15 Overlooked but Important Ways to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

If you really want to make your home attention-grabbing, it’s time to up your game.

You may think you know the basics when it comes to getting your home ready to sell: remove any clutter or personal effects, fix what’s broken, and stage your rooms. But buyers are a fickle lot, and they can fall in — or out — of love with a home for any number of reasons, some so subtle that the buyers themselves aren’t fully aware of their logic.

If you really want to make your home attention-grabbing for all the right reasons, it’s time to up your game with these outside-the-box tricks:

1. Set the mood (lighting)

Swap out your bright white light bulbs for a soft and flattering wattage that invokes a cozy, yet welcoming feel and hides any tiny imperfections. Opt for bulbs that emit yellow-toned and red-toned hues.

2. Wash your windows

Have your windows professionally washed, or devote an afternoon to washing them yourself from both inside and out. Even on gray days, clean windows will let in more light and make your rooms sparkle — and buyers will definitely notice if it isn’t done.

3. Mind the details

Small details can make your home look dumpy without you even realizing it. Freshen up rooms with new switch plates and outlet covers if yours are grubby from fingerprints or yellowed from aging. Polish handles and hardware and use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to remove minor spots and scuffs on walls.

4. Make it welcoming

You’ve got the curb appeal, but what about “walking up to the door” appeal? Invest in a new doormat and take the time to scrub down your front door since it’s probably covered with dust, dirt, and oils. Better yet, repaint it and add some new house numbers and a new porch light.

5. Don’t forget your side yard

Turn that dead space into a selling point by creating a potting station or kitchen garden, or even set up breakfast nook with a café table and chairs.

6. Get creative with color

Paint two adjacent rooms the same color to give the appearance of an open floor plan. Paint your walls to match your drapery (or buy drapery to match the walls). Use the same colors and patterns in the master bedroom and bath to create an “ en suite” feel.

7. Update your own furniture

Empty rooms show poorly. “Stage” a spare bedroom with an air mattress and bed frame. Create a living room arrangement by throwing matching slipcovers over clashing chairs and sofas.

8. Brighten up trim

Walls aren’t the only things that need a fresh coat of paint. Dingy door and window frames will drag down the prettiest of rooms. Repainting wood-toned trim white will also make your space brighter.

9. Employ scents

The old tried and true: bake a fresh batch of cookies to create a homey feel (or fake it with a scented candle). Employ soothing, spa-like scents like vanilla and lavender in bathrooms and bedrooms.

10. Make your space look bigger

Hang floor-length curtains above your windows to give the illusion of higher ceilings. Lay down a striped rug to make your floor seem more expansive. Use a clear shower curtain to open up a small bathroom.

11. Fake a closet organization system

Make your storage look custom with DIY shelves, hangers, and bins. Organize clothes by type and color for added impact.

12. Dress up your laundry area

Whether it’s a separate room or a corner of your basement, make your laundry area look welcoming by adding a folding surface, bins, and baskets for storage, and a designer element like a fun rug or temporary wallpaper.

13. Tidy up the garage

Install overhead or wall shelves to store bikes and sporting equipment. Create a workshop area in one corner — show buyers it’s more than just a place to park cars.

14. Prepare for snoopers

Buyers will open your fridge, peek in your medicine cabinet, and check under your sinks. Make these areas so tidy Martha Stewart would be proud.

15. Don’t knock feng shui

Many of its teachings can help make your rooms more attractive: avoid having the backs of furniture facing entryways, close the toilet lid, and don’t place anchor pieces like beds or sofas against a window.