It’s Go Time: How to Prep Your Home to Sell

It’s Go Time: How to Prep Your Home to Sell

If you’re planning to sell your home, then naturally, you want the highest price possible for it. The key to that? Well-planned, thorough preparation.

Properly prepping your home is critical to both maximizing your sale price, as well as reducing your time on the market. It can also make your home more attractive, more marketable, and drive up competition for the property all in one fell swoop.

Are you thinking about listing your home in the near future? Here are seven steps to take before you do.

1. Declutter, depersonalize, and clean.

The first thing you should do is go through your belongings with a critical eye. What don’t you use or need anymore? What just takes up space or is stuffed in a closet? What doesn’t fit or is near the end of its lifespan? Take this time as an opportunity to purge and declutter. Donate items to Goodwill or The Salvation Army, sell old furnishings and decor on Facebook, or just throw out things that are worn or old.

You should also make a concerted effort to depersonalize your home, removing any items that are super-specific to your household — family photos, hand-drawn artwork, monogrammed or labeled items, etc. This allows potential buyers to better imagine themselves in the home.

Finally, you’ll also need a solid, deep-clean. Scrub the grout, dust those high-up nooks and crannies, and make your home look as good as new (because honestly, that’s what buyers are looking for most times.)

2. Upgrade your curb appeal.

As they say, “First impressions are everything.” And in real estate, your curb appeal is that first impression (whether it’s seen in a listing photo or in a drive-by. To up your property’s outward appearance, give any brick or siding a good power washing, plant a few flowers, upgrade your old welcome mat, and repaint your door if it’s looking dull. You can also re-mulch to cover any weeds, add a new mailbox, or just update your address numbers for an affordable, simple pop. 

3. Make obvious repairs.

If a buyer can tell something needs repair on just a walk-through, then it needs to be fixed — long before you list the home. Doors that don’t open or shut all the way, scratched or dented walls, holes in the yard, and broken toilet seats — you can bet these will all get noticed and likely turn a buyer off, so conduct a thorough once-over of your home, and put in a little elbow grease to address them early on.

4. Remove signs (and smells) of pets.

Not everyone loves your furry friends as much as you do. In fact, many buyers might be downright allergic to them. To keep Fluffy and Fido from hurting your sales prospects, try to de-pet your home as much as you can before you list. Replace any doors that have scratches on them, vacuum up the dog or cat hair, and get rid of that stinky litter box smell as best you can. You might also consider boarding your pets or having them stay with a friend until your home is off the market.

5. Consider repainting.

Repainting isn’t a must, but if you’ve got lots of dirt and smudges on the wall or you’ve added some bright, bold, or funky colors to the home, it’s probably something to add to your list. Opt for a clean white or eggshell, or something neutral like grey or tan. These tend to go with any furniture or decor choices — a big selling point for most buyers.

6. Put some stuff in storage.

If you can spare some of your furniture for the next month or so, rent a storage unit and put it in there. The less furniture you have, the larger and more open your home looks — and the higher price point it can command. You can also use the storage unit to stow boxes and other items you can pack up early on to clear out your home even more. (Clean closets are a must!)

7. Make it smell great.

If your home has pet smells or has been smoked in, then those smells need addressing first. If these bigger issues aren’t a problem, a great smell can still help you better attract buyers. Put out some fresh flowers, bake some cookies, or just install a few Plug-ins throughout the home. Make the place feel welcoming, peaceful, and homey. 

Selling Your Home?

If you’re selling your house and buying a new one, don’t forget to get Approved to Move™before starting the home search. Being Approved to Move™ can give you a leg up on other buyers because you’ll have a fully underwritten loan approval, and it’s especially important in a hot market. 

Are you ready to get Approved to Move™? Get in touch with Embrace Home Loans today.

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By Aly Yale / June 4th, 2020 / Categories: / Tags: , ,

Aly Yale

Aly J. Yale is a freelance writer focusing on real estate, mortgage, and the housing market. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Bankrate, The Motley Fool, Business Insider, The Balance, and more. Prior to freelancing, she served as an editor and reporter for The Dallas Morning News. She graduated from Texas Christian University's Bob Schieffer College of Communication with a major in radio-TV-film and news-editorial journalism. Connect with her at or on Twitter at @AlyJwriter.