preparing your home for sale

Are you aware that homes that are well-prepared for the market typically sell for about 17% more than those that are not? By following this detailed checklist, you can learn the important steps that help turn a good sale into a great one. This guide will show you how to clean up your home, make it look more inviting from the outside, and fix small problems that could turn buyers away. For instance, a new coat of paint can make your home look fresh and new, while arranging your furniture and decor in an appealing way can help buyers imagine living there. Each step is meant to make your home stand out to buyers and make them fall in love with it. By the time you finish following this list, your home will be the one everyone wants to buy. Let’s dive into the details of how you can get the best sale possible.

When you’re preparing to sell your house, you should focus on making it look clean and spacious. This means getting rid of any unnecessary items and organizing what’s left. Improving the appearance of the outside of your home is also key because it’s the first thing buyers see. This could involve planting flowers or painting the front door. It’s also wise to fix any small issues, such as leaky faucets or squeaky doors, as these can discourage buyers.

For example, painting your walls in a neutral color can make your home feel larger and more inviting. When it comes to staging, you could arrange your living room with a cozy sofa and a couple of accent pillows to show a comfortable living area. If you recommend products, you might suggest a specific brand of paint that is known for its quality and durability.

Remember, writing in a conversational tone can make the information feel more relatable and easier to understand. So, use this friendly style as you list out the specific steps and provide rich, helpful details that will guide homeowners through the process of getting their home ready to dazzle potential buyers and achieve a successful sale.

Declutter and Depersonalize

organize and remove personal items

To make your home more attractive to buyers, begin by tidying up and taking away personal things like family photos and keepsakes. This is important because it helps buyers imagine themselves living in your home and highlights the spaciousness and potential of each room.

Make sure you only keep necessary furniture and organize what’s left. Keep worktops and shelves clear. Design each room with a clear function and a welcoming feel. In the kitchen, for instance, show off clean, uncluttered countertops and gleaming appliances. In living spaces, cut down on personal items that make it seem like the house is still yours.

Your goal is to make your home a blank slate for buyers to dream up their new life in. Organize your closets so they’re tidy and not too full, showing there’s plenty of space for storage. Take out extra clothes and personal belongings. A tidy home doesn’t just look better; it also gives the impression that it’s been well cared for.

For example, in the bedroom, leave just the bed, a dresser, and perhaps a single piece of artwork, to make the room feel larger. In the bathroom, remove all your personal products and replace them with a couple of neatly folded, fresh towels and a simple plant or a scented candle to enhance the ambiance. This approach makes it easier for buyers to see the home’s potential and imagine it as their own.

Enhance Curb Appeal

After sprucing up the interior by removing clutter and making it more neutral, shift your focus to the exterior of your home. This is important because the outside of your house is the first thing potential buyers will see, and it sets the tone for their whole visit. The aim is not only to sell a property but to sell what living in that home could be like.

Start with the lawn. A well-kept, neatly trimmed, and lush green lawn can make a huge difference. If the grass isn’t looking great, think about hiring a landscaper to help it look its best. Then, consider the front of your house. Painting the front door, polishing the door knobs and fixtures, and cleaning the windows can really make your home shine. Small touches like new house numbers and a modern mailbox can also have a big impact.

You can also add welcoming touches like seasonal flowers or decorative pots along the walkway to your door. Keep bushes neat and pathways and driveways clear of leaves and other messes. Your aim is to make every visitor feel like they could be walking into their own future home. Making your home’s exterior appealing is not just a good starting point; it’s essential for attracting buyers and selling your home.

Interior Repairs and Updates

improving the home s interior

After you’ve made a great first impression with your home’s exterior, it’s time to make sure the inside is just as appealing. When selling, it isn’t only about fixing things; it’s about showing off a home that’s well-cared for and up-to-date.

To get your home ready for sale, consider this practical checklist for interior improvements:

  • Fix and Refresh Walls: Repair any holes or marks on the walls. Apply a new coat of paint in a neutral shade to make the interior look clean and more attractive to a broad audience.
  • Flooring Improvements: Fix any broken floorboards, deep clean the carpets, and if you have wooden floors, give them a polish to bring back the shine.
  • Update Fixtures: Replace old lighting, door handles, and cabinet knobs with modern designs to immediately enhance the look of your home.
  • Plumbing Upgrades: Make sure to fix any drippy taps or toilets that won’t stop running. All plumbing should work well, so buyers aren’t worried about water damage.

Doing this work shows off the value of your home and tells buyers they can move in without having to fix a bunch of things. By focusing on these updates and repairs, you’re setting up for offers that match what your well-kept home is really worth.

Deep Clean and Sanitize

To make your home look its best for potential buyers, it’s important to clean and sanitize it thoroughly. This means more than just a quick tidy up; it’s about making the space spotless so that it stands out. Start by getting rid of any clutter. This makes rooms look bigger and more welcoming. When you dust, don’t just hit the obvious spots. Remember to clean places like doorknobs and light switches too, since they get touched a lot and can hold germs.

