Tips on Preparing Your Home for Sale

Help Your House Make a First Great Impression

Once you’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time for a new home, there are a few things to think about before you try selling your current one. The first priority should be to find a good real estate agent you can trust. A trustworthy agent will help you to set a price that will meet your timeline and financial objectives, and help you to develop a plan for sprucing up your home so it makes the best possible first impression on potential buyers. Remember, the first impression is a lasting one while you may not want to go “all out” and “stage your house for sale”, there could be some minor things you can do so your house makes a great first impression.


This is the time to clean out closets and get rid of worn, outdated clothes. After you clean the closets, clean out the cupboards, garage and other storage areas. Donate items to charities, give them away, have a garage sale, or pack them into storage boxes and keep them out of sight. Stack the boxes neatly in the garage or consider renting a storage unit until the house is sold. Also pack up collections, hobbies, and other knick-knacks that you can live without for the time being and store them. The point is to create the appearance of as much space as possible, while still looking homey and appealing. For more tips on how to de-clutter go to our website, and read the article “Back to Basics”.

 Clean Everything

Dust everything with a damp rag or special dusting cloth. This includes furniture, light fixtures, bulbs, knick–knacks, picture frames, television screen, mirrors and all the woodwork. Clean windows make a room appear larger and brighter. Don’t forget the blinds or door frame tops and ceiling fans. The shine you reveal by doing this will pay large dividends.

Take Time for the Small Things

Now is the time make the small repairs you never seemed to have the time to fix. All the little things you managed to put up with are things that could potentially deter a buyer. Tighten loose knobs, touch up scratches in the woodwork, patch holes and cracks in the plaster, and replace torn window screens. Also repairing loose stair rails or carpeting on a stairway should be top priorities.

 Touch Up the Entry

Polish address numbers, doorknob and even the mailbox. Paint the door, trim the shrubs, plant fresh flowers, place a cut bouquet on the table, and buy a new welcome mat. There is no need to spend a lot of money doing this, but newer always looks better to potential buyers.

 Concentrate on the Bathroom and Kitchen

Everybody uses both these rooms extensively and they are sure to get a detailed examination during a showing. While you may not need to rush out to replace your appliances with the popular stainless steel types there are many things you can do. Replace peeling wallpaper, fix leaky faucets, thoroughly clean the grout, and clean/replace the water pipe leading from the wall to the toilet. Apply fresh caulk around bathtubs, sinks, toilets and showers. A fresh new shower curtain can do wonders also spruce up a tired bathroom.

 Clean the Carpets

No matter how much cleaning you do to the rest of the house, it will not show well if the carpet is soiled. Hiring a professional cleaner eliminates the work of doing it yourself and they can do a better job of removing spots and eliminating smoke or pet odors. Don’t forget to launder, store or throw out worn rugs.


Painting the inside of you home will improve its marketability and freshen it up. Tone down bold colors and paint neutral ones; antique white or beige are colors that appeal to almost everyone and make rooms seem larger. Pratt and Lambert’s Ancestral #20-1 is a white that seems to work well anywhere. And remember flat paint looks best on walls that are not in perfect condition.

 Dry the House Out

Repair leaky pipes, faucets and roofs. Fix moisture and mildew problems and water damage. If small problems are not taken care of now, they could become serious problems later, especially during the home inspection.

 Don’t Forget the Outside

If the driveway is blacktop consider giving it a fresh coat of sealant for an updated look. Clean and replace old gutters as well as damaged of loose shingles. Use crack sealer or crack repair kits to improve the look of the foundation, retaining, walls, patios and walkways. De-cluttering the outside is also recommended. If you have a boat or an RV, find a place to store them away from you home to make the yard, garage and/or driveway appear larger.