How to Prepare Your House to Sell for More

May 6, 2010

Preparing your house for sale can be a daunting task. When you’re selling your home, there are things about your house you might not notice or mind that can make a big difference with potential buyers.  Even if these fixes or improvements seem small by themselves, taken as a whole they can have an impact on how much you can sell your house for.

We’re thinking about putting our house on the market and a realtor gave us some tips for preparing and staging our house that have been shown to result in higher sale prices.

Curb Appeal

  • Trim your trees & shrubs
  • Plant seasonal flowers
  • Weed flower beds
  • Put out fresh mulch
  • Paint your front door
  • Keep your porch clean

Cleaning Your House

  • Clean the carpets & then keep them vaccumed
  • Polish or wax wood/vinyl floors & then keep them swept
  • Wash all your windows
  • Clean your light fixtures
  • Replace the bulbs with higher watt bulbs
  • Clean out fireplace ashes

House Smell

  • Air out your house for cigarette or dirty diaper smells
  • Keep a candle burning
  • Get the pets out when showing

Decluttering Your House

  • Clean out your closets
  • Organize your drawers & cabinets
  • Don’t have things lying on the floor
  • Clear out piled-high shelves
  • Overcrowded with furniture
  • If limited kitchen counter space, keep it clear
  • Keep kids toys out of front yard and off porch

Bathrooms & Kitchens

  • Keep bathtub, shower, & sinks sparkling
  • Caulk and Grout tubs and tile
  • Fix any leaks in your faucets

Upgrading Your House

These are tips that aren’t necessarily required and will cost you money but can also make a big difference when selling your house.

  • Remove old wallpaper in the bathroom, kitchen, or entry
  • Replace outdated light fixtures
  • Where needed, paint the interior and exterior
  • Install new appliances

If you’re selling your home, hopefully some or all of these tips will help you get a better price.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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14 Responses to How to Prepare Your House to Sell for More

  • Greg

    Grand tips! We’re getting ready to put our home on the market so this post came at just the correct time.

  • Ben

    Good point James, thanks for the tip!

    Hey Mike, I’m glad they’re helpful. Good luck selling your house!

  • Mike - Saving Money Today

    Great tips! We’re getting ready to put our house on the market so this post came along just at the right time.

  • James

    they also say to remove any personal items like pictures of family or friends. this way the potential buyer can picture themselves in the place much easier.

  • Jerry

    Selling your house is daunting but all of your tips are right on the nose. There’s no magic bullet or insurance that your house will sell if you do all of these things but it helps tremendously. It can be stressful to keep up in this way but it makes a big difference.


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