Now, think about the floors. If you have carpets, consider hiring a steam cleaning service to remove any stains or smells. For hardwood or tile, use a good disinfectant floor cleaner to get rid of dirt and make them shine. Clean windows are important as well because they let in light and give a sense of openness. Make sure they’re clean both inside and out.

It’s also key to sort out areas that aren’t immediately visible. People will look in closets, basements, and attics, so these should be organized and smell nice. You want buyers to see that every part of your home is cared for.

When writing your ad or talking to buyers, use simple language and avoid saying things like “immaculate” or “inviting” without explaining why. For example, you might say, “Our steam-cleaned carpets are free from stains and the freshly mopped hardwood floors are shining, ready for you to walk through.” This gives a clear picture of what you’re offering. Remember to write as if you’re having a conversation, giving lots of details to help buyers imagine themselves in your home.

Stage for Success

career preparation and development

To attract potential buyers, it’s essential to present your home in a way that showcases its top features and allows people to imagine it as their own. By using professional home staging strategies, you’re not only putting a property on the market; you’re promoting an aspirational way of life. The aim is to create a setting where buyers can easily see themselves living.

Here are some straightforward home staging suggestions to make your house more appealing:

  • Clear Out and Make It Neutral: Begin by taking away personal belongings like family pictures and unique collections. This is important because it’s difficult for buyers to imagine their own life in the house when they’re looking at your personal items.
  • Smart Furniture Arrangement: Place your furniture in a way that shows off the best use of your space. Set up areas for conversation and resist the urge to line all the furniture up against the walls. This helps rooms appear bigger and more inviting.
  • Simple Color Choices: Choose simple colors for walls and large items of furniture. Your home should still have personality – enhance it with colorful accessories such as cushions and art pieces.
  • Improve Lighting: Make every room bright. Pull back curtains for daylight and place lamps in dim spots.

Now let’s dive a little deeper:

  • When clearing out clutter, consider renting a storage unit for your excess items. It’s a small investment that can lead to a quicker sale.
  • In terms of furniture, a tip is to focus on symmetry and pairings. Two similar armchairs or lamps create a harmonious look.
  • For paint and major furniture, go for shades like beige, gray, or cream. Then, for a splash of color, how about throw pillows from a brand like West Elm?
  • Good lighting can make a huge difference. Think about upgrading to high-quality LED bulbs from Philips or GE for a bright, energy-efficient glow.

Professional Photography Tips

After getting your home ready for sale, it’s vital to take great photos to attract buyers. Good real estate photography tells a story that makes people see themselves living in your home.

Hire a photographer who’s good at photographing houses. They’ll know how to use light, frame each shot, and pick the right angles to make your home look welcoming. They should use a wide-angle lens for a full view of the rooms, and take pictures from different heights to show off your home’s features.

Choose a time for the photos when the light is best, like mid-morning or before sunset, for a cozy feel in the pictures.

Before the photo shoot, walk your photographer through your house. Talk about the best parts of your home and anything special about it. Their skills and your knowledge will help create photos that will impress buyers.

When you choose a photographer, make sure they have experience with homes. A good photographer will know how to use lighting, how to compose a shot, and which angles will make each room look its best. They should use a wide-angle lens to get a full view of the spaces, and take pictures from different heights to show off your home’s best features.

Plan your photos when the light is bright, usually in the mid-morning or late afternoon. This will make your home look warm and inviting.

Lastly, walk through your home with your photographer before they start. Point out the best parts of your home and any special features. With their photography skills and your knowledge of your home, you’ll get a great set of photos that will catch buyers’ attention.


Your home is now ready to be put on the market, looking its best from the front yard to the back closet. It’s time for potential buyers to visit and see the hard work you’ve put into making your home look great. This could lead to several offers and possibly a competitive bidding situation. You should be prepared to see how your efforts can increase your home’s selling price.

Here’s a straightforward checklist to ensure you’re fully prepared for the sale:

  1. Tidy Up: Clean every room thoroughly. This means vacuuming, dusting, and making sure there are no marks on the walls.
  2. Declutter: Remove personal items and excess furniture to make rooms look bigger and allow buyers to envision themselves living there.
  3. Repair: Fix any small issues around the house, like leaky faucets or squeaky doors, so buyers don’t have to worry about immediate repairs.
  4. Stage: Arrange furniture and decor to showcase your home’s best features. For example, set the dining table or add some colorful throw pillows to the living room.
  5. Curb Appeal: Make sure the exterior of your home is just as inviting as the interior. Mow the lawn, plant some flowers, and repaint the front door if necessary.
  6. Photographs: Have professional photos taken to show off your home in the best light online, where most buyers start their search.

By following these steps, you can help ensure that your home makes a great first impression, which is key to getting offers and achieving a successful sale.

Your Hometown Real Estate LLC is a renowned real estate agency based in Chambersburg, Central PA, offering comprehensive real estate services. We take pride in serving both home buyers and sellers with our unparalleled market knowledge and commitment to delivering exceptional results. As residents of the communities we serve, our expertise extends beyond real estate into a deep understanding of local neighborhoods, amenities, and lifestyle options. Our goal is to make every real estate transaction as smooth as possible, transforming dreams into addresses one home at a time.

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