How to Prepare a House for a Sale | Redy

Jan 30, 2023 10:00:00 AM / by Zak Bretherton

8 Tips to Prepare Your House for a Sale

When it's time to sell your home, you want a quick and easy process. Yet, even if you find the best possible real estate agent, you still need to take steps to prepare and present your house to potential buyers. As you go about finding that great real estate agent to work with, such as through Redy, you can also be proactive at home. Here are eight tips to remember when preparing your home for sale.

1. Declutter Every Room

Home buyers often struggle to see beyond piles of personal items and furniture when walking through your house. Since you want them to visualize themselves living in the property, do your best to create a simple balance. Include just enough personal items without overwhelming the buyers by decluttering each room. Begin in one location in the house and expand out, removing what you can. Limit what's visible on your bookshelves, counters, and tables. Create a sparse yet cozy or modern look, depending on how your house shows best. Rooms with less furniture and excess personal items look larger, allowing home buyers to imagine what they can add to the space.

2. Clean, Organize, and Tidy Up Your Property

When it comes to how to prepare a house for sale, cleaning, organizing, and tidying up is one of the cheapest home makeovers and selling strategies you can use. Show buyers a messy house, and few will look past the built-up grime and heaps of clutter. Those dirty, cluttered spaces will capture their attention first instead of the potential to create a cozy, inviting sanctuary of their own.

After decluttering, make sure that everything left has its place. Organize it all in designated spaces. Clean everything, from windows to sinks to bathtubs to baseboards. Polish faucets and mirrors, and vacuum all carpets and rugs. Dust daily to keep your house looking its best. Put clean hand towels in the bathrooms and place clean-smelling air fresheners throughout the house. Wipe down the interiors of your refrigerator and stove in case potential buyers want to look at your appliances. Remove all obstacles protruding into sidewalks and walkways as well when preparing a house for sale.

3. Minimize the Presence of Pets

While this may sound harsh to animal lovers, remember that not every home buyer is a cat or dog person. Remove dog or cat beds, food bowls, toys, and litter boxes whenever possible. If they must stay, clean them regularly. Also, make sure no animal smells lingers anywhere in the house. Unpleasant smells and excessive pet hair can turn potential buyers off, even if your house is the perfect fit. To help prepare a house for sale, spend time vacuuming, ventilating by opening windows, and deodorizing areas where your pet spends the most time. During a showing, ask someone to take your dog for a walk or pet-sit your cat for a few hours.

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4. Remove Most, if Not All, Personal Objects

Your house may appeal to many potential buyers, so depersonalizing it as much as possible allows each one to visualize it as their own. Personal items in the rooms may make it more difficult to imagine the space as their own. For example, family heirlooms may create a look and feel opposite of what the buyer wants and be off-putting. They can also look cluttered.

Buyers need to imagine how the house can accommodate their design elements and fit their needs, preferences, and aesthetics. Spend time going through each room and removing photographs, family heritage items, and any other furniture or objects that can throw buyers off. You want them to focus on the actual space and its potential.

5. Make Minor Repairs

Repairs can often interfere with a house sale. Think about any minor maintenance your house needs and determine what you can take care of before showing the home to potential buyers. While you won't need to repair everything when preparing a house for sale, a few you might want to consider include: 

  • Patching holes in the walls

  • Replacing burnt-out or dim light bulbs

  • Repairing or replacing dripping faucets

  • Fixing doors or drawers that fail to close properly

  • Painting scuffed-up or dull walls

  • Replacing loose or cracked tiles

Knowing what repairs to make is a crucial part of home-selling and can make a big difference. To learn more about what to fix or not to fix, read this blog post.

6. Organize All Closets and Cabinets

One feature a buyer looks for in a house is the amount of storage space available. Built-in closets and cabinets are important, and the home buyer will more likely than not want to examine them during a showing. Make sure you clean out and organize all closets and cabinets in the house, including those in bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and even the garage if you have one. Neatly line up glasses and stack dishes in your kitchen cabinets, fold all towels the same way in the linen closet, and arrange shoes in a neat line.

You want the buyer to notice the level of detail in your organizing efforts so that they know how well you care for your personal possessions – and how you've cared for the house overall.

7. Rent a Storage Unit if Necessary

Removing and decluttering can be difficult if there's nowhere to put your belongings. If this is the case, consider renting a storage unit nearby to prepare the house for sale better. Temporarily store all excess furniture, artwork, family heirlooms, and everything you have already packed away for your move. While this will add an additional expense, it's worth it if the right buyer comes along and offers the best possible price for your home.

8. Let Bedrooms Be Bedrooms

The number of bedrooms is important in many home buyers' final decision-making. If you currently use a bedroom for something other than a place to sleep, such as a home office, game room, or space to house a collection, consider converting it back to its intended use. Sparsely furnish it with a bed and nightstand to make it appear sizeable, even if extremely small. Doing so can show the potential your house offers to a buyer.

When selling your house, you can take several steps to increase the chances of a quicker sale. Staying proactive by finding the best ways to declutter, clean, organize, and prepare each room for viewing will go a long way in allowing potential buyers to imagine the home they've always dreamed of with less effort.

Before you start preparing your home, however, ensure you have a real estate agent you can count on to guide you through the process. From there, you can begin to tick off each item on the above list.

unlock the hidden value of your home

To find the best real estate agent to work with, start by using Redy. Simply input information about your property and let agents come to you with proposals to represent your home sale! You'll even receive a cash bonus when you sign a listing agreement with an agent. Redy walks you through the agent selection process and provides support so you can make selling your home the best experience possible.

Ready to get started? Head to the Redy website to have real estate agents compete for your business. All you need to do is enter your home's address and confirm your property details. Then top real estate agents will send you proposals, allowing you to easily compare options and find the best fit for you. Get started today!

To learn more about selling your home, visit our Home Seller Resources >

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