7 Steps to Preparing Your House to Sell

Under Contract

You have lived a good life in your home so far, but for important reasons, you are moving on. What are the most critical steps to prepare your home to sell?

It can be hard to pull up roots and leave your precious home; it is one of life's profound changes that most of us go through at least once. Emotionally and mentally preparing yourself is the most crucial first step.

Planning is the best active move to make the most of this vital opportunity. Being disciplined and focused will make the process much more relaxed and the path ahead of you far more transparent. Get prepared for many ups and downs emotionally. One aspect of this preparation is to make your home as attractive as you can to a potential buyer. Take pride in what you have achieved with your home so far, and that pride will help to sell your home.

Imagine the new homeowner walking up the steps and through the front door and imagine how they will fall in love with your old home that is now their new home. Now imagine yourself and your family also falling in love with your new home!

The first thing any new prospect is going to react to is the wall colors, the decor, and the state of cleanliness. We are prgrammed to notice these things. They are about to make a serious life-changing investment. Ask yourself what impression will your house make?

7 steps to take to prepare your house for the market:

1. Clean & Declutter
It is time to do that deep cleaning you have been putting off! Deep clean everything, make it shine, make it glitter. Deep cleaning has an effect on people that is not as obvious as one may think. Ever come home to a freshly professionally clean home? Feels very different, right? Feels good! Even though your eye is not drawn to every little detail, your whole nervous system can feel the difference.

Touch every nook and cranny – the top corner of the closet, underneath the countertop, baseboards, behind the TV, under the bed and blinds!

Declutter your home, if it is not essential and does not make sense to someone seeing your home for the first time, then get it out of there, store it is you must. Empty the closets, remove all boxes and trash from the garage.

Don’t empty your closets only, Rent a POD or storage unit while the house is on sale and store your stuff there. It is more than worth the cost.

2. Make repairs


  • Window screens
  • Smoke detectors
  • Light fixtures, bulbs
  • plumbing drips
  • Electrical outlets and switches
  • Cabinet doors and drawers
  • Wonky furniture
  • Roof shingles

Call a handyman if you need to. If you want top dollar for your home, you will need to fix as much as you can. Consider hiring an inspector to find out in advance what is going to come up as an issue during due diligence.

3. Paint and Clean Exterior
If you are not willing to paint the entire house, at least paint the front door and front trim. Clean out and repair gutters, downspouts, and drains. Pressure wash the driveway, fences, decks, and dirty walls. Replace welcome mats and deck, porch, yard furniture.

4. Clean and Paint Interior
Make a thorough survey of the interior walls; these are vitally important; it is the first thing the buyer is drawn towards once they enter the house. Sand rough spots, fill putty holes, and touch up the paint. You may want to consider painting all the interior walls a neutral colors, vary the colors like light and medium tan along with light and medium grey. It helps people to imagine the house as theirs because they can imprint onto the neutral colors what they want to do. It is not about impressing the buyer with your taste in color, but about making it easy for them to see it as theirs. A neutral palette will reflect light better and make the spaces look much more substantial.

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5. Remove personal items

Remove personal items. The family photos in the hall help make your house a home—for you. Now is the time to store them. Personal items distract. Allow the buyer to imagine her own family living there. How good are you at viewing things objectively? Most of us grow used to our surroundings and blind to what a buyer would see.

6. Remove bad odors, add sweet scents
You probably cannot smell them, but they are there! Just because your house guests never mentioned it does not mean your home does not smell; it does? Everyone's home does. Clean the pet beds, and keep the box clean, move it to the basement. Keep the pets bathed. Get the carpets cleaned. Carpet cleaning is a must! If it is awful, replace the carpet. Get an essential oil defuser and put one in every room. They are cheap and make a huge difference. Use clean scents such as lemon, orange, cedar, and pine. Clean out your vacuum, that is where the worst smells live and the waft away from your cleaning tools. Before a showing rub essential oils on the door jams. It will not hurt the paint and will make a great first impression when they enter a new room. Bake bread or pastries when you are showing the house and give them some.

7. Curb Appeal
First impressions are everything in real estate. You never quite recover from an unfortunate first impression. Your return on investment (ROI) with curb appeal is excellent. It is the last place to cut costs, and oddly, it is the one place most people do skimp. Have a landscaper trim all of the bushes and edge the grass. Keep the lawn mowed and leaf-free. Plant as many plats as you can afford – look at Pinterest to get ideas. Make sure you look at examples that are in the same zone or plant region. Get night lights that highlight the house. People will drive by at night to check it out.

In closing
Your home can be your best investment, but many fall short when it comes to preparing the house and getting top dollar. Maximizing the potential. Many feel the work is complete, and now they cash it. Do not think this way; the real test is how you prepare for and facilitate the showing of your home to interested parties. The more generous effort you put into this process, the more you will make on your precious home. Now you can go dream about your next beautiful and loving home!

Article by Staff Writer

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