, rogue errors and the like—is not when your current home is on the escrow countdown. If you’re thinking you want to sell your home this year, now is the time to check your credit, spot issues and begin fixing them.
Some credit rehabilitation projects take months, even a year, to complete—so the earlier you get started, the more time you’ll have on your side. And this advice is for everyone—even if you think you have stellar credit, check your reports far enough in advance that you can spot and dispute any erroneous information that might have found its way there. Get started by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com—and revisit this post for an even deeper dive into what you’re looking for, and what you need to do.