How to Prepare your House for Sale

Every seller wants their house to sell fast and bring top dollar.   It is not luck that makes that happen.  It's careful planning and knowing how to professionally spruce up your home that will have home buyers lining up with multiple offers.  Follow these steps to prep your house and turn it into an irresistible and marketable home.


Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms.  You don't want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can't do that if yours are there!

  • Remove family photographs.
  • Take magnets, drawings and grocery list off the refrigerator.


People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven't used it in over a year, you probably don't need it.  If you don't need it, why not donate it or throw it away?  Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.

  • Pack up knickknacks.
  • Clean off everything on kitchen counters.

Rent a Storage Unit.

Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage.  Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room's purpose and plenty of room to move around.

Remove/Replace Favorite Items

If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now.   If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down.  If a buyer never sees it, they won't want it. Once you tell a buyer they can't have an item, they are going to want it, and that could blow your deal.  Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.

Make Minor Repairs

You do not want to let a minor repair hinder your chances of selling.  It is worth it to go ahead and fix the small things before your buyer notices. 

  • Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
  • Patch holes in walls.
  • Fix leaky faucets.
  • Fix doors that don't close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
  • Replace burned-out light bulbs.

 Make the House Sparkle

  • Wash windows inside and out.
  • Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.
  • Clean out cobwebs.
  • Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
  • Vacuum daily.
  • Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
  • Bleach discolored grout.
  • Hang up fresh towels.
  • Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no.


Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you?  Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer.  Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense.  Make sure window coverings hang level.

Check Curb Appeal

If a buyer won't get out of her agent's car because they don't like the exterior, you'll never get them inside.

  • Keep the sidewalks cleared.
  • Mow the lawn.
  • Paint faded window and door trim.
  • Trim your bushes.
  • Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.