How to Prepare Your House for Sale

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Your Question: How Can I Get My House Ready for Sale?

Professor Tate answers:


It only stands to reason that your home should be in its top condition when you try to sell your home for sale by owner or put it on the market. Your house needs to appeal to people. It needs to be attractive. Buyers need to be able to see themselves living in it, and little things can be a distraction to a Buyer.

How much work should you do?  That depends on your asking price, the current condition of your house and the time you have to get it sold.  If you’re in a hurry, just take care of the little things that will make your house look better both on the outside and on the inside.

One major thing you need is curb appeal. Curb appeal is what buyers can see from the street that make them want to take a look.  You’ve heard the term “Never judge a book by its cover” – well that’s what people will do with real estate.  If they see something unappealing from the outside, the chances they’ll want to see it on the INSIDE are much slimmer.  So, improving your home’s curb appeal is critical to generating traffic and interest. 

Thankfully, improving curb appeal doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. A good rule to go by is to simply keep things neat and neutral.  Fresh paint, a well-kept lawn, maintained shrubs, and a couple of potted plants at the front door are simple things that will be attractive to any shopper driving by. 

Don’t forget to keep things neutral.  If repainting, stick to light neutral colors, like beige, cream or white.  Remember that you want buyers to be able to see themselves in your home, so keep the yard free of your kids’ toys and any gardening tools you might have lying around.

Once you have the potential buyers in the door, how do you make your home show better? First of all, de-clutter and clean! You want your home to look as spacious as possible, so get rid of clutter! ALL the clutter – in the closets, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.  Once you’ve got that taken care of, fix any cosmetic flaws you notice.  Paint rooms that need it (don’t forget to keep it neutral!), remove or replace worn-out carpeting, replace dated faucets and light fixtures.  Give your cupboards and cabinets a face-lift with some new handles and knobs. Give buyers the best chance at imagining themselves living in your space.

These are just a few suggestions of what you can do to make your home more appealing. As you can see, it doesn’t have to be too difficult or expensive. Keep your place clean, clutter free and neutral. Add some welcoming touches like potted plants and flowers. Little things can really make a big difference. 

You asked, now you know! 

-Professor Reel S. Tate 

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