Prepare Your Home For Sale

Over the years, we have come across articles that are timeless and classic. When it comes to preparing your home for sale, the goal has remained the same: clean-up, declutter, and help buyers imagine themselves living in the home.

Here are two articles that we often share with our home sellers who are preparing for a market debut.


Steps You Can Take to Assist Home Sale
Nick Harder, The Orange County Register

A major challenge many people face is how to prepare their home for sale. A good real estate agent can help move you in the right direction, but there are things that you can do on your own to get a head start.

Don’t make radical changes without careful consideration. Frequently, radical changes such as updating the kitchen or remodeling are not going to pay off. For example, your kitchen may be small, at least by today’s standards. Almost anyone buying the home would want to enlarge the kitchen anyway, so why go to that bother and expense?

Talk with a real estate agent to find out whether major changes should be considered. If it is something your home desperately needs – a new roof, for example – it might be worthwhile. In general, any preparations should be directed toward making your home clean and look as good as it possibly can.

Maximize curb appeal. This is the impression made by your home when a potential buyer arrives to see it for the first time. That initial impression is worth a great deal. If a home is even halfway decent inside, a good curb appeal impression will help itself. Here are some ways to generate curb appeal:

  • Repair any cracks in the driveway or walkway and resurface if necessary.
  • Keep the landscaping clean and neat.
  • Make sure the home looks freshly painted.
  • Keep the garage doors closed when potential buyers visit.
  • Make sure garbage cans and other paraphernalia are out of sight.


Inside your home, the key words are cleanliness and clutter. Your home should be so clean that a Marine sergeant with a while glove couldn’t find dust or dirt. For example:

  • Every window should be thoroughly cleaned on both sides.
  • Bathroom(s) and the kitchen should sparkle.
  • Your carpets should be shampooed, your floors should glisten, and your faucets and handles should be free of water spots and polished until they gleam.


Clear the clutter to make the inside of your home look as big as possible. You might also consider removing most or all of the items from your kitchen and bathroom counters. You want storage areas to look spacious, so you may want to take some items out of closets and free up shelves from the clutter of knickknacks. If you have something on  your wall – a quotation, sign or picture – that someone may find offensive, remove it. When you show your home, make it a pleasant experience. Have fresh flowers you can display and put out a plate of cookies.

Speaking of smells, use them to your advantage. Have a small bowl of vanilla warming in the oven or slow cooker of apple cider brewing and a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies baking.


Show Your Home At Its Best
Nick Harder, The Orange County Register

Getting the full value for your property, even in times of high demand, takes some effort. And because most sellers will turn around and have to buy another house, probably at an equally high price, it is important to get the most out of your home. That means showing it off in top shape. Best of all, preparation doesn’t have to take a truckload of money. Here are some tips to get those potential buyers to open their checkbooks.

The best looking home is a clean home. That means no fingerprints on doors and walls, no dirt on top of the refrigerator, lights and lamps void of dust, no cobwebs in a corner of the ceiling, and all wood surfaces and chrome faucets polished so well you can see your reflection.

When in doubt, take it out. This is a rule against clutter. You may not think of the three cookie jars atop a portion of your kitchen counter as clutter, but their being there (along with countless other items) not only detracts from a sense of expansive space but prevents the potential buyer from seeing a home as his or her own.

The kitchen and bathroom are probably the worst areas for personal clutter. It’s not that you shouldn’t have something on the kitchen or bath counter, but keep the number of items to a minimum and don’t just stash everything under the sink.

The same rules apply for closets and storage areas. If they are jammed tight, buyers are more likely to think the space is too small. The less clutter, the larger the home looks.

Make your home odor-free. Or, at least make it a pleasant odor. Cleaning should get rid of most foul odors, but it wouldn’t hurt to have the old homestead smelling of apple cider or potpourri. Every person who tours a lot of homes knows that’s an old trick, but it still works.

Keep your personal items to a minimum. That means family photos, sports trophies, awards, and anything that would keep the potential buyers from picturing the home as their own.