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5 Ways To Prepare Your Home For Sale

By on Jan 12, 2015
5 Ways To Prepare Your Home For Sale

Now that the holidays are over, it’s a great time to start thinking about listing your house for sale. But before you’re ready to do this, it’s important to make sure your home is in selling condition. Staging a home may sound daunting, but it’s a necessity if you want to stay ahead of the competition. Whether you have time on your side or need to make a quick sale, there are many effective ways to stage a home within your budget.

Get ready for the busy spring season by following these five tips.


1. Declutter & Depersonalize

Rent A Storage Unit

Wedding gifts, kids toys, old clothes, you name it – it all piles up over the years. Most people tuck away the things they no longer use in closets, the attic, the basement or the garage, and they generally stay out of sight. However, when it comes time to sell your home, it’s best to temporarily relocate this clutter to a small storage unit. This way, potential home buyers will be able to see the full space your house has to offer, and your home will appear cleaner overall.

Organize Your Closets

Abundant closet space, while maybe not the first thing prospective buyers notice, is certainly an added bonus. One way to make your closets appear bigger is to simply remove half of the clothing. Free space on shelves and a few unused hangers show that the closet has more than enough storage space for everything.

You can also purchase shelving units to help further organize your closet. If you’re handy, you can consider utilizing these DIY Tips for How to Build Storage Shelves.

Remove Personal Items

The purpose of staging a home is to help prospective buyers picture themselves living there. People tend to have a difficult time doing this when there are family photos and other personal items displayed in every room. Not everyone has the same taste, so it’s best to pack away all pictures, religious items and sports paraphernalia before showing your house.

Easy Kitchen Updates

2. Make the Easy (and Inexpensive) Updates

Add A Fresh Coat of Paint

Adding a fresh coat of paint throughout the house is another effective method of home staging. You never know what color a potential buyer will like, so it’s best to choose a neutral color. This gives your house more of a “blank slate” appearance, allowing people to envision their own decorating styles. Painting also gives you the opportunity to cover up scratches and marks that may have accumulated over the years.

While painting can be a DIY project, you can also consider hiring a professional if your budget allows. Consult our painting cost guide to see how much your project will cost.

Address Dirty, Outdated & Broken Items

You may not have time to update every room, but you can always freshen them up to make them appear less lived in. Below are just a few ideas that are both easy and affordable:

  • Clean the grout between tiles
  • Clean the curtains or buy new ones if outdated
  • Replace cabinet hardware
  • Fix leaky faucets
  • Make sure closet doors are on track

If you are looking to increase your home’s value and have a budget set aside for home renovations, you can find some great ideas in Home Improvements That Increase Resale Value.

Curb Appeal

3. Increase Curb Appeal

Make a good first impression by adding curb appeal to your home. There are many easy and inexpensive ways to update your home’s exterior that don’t require a landscaper:

  • Keep the lawn freshly mowed
  • Remove debris from the driveway and sidewalk
  • Add inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers
  • Pressure-clean exterior of house, driveway and sidewalk if needed
  • Paint the front door

If you are in need of professional landscaping, you can find average costs in your area with our landscaping cost guide.

It may also be beneficial to spruce up the entryway of your home. Simply adding a bench and a vase of flowers can do wonders when it comes to staging a house.

4. Conceal Pets

While your dog may be cutest and friendliest pet on the block, he may prevent you from making a sale. The presence of pets and their belongings can be a huge deterrent for some people, especially those who aren’t animal-lovers. It’s a good idea to remove your pet from your home and hide all food bowls, chew toys and kitty litter boxes. It’s also helpful to thoroughly vacuum your carpets and upholstery to remove all traces of pet hair.

Follow these DIY Tips for How to Remove Pet Stains and Odors from Flooring and Carpets before you have your first house showing.

Clean Bath

5. Keep It Clean

Not everyone enjoys cleaning, but while your house is on the market, it’s crucial to keep it in “show-ready” condition at all times. Clean the house regularly and specifically focus on the rooms that people will be sure to scrutinize – the kitchen and the bathroom. Ahead of a showing, take the time to run a vacuum through every room, empty the kitchen sink and dishwasher, clean the bathroom toilet and tub and remove any obvious layers of dust that have accumulated on furniture. If you’re going to put time and effort into fixing up your home before listing it, you can increase your chances of a quick sale by keeping it fresh and clean.


Home staging can be easy and effective without the help of a professional. With the right planning and effort, you’ll have prospective buyers knocking on your door in no time!

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