Get Your House Ready To Sell Checklist

Get Your House Ready to Sell

Preparing your house for sale can seem like a daunting task. But with some strategic planning and elbow grease, you can have your home looking its best to attract buyers and sell quickly.

Key Takeaways:

  • Declutter and deep clean every room. A spotless house makes a great first impression.
  • Make minor repairs and finish unfinished projects. Fix cracked tiles, leaky faucets, squeaky doors.
  • Upgrade fixtures and hardware for a modern look. Replace outdated light fixtures, cabinet knobs, switch plates.
  • Paint walls in neutral colors. Avoid bright or bold colors. Stick to white, beige, light gray.
  • Improve curb appeal. Well-manicured landscaping and a fresh coat of paint on the front door go a long way.
  • Remove personal memorabilia. Help buyers picture themselves living in the home.

As a realtor for over 15 years, I’ve helped many clients prepare their homes for sale. It’s amazing what a difference some thoughtful upgrades and a deep clean can make. One client’s home completely transformed after a fresh coat of paint and new stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. They were able to sell their house after just 2 weeks on the market for $15,000 over asking price!

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Start With Removing Clutter and Organizing To Prepare Your Home 

The first step is to declutter and deeply clean every room. Go through each closet, cabinet, drawer, nook and cranny. Be ruthless. Get rid of or donate anything you don’t absolutely need or love. A cluttered, messy home will turn buyers off faster than anything.

Create zones in each room for clutter that tends to accumulate. For example, have designated baskets or shelving for kids’ toys in the family room. Install hooks by the front door to hang keys, hats and coats.

Give Your House a Deep Clean

Speaking of cleanliness, a spotless house makes a huge impression. Cleanliness shows a home is well cared for and pride of ownership.

When was the last time you cleaned the walls, windows, baseboards and ceiling fans? Use a ladder and give them a scrub. Wash window treatments and vacuum out the ducts while you’re at it.

Fix Minor Repairs and Complete Projects To Prepare For Home Inspection

Take care of minor wear and tear by making small repairs. Fix cracked floor tiles, leaky faucets, sticking doors and windows, holes in screens – anything that may raise concern with buyers that the home has been neglected.

Also, finish those lingering unfinished projects. Paint the guest room that’s only half done. Install new cabinet hardware in the kitchen. Replace the broken fence pickets.

Upgrade Kitchen and Bathroom Fixtures To Sell A House For A Good Price

An easy way to modernize your home is to upgrade kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Replace outdated light fixtures, faucets, cabinet knobs and switch plates.

Install new showerheads with handheld options. Swap out dated medicine cabinets for ones with built in lighting.

Upgrade sink basins or add a trendy apron front sink. Replace an old range hood with a sleek chimney style one.

Give Walls a Fresh Coat of Paint

Painting walls is one of the best ways to instantly improve the look of a home. But avoid personal color preferences. Stick to neutral wall colors to appeal to all buyers.

White and off-white are safe bets. Try different shades of beige like greige or tan. Soft gray is also popular.

If walls are already neutral, simply freshen up the existing color. Clean walls in good condition don’t always need a full repaint.

Boost Your Curb Appeal

Great curb appeal can entice buyers to take a closer look before they even step inside. Well-maintained landscaping shows your home is cared for.

Keep the lawn freshly mowed and neatly edged. Prune shrubs and trees. Weed flower beds. Plant bright flowers in pots on the porch.

Give the front door a fresh coat of cheery paint like red, green or navy blue. Paint or replace an old mailbox. Clean up kid’s toys scattered around.

Wash the car in the driveway. Park it inside if possible. Hose down dirty exterior walls or sidewalks.

Style Your Home With Neutral Decor Before Putting House On The Market

When prepping your home for sale, stick to neutral home decor. Bold prints or colors can be polarizing. You want appeal to the widest range of buyers.

Keep wall art classic and cushions or throws light in color. Style shelves and tabletops with neutral decor pieces.

Fluff pillows, roll up throw blankets, and style coffee table books artfully fanned out. All the little styling touches go a long way.

Consult an Experienced Realtor To Help You Sell Your House

An experienced real estate agent is invaluable when preparing your home for sale. They can guide you on which projects or upgrades will maximize your home’s value.

A realtor can also advise you on decluttering and decorating using their expertise on staging homes to appeal to buyers. They know what sells homes in your local market.

Hire a professional photographer to highlight your home’s best features. And they’ll handle marketing your listing to the widest audience of buyers.

Remove Wallpaper and Bold Paint Colors

Some buyers are turned off by busy wallpaper designs or bold paint colors. If your home has these, consider updating the wall surfaces.

Remove dated wallpaper. Float over paneled walls to create a smooth surface. Then paint in a popular neutral color.

For painted walls, have samples of different shades on hand. View them throughout the day as lighting changes to pick the right neutral for your home.

Update Lighting Fixtures

Outdated lighting can make a home seem old and worn. Update fixtures to give your house a fresh, modern look buyers desire.

Replace dining room chandeliers, basic ceiling flush mounts and vanity lights with more stylish options.

Install dimmers so buyers can control the lighting. Smart bulbs like Phillips Hue are also enticing kitchen and bathroom upgrades.

Style Each Room for Its Purpose

Use furniture and decor to define how rooms are intended to be used. Stage them in a way that helps buyers envision daily life.

Style a spare bedroom with a bed, nightstands and lamps. Add bookshelves and a reading nook in the office. Set up a playroom with kids’ toys and child seating.

In living areas, pull furniture away from the walls to create cozy conversation areas. Leave space to walk around.

Improve Air Quality and Odors To Get A House Ready

Bad smells are one of the fastest ways to turn off potential home buyers. So if your home has lingering odors, tackle them before listing your house.

