Simple Ways to Prepare Your House Before Selling

Simple Ways to Prepare Your House Before Selling

Justo Team | June 1, 2022

Every home seller dreams of selling their property quickly and at top dollars. The truth is that this can be challenging to achieve, even in budding real estate markets. As a seller, you need to plan ahead, be organized, and focus on preparing to sell your house in all senses.

Family Selling Their House

Below, we’ll share ten steps to prepare your house for sale and five things that sellers often miss during the process.

10 Steps to Prepare Your House For Sale

Preparing a house for sale may seem straightforward. But, the truth is, it can be demanding both physically and mentally. 

From fixing light fixtures to adding fresh flowers to the garden, there are many minor changes that most buyers will find appealing. That said, examining and performing repairs throughout the entire house can take a significant amount of time and effort. Whether you’re paying a professional or preparing your home for prospective buyers by yourself, you should consider this during the planning process. 

Learning how to prepare a house for sale can also be emotionally challenging for the first-time seller, especially if it’s a family home. However, the best approach here would be that the sale of your property will allow you to start yet another chapter in your exciting story. 

Here are 10 basic steps to help you prepare your home for sale. 

1. Start Distancing Yourself from Your Home

Emotional attachment can cloud a seller’s judgment and cause unwanted issues. The best solution is to start distancing yourself from the home as soon as you decide to put it on the market. 

You could rent and move into another house if your house needs a lot of improvement. You should also avoid leaving personal belongings in the house. For this, you can rent a storage unit for storing large furniture like a dining table and, if you don’t have space for it. 

This process may be the toughest of all, but learning how to distance yourself from your home will help you complete additional steps quickly and potentially make more money. 

2. Transform Your House Into a Blank Canvas

Leaving photos out and setting up your dining room to impress buyers may seem like a good idea when preparing your home for sale. But, the truth is that both of these can distract potential buyers and reduce the chances of selling your home. 

Young lady renovating their home

When buyers view residential real estate, they want to picture their own family in it. But, this can be difficult if the seller leaves belongings rather than purchasing storage spaces. 

This means that you need to create a blank canvas by removing all the family photos as well as all other personal items from your home. Remember that personal items include anything you plan to take with you, from the contents to the master bedroom right down to the front porch and exterior areas.  

Creating a blank canvas will allow buyers to visualize their future and increase the perceived property value. 

3. De-Clutter as Much as Possible

Cluttered spaces can reduce your home’s curb appeal and ultimately repel buyers. 

Rather than leaving items with little practical value for the future home buyer, you should declutter all spaces and paint your walls in neutral colors. Clearing out clutter won’t necessarily increase your home value. Still, it can help your professional stager create a beautiful scene, which will make your property appealing to more buyers. 

4. Organize Storage Cabinets and Closets

Many sellers cram all their belongings into cabinets and closets in order to prepare for a home sale, but this can actually have the opposite effect.

Potential buyers will want to test every single part of your home before making an offer, so make sure that your cabinets and closets are organized. You should empty both of these areas and place these belongings either in your temporary house, your new home, or the storage space you purchased. 

5. Address Foul Odors

The appearance of your house is essential during the staging process and all other parts of the sale itself. However, smells also play a crucial role in how buyers perceive your property.

If the first thing that prospects smell when walking through your front door is a pet odor or a similar scent, there’s a strong chance your home won’t sell as quickly as you’d like it to.

To avoid this, you should remove pet odors and similar smells from all areas of your house. Some smells come from layers of grime that have been accumulating for a while, so you may have to hire professional help to eliminate odors completely.

6. Replace or Remove the Items You’re Keeping

We’ve mentioned this briefly in the last points, but you need to remove all objects and items you plan to bring. This includes non-fixed belongings and large appliances that may need to be uninstalled.

Calm couple sealing carton boxes during renovation

Remember, having a fully-equipped kitchen and other amenities will make your home more appealing. If you have small rooms or a relatively low overall square footage, consider replacing large appliances in order to attract as many buyers as possible. 

7. Perform Necessary Repairs and Find Warranty Information

Repairs are a crucial part of preparing houses for sale. It’s up to the home seller to decide which areas need repairs before the home goes onto the market. 

As a general rule of thumb, the more repairs you perform, the more valuable your real estate. Another way to look at it is the $500 rule. From broken light bulbs to a creaky garage door, every small visible repair will knock off $500 from the asking price. 

For this reason, most sellers prefer to perform all minor repairs, including things like kitchen sink replacements, in order to get as much money as possible. 

8. Paint and Make Small Improvements

If your real estate agent suggests that you paint your home before it goes onto the market, you should definitely do so. You should consider adding a fresh coat to every wall even if you don’t get the suggestion. 

A new paint job can actually influence the selling price of a piece of real estate. When paired with repairs and a deep clean, new paint on your walls can completely improve their appearance and help ensure that your house sells quickly. 

9. Spruce Up the Exterior of the Home

New flower pots, practical outdoor light switches, and other exterior improvements can make a big difference to buyers. Now, the improvements you can make will depend entirely on the type of property you’re selling. 

house exterior

Detached houses and semi-detached properties have the most freedom, while townhouse owners need to determine what changes they are allowed to make. Apartment owners will have less space to work with, but they may still be able to improve their outdoor spaces through home staging. 

10. Clean and Perform a Final Inspection

The final step is to perform a deep clean of your entire property. This includes all rooms, the basement, and the attic areas. You should also use a pressure washer to remove imperfections from exterior areas like concrete decks and tiled verandas.

It’s a good idea to schedule home inspections after completing the preparation process but speak with a trustworthy agent to figure out the best for you.

Things That Home Sellers Often Miss

Our instructions on how to get your house ready to sell should work as a general blueprint to help sellers increase their chances of success — but it’s by no means a comprehensive list. Every piece of real estate property has a unique combination of size, features, improvements, location, and wear, so you need to personalize these steps based on your requirements.

Moreover, there are also additional actions you may have to take to attract a higher number of buyers. This includes: 

  • Search for your home address online to know what buyers see 
  • Perform a pre-listing inspection
  • Invest in a professional photographer 
  • Arrange for a pet sitter to take care of your furry friends during showings
  • Clean small details and adjust the thermostat to ensure the perfect temperature

Ready to Find the Perfect Buyer?

Finding the ideal potential buyer takes a huge amount of effort from both the seller and the real estate agent. At Justo, we specialize in helping sellers put their properties on the market, sell them quickly, and make as much money as possible. 

Looking to work with experienced real estate agents? Get in touch with Justo today, and we’ll be glad to help. 

Justo
By Justo Team

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