Skip to main content

Preparing to sell your home can be a daunting task, especially if you have never sold a house before!

First-time home sellers are quickly overwhelmed by the extensive amount of work that goes into selling a house. Selling your home is a major life change. To help reduce stress and move the process along as smoothly as possible, take some time before you list to get prepped!

With proper preparation, you greatly increase the chances of your home selling for more money, faster! Sell your home with more confidence by completing the following tasks before you list your home!

Find a Real Estate Agent

Working with an experienced agent will make a huge impact on your home selling experience. Find an agent you feel comfortable with who is knowledgeable about the market and familiar with the area your home is located in. You want to work with someone who will guide you throughout the process and answer all of your questions because if this is your first time selling, you are going to have a lot of them!

Making repairs before you list will help you sell faster.

Other important repairs to consider include your HVAC system, water heater, roof and foundation leaks, damaged floors, and electrical issues.

Make Repairs

Take a look around your home and identify which repairs are needed most. Your real estate agent can also help you identify which repairs should be prioritized. Buyers are usually looking for homes that require as little to no work upon move-in, so knocking out as many repairs as you can helps make your home stand out.

Key places to make repairs are kitchens and bathrooms. These fixes are typically more involved and require the help of professionals. Tackling these repairs will be pricey initially, but will allow you to sell your home for more.


Organize closets before listing your home.

You may be tempted to shove as much stuff as possible into your closets – don’t! Buyers are going to want to check out what storage space your home has, so make sure these look tidy and organized as well.


A cluttered home is more difficult for potential buyers to picture themselves living in! It instantly detracts from the positive aspects of your home and makes your rooms and surfaces look smaller.

You want to eliminate as many things from each room as possible. Keep surfaces like tables and countertops clear and try to pare down the number of items you have on shelves around your home. You’ll even want to get rid of as many of your fridge and pantry items as possible.

Decluttering also includes all your small appliances in the kitchen (toaster, blender, etc.) and your toiletry items in the bathroom. Find a place to tuck them out of sight during showings. It’s also a good idea to cut down the number of dishes, pots, and pans you have in your cabinets. This is the best time to donate things you no longer use and put anything you don’t need for the next few weeks in storage.


Just like with clutter, personal items make it hard for buyers to make their own emotional connections to your house. Buyers go for homes where they can see themselves living their best life and even though your kid’s art projects or pet’s portraits are beautiful, they make buyers feel like outsiders. It’s best to just go ahead and pack your personal items away until you move into your new home.

Make Easy Upgrades

Small upgrades around your home are easy ways to boost its appearance without taking on full-scale renovation projects. Simple things like installing new cabinet handles in the kitchen or putting up fresh new window treatments can go a long way toward making your home look well-maintained.

Paint baseboards and trim to make them look newer.

Don’t forget your baseboards and trim! Over time, these take a real beating, but a fresh coat of paint is an easy way to help make them look new again.

Along with your small upgrade projects, it’s always a good idea to put a fresh coat of paint in each room. White or something soft and neutral is essential, as these colors help make rooms look bigger and cleaner.

More and more people are also looking for homes with smart technology installed. Something as simple as a video-enabled doorbell, keyless entry keypad, or smart thermostat can help make your home more enticing to buyers.

Deep Clean

This will be easier to tackle after you declutter, depersonalize, and make any necessary repairs and upgrades. Leave no area behind! A dirty home will quickly turn off potential buyers. A good way to make sure you don’t miss anything is to work your way throughout the home one room at a time. Start at the top of the room and work your way down.

Don’t forget about the windows! Clean windows (both on the inside and the outside) will make your property look lighter and brighter, and gives your home that “move in ready” feel.

Stage Your Home

Whether you do this with your own furniture or hire a professional, staging is a major step in preparing your home for the market. Your goal with staging is to highlight the best parts of your home while distracting the buyer’s eye away from the not-so-great parts of your home. Click here for more tips on staging your home!

Keep in mind that today’s home buyers start shopping online, so you’ll want to stage your home in a way that will come across well in photos. Make sure each room has great lighting and have professional photos taken for your online listing.

Boost curb appeal to make home sell faster.

Having great curb appeal is worth it to make a great first impression!

Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Having great curb appeal is a must when it comes to selling a home! This is the buyer’s first impression and will affect their perception of the rest of your home. Make sure your landscaping looks well-kept – trim back bushes and greens, have your grass freshly cut, add in some pops of color with flowers, and tidy up plant beds with fresh mulch.

If you are not painting the exterior of your home, you can freshen it up by power-washing it, as well as power-washing your driveway and walkways. Make sure windows and gutters are cleaned as well. A fresh coat of paint on your front door will also go a long way!

Reduce stress and sell your home with confidence by prepping before you list! If you have any other questions about preparing your home to list, send them to Ellen! From historic homes to new builds, Ellen is an expert in making homes stand out on the market!