Pet, smoke and cooking smells can permeate walls, carpets and fabrics. You may need more than just a thorough clean to remove them.

Make Exterior Updates for Added Value Before Listing Your House

Curb appeal draws buyers in, while exterior updates impress them even more by adding value. So take time to improve the outside too.

If your roof is aging, replace any damaged shingles. Buyers will be wary of an old roof needing full replacement soon.

Update exterior lighting. Add accent lighting and consider smart options. Improve drab landscaping by planting colorful flowers and installing hardscaping features like a firepit.

Did you know that in my experience as a Realtor, staging a home with professional photos increases online views by 65%? Great photos do make a difference.

Hold Open Houses & Showings

Work closely with your realtor to hold open houses and maximize home showings. Take advantage of peek buyer interest during spring market season.

Stage your home as a model to showcase its best features and layout. Store personal belongings off-site so rooms feel more spacious and decluttered.

During showings, open blinds and turn on all lights to make your home bright and welcoming. 

Price Your House Right 

Work with your realtor to set the listing price just right. Price too high and your home could sit unsold. Go too low and you leave money on the table.

A comparative market analysis from your realtor will give you recent area home sales to compare against your property.

Factor in your home’s size, age, condition and upgrades. Is the local market heating up or cooling down? Consider timing and seasonality.

You can’t truly know what a buyer will offer. But pricing competitively for your area puts you in the best position for a quick, profitable sale.

Know When to Make Concessions

Be prepared to make concessions to seal the home sale after you get an offer (or multiple offers!).

You may be asked to include appliances or furnishings to sweeten the deal. Offer a home warranty to give buyers peace of mind about unknown issues popping up.

If the buyer’s lender requires repairs, cover the costs to keep the deal on track. Flexibility gets deals done.

Celebrate Your Sale!

When you finally get that accepted offer, it’s time to celebrate! Pop some champagne and toast your success.

All of your preparation and elbow grease paid off with a solid buyer willing to pay your asking price or higher.

Reward yourself with a massage or spa day. Go out for a nice dinner. You’ve earned it after getting your house market-ready.

FAQs

Q: How do I make repairs to get my house ready to sell?

A: Before putting your house on the market, you’ll need to make any necessary repairs, such as replacing a broken window or fixing a leaky faucet. Make sure any renovations or upgrades you make are cost-effective and will increase the value of your home. You may also want to hire a professional home inspector to help identify issues that need to be fixed.

Q: What is a checklist for getting your house ready to sell?

A: When getting your home ready to sell, there are several things you should consider. These include decluttering, staging, increasing curb appeal, making any necessary repairs and renovations, getting a home inspection done, and listing your house with an experienced real estate agent. Having a checklist can help ensure that you cover all of these items.

Q: What is the best way to stage your home when selling?

A: Home staging is one of the most important steps when preparing your home for potential buyers. To stage effectively, remove excess furniture and personal items from view and give each room an open feel. You may also want to add accent pieces that bring out the positive features of the space. Additionally, consider hiring a professional stager if needed.

Q: What should I do before a buyer does a walk through?

A: Before buyers walk through your home, it’s important that it looks its best. Take time to deep clean throughout the house and make any last-minute repairs or improvements that could increase the value of your property. Get rid of clutter in each room and add small accents like fresh flowers or scented candles that will give off a pleasant aroma.

Q: How can I increase my chances of selling my house?

A: There are several ways you can increase your chances of selling quickly and for top dollar. Start by researching local housing markets so you have an idea of what kind of prices homes in your area are going for. Make sure you list competitively so potential buyers don’t overlook yours! Additionally, declutter each room in order to make it look bigger and brighter.

Q: Should I hire a professional when getting my house ready for sale? 

A: Yes, considering hiring professionals who specialize in preparing homes for sale is highly recommended. Professional services such as painters, cleaners, landscapers, stagers, contractors, etc . can help get your house looking its best before listing it on the market! Additionally, hiring an experienced real estate agent with knowledge about local markets may increase chances of finding qualified buyers quickly.

Q: How do I declutter throughout my entire house? 

A: Decluttering throughout each room is essential when preparing your home for sale. Get rid of any excess furniture pieces or personal items like family photos; this will give each room an open feel. Consider renting storage units if needed until after closing. Additionally, take time going from top-to-bottom cleaning out closets since they tend be some of the most cluttered areas ! 

Q: How do I add curb appeal ? 

A: Curb appeal is key when trying entice potential buyers ! Start by sprucing up exterior areas; trim overgrown shrubs/trees , pressure wash siding & driveways, replace broken planters / outdoor furniture etc . Don’t forget about lighting either – adding new bulbs around entryways makes difference  

 When it comes time to sell your home, there are several steps to take in order to get your house on the market. As a homeowner, you’ll want to give your home a deep clean and make sure that it’s ready for prospective buyers. It is also important to hire a home inspector and price for your home accurately.

Additionally, hiring a listing agent can help sell your home faster by marketing it more effectively. Finally, getting ready to sell your house can be an overwhelming process but with the right resources and strategies you can ensure that you’re doing everything possible to help sell your property quickly.

Listing your home on the market and hiring a listing agent are important steps in the selling process. Consider getting help with showing your house, as well as tips for getting it ready to sell faster and for the right price. If you want to be extra prepared, hire a home inspector who can provide an objective assessment before listing it. 


Ready to turn your real estate dreams into reality? Contact Richard Morrison, Vancouver’s top realtor with 20+ years of experience. As a Medallion Club member and RE/MAX Hall of Fame award winning agent, he’s the expert you need on your side. Whether buying, selling, or investing, Richard’s personalized approach and deep market insights ensure a successful transaction. Reach out to Richard today at (778) 900-2235 and make your real estate journey seamless and rewarding.

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