Prep Your Home For Sale: A Step-by-Step Checklist

Selling a home is a stressful, chaotic venture for many people. You have so much to do, and seemingly so little time to do it in. You might feel tempted to run around frantically, trying to tackle your important tasks with no strategy.

Recently, we spoke with a woman who told us: “I need to sell my house fast to relocate – what do I do?” First, it’s important to take a few deep breaths, and use a checklist to go over everything you need to do to prep your home for a fast and quick sale.

Start With The Front of Your Home

Your home could be gorgeous inside, but if it looks bad from the curb, no one will ever come through the door. If you need to repaint your home and replace your exterior doors, do so.

Remove any weeds, debris, or lawn tools from sight. Spread some grass seed, and put down a new welcome mat. Make people want to come inside first and foremost.

Remove Clutter

If you’ve lived in this home for a while, you’ve probably accumulated a lot of junk. It’s time to throw that junk away, especially if you don’t intend on taking it with you.

De-clutter your home. Donate or dispose of the things you don’t need, and pack the things you do need. Put the boxes in a storage unit, or somewhere else out of sight. You essentially want the home to look generic, yet presentable enough that another family can envision themselves living in your home. I’m sure you’ve walked through model homes before – this is the essence you should strive to capture when staging and presenting your home.

Take Down Your Personal Touches

Family photos and heirlooms are what make your house feel like a home to you. To a buyer, they’re the things that make your home feel like it belongs to someone else.

It’s okay to leave some art on the walls, as long as it isn’t too personal. You want a buyer to be able to envision photos of their own family on your walls.

Start Painting

You may think your bright pink bathroom is endearing, but buyers may think it’s obnoxious. Painting is relatively inexpensive, and it’s easy enough to do on your own. Give everything a fresh coat of paint. Opt for light, neutral colors.

Cream, tan, beige, and off-white look less bare than plain white walls, and they’re also inoffensive. They’ll make your rooms look bigger and brighter.

Deep Clean

When it comes to cleaning, no stone should be left unturned. Clear out the attic, dust every corner, and remove all of the hard water buildup around your faucets. You want every countertop to shine. Unlike cars, homes are seldom bought new.

Buyers want to feel like the home they’re about to purchase is as close to new as possible, and the only way you can create that appearance is by thoroughly cleaning every nook and cranny.

Fix the Odds and Ends

If you’re ready to make the big sale, you’ve probably already tended to any major repairs or improvements that need to be done. It’s time to handle the small things.

Things like cracked switch plates and loose doorknobs probably won’t be deal-breakers to potential buyers, but it’s a small step you can take to make your home move-in ready.

Create a Welcoming Environment

One of our strongest senses is our sense of smell. If you have cats, for example, you’ve probably become so used to the smell of the litter box that it no longer bothers you. It will, however, bother people who are viewing your home.

Make sure your home smells fresh and clean. Many people like to bake a batch of cookies before showing their home, so the aroma lingers. Make sure your house is quiet and pleasantly lit.

Your main goal should be to create a space that someone would want to live in by providing them with a canvas that boasts unlimited possibilities. You want your home to feel warm and inviting, but you also want potential buyers to be able to easily envision how they would customize the space.

With a clean slate, eager buyers will be able to imagine themselves living there. You provide the basics, and allow the buyers’ imaginations to run wild.