Time to sell? Let's get you ready! A guide to help homeowners prepare for selling their home


It is important to give your home an honest and thorough assessment.

• Consider the overall condition including interior and exterior, mechanicals, major components (roof, windows, etc), cosmetics and decor, etc.

• List any and all updates that you've done over the years

• Are you compliant with the town/city codes? Have you done any improvements to your home without necessary permits? This is something you really want to pay close attention to as this could cause issues down the road.

• Consider inviting me over to discuss, review and recommend to help you get ready for when it is time to sell.

Preparing your home for sale

Tips for showing your house at its best: watch this video for some really great advise on preparing to sell your home.


Clutter can make a house feel smaller—and look messy. The objective is to maximize the space in the house. A good rule of thumb -- remove about half of the contents of the closets and cupboards. Sell it, store it, or just give it away. One of the positive aspects of decluttering, is it will make packing to move, soooo much easier. Don't forget the areas hidden from view, like the insides of cupboards, medicine cabinets, and storage closets. Face the contents of these areas so labels are all turned forward, boxes are neatly lined up, coats are all hanging in the same direction.

Clean, Clean, Clean

When selling a house, it needs to be beyond everyday clean. Buyers don't want to see someone else's dirt. Think spotless inside the home. Homeowners need to find and clean those areas that don't get regular attention. If a door or wall still looks dirty after it has been cleaned, apply a fresh coat of paint. Pay attention to areas that are touched often, such as doorknobs and light switches. These areas get dirty fast. Don't forget the places that draw dust, like light bulbs and the TV screen. Reconditioning wood paneling and flooring can make it look especially warm and glowing. Pay attention to surfaces that catch the light—polished wood, windows, stainless steel, etc. They attract the eye, so they have to be clean and shiny.

A clean exterior shows buyers that the home is well cared for, so clean the areas that obviously need cleaning. Spray down the siding and walkways, touch up paint, and remove any fallen leaves or branches from the yard. Is time a factor? Consider hiring professionals to take care of larger jobs, like shampooing carpets or pressure washing the home's exterior.


Completing repairs can have a real impact on securing the asking price. It can also reduce the amount of time the house is on the market because a house in excellent condition, is a house in demand!

Decide which repairs you can do and which jobs require a professional. Remember, it's more difficult for buyers to negotiate a lower price if there's nothing wrong with the house. So try to take care of all major repairs. As well, small jobs like fixing squeaks, drips, or scratches take little time and money to complete. Fixing the small stuff will prevent most buyers from nit-picking at your home. Taking care of repairs early can make for a smoother, faster closing later.

Depersonalizing and Neutralizing

Depersonalizing the home helps buyers visualize themselves living there and it usually creates a feeling of more space, too. A house that has unique or dated wallpaper, color schemes, or decor themes may limit you to attracting only the buyers with tastes similar to the homeowners. Encourage your clients to strip back the number of family photos, trophies, unique artwork, and dated wall treatments.

Some homeowners go multi-colored when they paint. Strong or unusual colors may not appeal to as many people. A different color in each room can break up the flow of a home, which can make it appear smaller. There is nothing wrong with color; however, muted tones will be more generally appealing than bright tones. A neutral tone can especially help calm down the intensity of a purple carpet or bright pink tiles. There are countless beige shades and white tones on the market that can warm up, brighten, or enlarge a space. Remember, paint is available in warm tones and cool tones—and tone can make or break a room.

Odors in your home

Homeowners are accustomed to the way their home smells, but potential buyers may not be. Do a sniff test to ensure the home really does have a neutral, clean smell. Avoid strong room fresheners, potpourri, or scented candles—even scented soaps. These just mix with the other smells and sometimes, buyers will have allergies to these added scents. To remove lingering scents from pets, cooking, and smoking, purchase an odor neutralizer for carpets, upholstery, drapes, pet beds, etc. Also treat dog's bed with odor neutralizer or stow it in the garage when they leave the home before viewings. Consider renting a fresh air machine/air purifier if necessary. Also, if weather permits, open the windows to consistently bring fresh air into the home.

Personal collections and photos

Personal items can stop buyers in their tracks and distract them. You don't want people cooing over baby pictures when they should be noticing the home's features. Pack away as many of the family photos, doll collections, and sports trophy displays as possible. This will help to create that neutral space and help buyers to be able to visualize themselves living there.


Created By
Debra Allan


Created with images by Francesca Tosolini - "untitled image" • Umanoide - "Lavorando s’impara" • jordi pujadas - "Cool summer closet" • Daiga Ellaby - "untitled image" • Charles - "Documenting the process of tiling the kitchen backsplash." • Douglas Sheppard - "Shot on location for Tranquil Designs." • Lasse Møller - "I live here" • Avel Chuklanov - "untitled image"