Tips for preparing your home to sell

With careful planning and a few changes to your home you can sell your house fast and for the price you are asking.

Here are some tips on where to start:

Look at your house with fresh eyes

Pretend you are a stranger looking at your house for the first time, When you live in your home day-to-day it’s easy to overlook small things that may need tidying or repair but those small things leave a negative impression on potential buyers.

Make a list
Start making a list of all the things you notice that you can change to improve your home.
You can include everything and decide later if what you have on the list is worth doing.

Review your list

Review your list items and factor in the cost and effort it will take and whether or not it will increase the value of your home enough (or at all) to make it worth doing. This is something you can discuss with your realator. They have a lot of experience and know what is worth spending the time and money on.

Clean everything

A clean home is extremely appealing to buyers so clean you house top to bottom until it sparkles. Some things to do:

  • Make sure your floors are clean including those often missed corners.
  • Have your rugs professionally cleaned and keep them vacuumed
  • Take the layer of dust off your floor boards, blinds, ceiling fans and light fixtures (make sure you get the inside of light fixtures if you can see dead bugs or excess dust).
  • Remove scuff marks from the wall, doors and doorways. Invest in a magic eraser and remove all those little marks on your wall and sometimes those big marks you thought were never coming out.
  • Clean the windows. This definitely has a wow factor.
  • Clean your closets. Tidy up your towels and sheets and messy clothes piles on the top shelf.
  • Clean out your fireplace if you have one.
  • A spotless bathroom is also very important.
  • Get rid of odors that may be lingering in certain areas of the home


Decluttering goes hand in hand with cleaning. Sometimes cleaning just means packing up some of your stuff and storing it until you move. Decluttering is extremely important because it will not only look cleaner and bigger with excess storage, it will be easier for buyers to visualize their stuff in your home.

Consider packing away and storing somewhere else the following:

  • seasonal stuff
  • kid’s toys
  • personal items like family picture frames
  • extra linen and towels
  • extra kitchen stuff that you wont’ need like extra storage containers or you “good dishes”
  • extra décor around the house
  • extra furniture
  • craft and hobby stuff
  • storage rooms – most of it’s packed up and not needed anyway
  • garage or shed stuff you won’t need

Decluttering is so important that it might be worth renting a storage space to store your excess clutter.


Depersonalizing your home makes it easier for potential buyers to envision living in your home. This includes getting rid of family pictures, certificates, décor that may reflect your personality but may draw too much attention. You want the buyers to concentrate on you home not your belongings.


Curb appeal is also very important.  Remember a clean yard goes a long way and cannot be stressed enough. Scrutinize carefully and consider doing the following:

  • touching up paint if it looks worn
  • making sure the front door area looks especially nice. Potential buyers usually spend at least a minute waiting or realtors to open the front door and first impressions do count. Consider throwing out a welcome mat or a pot of flowers.
  • cleaning the yard. . This includes, clean flower beds, mowed lawn, pruned trees or hedges, swept walkways and driveways and toys picked up.
  • hosing or sweeping off the wall if it looks particularly dusty or has a lot of cobwebs.
  • shoveling snow and de-icing if necessary
  • cleaning windows (bonus both indoor and outdoor appeal)

Make minor repairs and touch ups

  • repair leaky faucets and plumbing
  • finish almost done renos. Maybe you didn’t complete the finishing touches when you renoed last. e.g.) floorboards, paint, a bit of tile work etc.
  • replace torn screens
  • repair loose doorknobs
  • replace worn deck boards
  • fix broken windows
  • fix water stain damage
  • paint if needed – choose light neutral colors which make your room look bigger and appeal to most people

All these little things mentioned can change the way your house looks and feels.  Avoid major renovations because it’s time consuming and you often will not recoup the costs. Remember to discuss your plan with your realtor and they can guide you in making the right choices.