Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

How to Prepare Your House for Sale Before Listing It

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For whatever reason it’s time for you and your home to part ways, putting your house on the market is never easy from an emotional perspective. The actual task of listing your property, on the other hand, can be a pretty straightforward process owing to the wide variety of online platforms connecting house owners to potential buyers in and around their respective city. The real task, however, is preparing your house for sale.

While there’s no law against selling your house in its present condition (provided that you have all the legal paperwork in order), brokers and staging professionals alike highly recommend taking a few measures that will up your chances of finding a buyer who is willing to pay the asking price. In fact, a little sprucing up and minor, low-cost repairs will increase the value of the property and therefore, enable house owners to raise the rate accordingly.

With that, let’s talk about how to prepare your house for sale, and some of the simplest things you can do to make your home more attractive and inviting to potential buyers. 

How to Start

a man holding a magnifier over three wooden block houses on an large calculator next to a sandbag that says market price

Until you know what needs to be done, you won’t know where to begin! For that reason, we suggest doing a thorough walk-through of your home as if you were interested in buying the house. Simultaneously, or subsequently, make notes on things you would want to improve on or get repaired before purchasing the property. When you have an idea of what other people might view as a negative, that’s when you can tackle the problem and turn it into a positive.

For a better understanding of what you shouldn’t overlook when preparing your house for sale, read on.

Key Tips to Make Your Home More Appealing to Buyers

large graphic of a makeshift house and the word sold in red underneath

While bigger or costlier upgrades/repairs are optional, if they are within your budget, real estate agents definitely recommend them. Along with some potentially large problem areas, we are covering the most common, yet important, things to do in preparation for showing/selling your home. Take a look below.

Patch Up Cracks/Holes in the Wall

For potential buyers, the biggest deterrents of a property are cracked walls. Whether the current condition of your home’s walls require major or minor work, consider patching up cracks and filling up holes to make it appear newer, and increase the value of the property. Depending on the severity of the damage (if any), you can learn how to repair old plaster with a DIY restoration guide, or simply hire a professional for the job.

Repaint the Walls

A touch-up paint job is necessary when patching up cracked walls; however, if the current paint finish looks shabby overall, a fresh coat of paint is one of the best ways to revitalise a home interior which, in turn, justifies an increase in the asking price. If you are considering repainting your house interior walls, bear in mind that some colours/shades are more favourable than others in creating a more open and inviting space. A colour scheme that includes neutral shades paired with earthy accent tones are typically considered ‘crowd pleasers’ for painted walls; on the other hand, solid, bold colours can be a turn off among many individuals. So, to play it safe, stick to light, neutral shades.

Clean the House Thoroughly

When you are showing your property to interested parties, a thorough, top to bottom clean of the house is a must! It’s only natural for potential buyers to envision themselves living in the house during a walk-through which is why a lack of cleanliness is a big turn off. From removing cobwebs and dusting the furniture to cleaning dirt and stains from the floor and walls; don’t leave any stone unturned when it comes to cleaning your house before a showing. If you are pressed for time or overwhelmed with the amount of cleaning your house requires, consider hiring a professional move out cleaning service to come in and make the place immaculate!

Clear Out Clutter

When your home is messy and overrun with clutter, it distracts people from the actual interior design. Not only is this unfair to the potential buyer (who is unable to have a crystal clear idea of the house design) but it does not do you or your home any favours either! Even small forms of clutter such as disorganised mail on the coffee table or an untidy bookshelf should be tackled in a bid to abolish all forms of clutter in your home. Along with impressing people with a clean and clutter-free house, you will benefit from undertaking this task when it’s time to pack up all your belongings!

Organise Storage Spaces

Everything from closets and kitchen cabinets to drawers and shoe racks should be neatly organised to show potential buyers that the house offers ample storage space to organise your home efficiently. Oftentimes, cluttered or disorganised storage cupboards and cabinets are mistaken for a lack of storage space, or simply paint the house owners in a bad light. Interested parties might believe that a lack of commitment to organise your home may also indicate a greater lack of awareness where overall care and maintenance of the house is concerned. Moreover, as with decluttering your home, getting organised will play a significant role in easing the packing process. 

Spruce Up the Bathroom

The bathroom is always a major selling point when it comes to purchasing a house. The nicer your bathroom appears and smells, the more enticing the whole house becomes for potential buyers. Along with ensuring that the space is clean, organised, and gleaming, there are a few other things you can do to make your bathroom(s) more attractive. Some of these include the addition of luxurious bath towels, fancy washcloths, small indoor plants, and scented candles. Basically, any way you can think of to spruce up your bathroom will go a long way in impressing people who visit your house for sale.

Create More Floor Space

Who doesn’t want a more spacious and airy home? Well, if you haven’t had that in a while due to excess furniture and other personal possessions that take up floor space, here’s your chance to do something about it. Roll up and store large rugs, rearrange furniture, and shift anything that is not really needed into the garage or basement. An end table, floor lamp, or bean bag may serve you well while you live there, however, in the potential buyer’s eyes, it just makes the room appear smaller. 

Make the Outside Presentable Too

The first impression people have of your home begins with the exterior. Whether you live in a house or an apartment, make sure that everything they see before they enter the house is presentable. This means storing away miscellaneous items that are in the patio, moving footwear to a storage space inside the house, cleaning cobwebs, and wiping down the front door. You can also go one step further to decorate the space with potted plants, windchimes, or artwork. 

When you take the time to prepare your house for sale, you can rest assured that your efforts will not go in vain! So, heed the key tips above and you will have potential buyers lining up to purchase your property for all that it is worth. 

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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