How to Prepare Your House For Sale - 10 Easy Steps

Every seller wants their home to sell fast for the most money possible. If that sounds good to you, it's not luck that makes it happen. It's careful planning and knowing how to professionally spruce up your home that will make it stand out from all the other houses for sale in your market. Here are 10 easy steps to follow to prep your home and make it as marketable as possible:


People collect an amazing quantity of "things" better known as junk. Ask yourself when you used it last...if it's been over a year, then you most likely don't need it.

  • If you don't need it, why not donate it or sell it on as a yardsale item.
  • Remove all books from bookcases
  • Pack up all those knick knacks (they only collect dust anyway)
  • Clean off everything on your kitchen counters
  • Put essential items that are used daily in a small box and store in a closet when not in use
  • Think of this process as a head start on the packing you will be doing in the near future


Pack up those personal photographs and personal heirlooms. Buyers can't see past personal effects and can get distracted when looking through your home. You want Buyers to be able to visualize thier own photos and knick knacks in place of yours.You don't want the Buyer's asking "What Kind of People Live Here" want Buyers saying to themselves "I can SEE myself living here".


Say to yourself "This is not my home, it's a product to be sold much like a sweater or a pair of shoes in the store" Make the mental decision to let go of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will nolonger be yours.Say goodbye to every room, picture yourself handing over the keys to the new owners! Don't look backwards...focus on the future.

Step 4: Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets

Buyers love to snoop and will open closets and cabinet doors. Think of what the Buyers will think if item fall out when they open the closet or cabinet....they could think there isn't enough storage space or the house is too small for their needs. Imagine what a Buyer would think when they see organization! This could make them believe you have taken care of the house very well since you've paid attention to the smallest detail of organizing your closets and cabinets.

This means:

  • Alphabetize your spice jars
  • Neatly stack dishes
  • Turn coffee mug handles all the same way
  • Stack boxes from largest to smallest
  • Organize pantry cabinets to food is neatly packed and not scattered

Step 5: Rent a Storage Unit

Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block paths, or are too large for the room making the space feel small or closed in. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them as well. Remove extra leaves from your dining table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room's purpose and have plenty of room to move around.

Step 6: Remove/Replace Favorite Items

If you want to take window coverings, fixtures or built in appliances with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your favorite grandmother, take it down and replace it with a chandelier that you will be selling with the house. If a Buyer never sees it, they won't want it.

Step 7: Make Minor Repairs

  • Replace cracked floor or counter tiles
  • Patch holes in walls
  • Fix leaky faucets
  • Fix doors that don't close properly and kitchen drawers that jam
  • Consider painting your walls neutral colours, especially if you've grown accustomed to purple or pink walls
  • Replace burned out lightbulbs
  • If you've considered replacing a worn out bedspred, do so now

Step 8: Make Your House Sparkle

  • Wash windows inside and out
  • Rent a pressure washer and clean the exterior and sidewalks
  • Clean the cobwebs
  • Re-caulk showers, tubs and sinks
  • Polish chrome faucets and mirrors
  • Clean out the refridgerator
  • Vacuum daily
  • Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures
  • Bleach dingy grout
  • Replace worn rugs
  • Hang up fres towels
  • Clean out musty smelling areas


  • Open your front door...stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you?
  • Linger in every single doorway and imagine how your house will look to a Buyer
  • Examine how furniture is placed. Rearrange pieces if needed.
  • Make sure window treatments hang level
  • Does it look like nobody lives in this house? If so, you're almost finished!


  • Keep sidewalks cleared
  • mow the lawn or rake the leaves
  • paint fadded or chipped window trim
  • Plant yellow flowers. Yellow evokes the buying emotion
  • Trim your hedges and bushes



Kimberly Bain

Kimberly Bain

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Pinnacle Realty Ltd., Brokerage*
Contact Me

Blog Archives