7 Ways to Prepare Your House for Sale

Couple painting as they prepare house for sale.

If you are getting ready to sell your house, there are some important steps you will want to take. You can put it on the market as it is, but you may not attract the best offers from buyers. Fewer people will be interested if it looks and feels like a “fixer upper”—or they may come at you with lowball offers.

There are a few things you can and should do if you want to increase the curb appeal of your house for sale. This can help you attract more buyers and higher offers. Here’s what to do:

1. Clean and Declutter

You will want to give your home a thorough cleaning from top to bottom. You may even consider hiring a professional cleaning crew, carpet cleaners, window washers, a chimney sweep and other cleaning specialists. During the cleaning process, you should also aim to “declutter” the living spaces as much as you can. Pack up excess decor, trinkets and junk. This will help open up each room and make the home more inviting. Clean the interior of your house and also the exterior and yard.

2. Keep it Clean

Now that you have properly cleaned and decluttered, your goal during the selling process is to keep the process as clean as possible until it is sold.

3. Identify Repairs You Need to Make

Make a list of repairs that you need to make before you sell your house. Some may be small little fixes light tightening screws or greasing a door hinge. Others may be more significant. A house in good condition will generally be worth more. For larger repairs, prioritize those projects and plan out your spending budget. Decide which repairs you can do on your own and which may require a professional handyman or contractor.

4. Consider Upgrades

Another way to increase the resale value of your property is to make strategic upgrades. This may include things like replacing old appliances, updating thermostats and security features, installing new flooring or maybe even a bigger project like remodeling the kitchen or bathrooms. Look for ways you can invest a little time and money now to dramatically increase your home’s desirability.

5. Fresh Paint

One simple way to make a house feel more clean and inviting is to repaint the interior (and exterior if it needs it). Put some fresh paint on each wall and bring new life to the rooms.

6. Stay Neutral

When painting or installing new flooring, it’s a good idea to keep the design and colors fairly neutral. Part of your decluttering stage should also include taking down some personal decor (family photos, etc.). We call this “depersonalization.” It is a common real estate staging strategy. The ultimate goal is for buyers to imagine themselves living in your home. So, don’t make it feel too much like your home. Keep things more neutral.

7. Consider a Home Stager

Your real estate agent may recommend a professional home stager or they may even provide staging as part of their listing services. A home stager can help you with many of these steps above, as well as laying out and decorating each room for maximum buyer appeal. They may even bring in some of their own furniture to improve the appearance.

These are a few of the ways to improve your house’s selling appeal and potentially increase its resale value before it is put on the market. If you don’t have the time or money to invest in these steps, then you may need to consider alternative ways of selling your house—such as a cash real estate investor.

PropertyLark is here to help with your house for sale. We can help you explore your home selling options and determine the best path for you.