Everything You Need to Know About Prepping Your Home for Sale

1. Skip the Local Real Estate Market

Listing your home on the traditional real estate market is a lot of work. You need to keep your home in perfect condition at all times. You also need to do a lot of work ahead of time to prep it for sale.

With iBuyer, you receive a personalized home evaluation and get matched with qualified home buyers. Buyers range from national iBuyers to local iBuyers, investors, or consumers looking to buy directly and close quickly.

You can skip the hassle of holding open houses and showings. There’s no need to bring a bunch of people through your home. Sell your house without hundreds of people coming into it.

How much does it cost to sell a house?

Aside from the money it will cost to make repairs, spruce things up, and store excess furniture and personal items, there are other costs you'll incur to sell a home. Paying a realtor will likely be your largest cost. You'll typically pay between 4% to 6% total, with the funds to be split between your agent and the buyer's agent.


Day 28: Get a Pre-listing Home Inspection (for houses) or Status Certificate (for condos)

It’s not fun to find out what’s wrong with your house or condo at the negotiating table, so arm yourself with the information before you list your home. You can either fix the problems before you list your home, or factor it into your asking price and expectations. (we pay for home inspections and status certificates for our Sellers, ’cause we’re awesome like that).

Related: Why You Should Consider a Pre-Listing Home Inspection

Related: All About Status Certificates

Day 22: Don’t Forget About the Floors

You’ll need more than a Swiffer to get into all the corners and cracks. If your floors are scratched, there are some great products out there to make them look almost-brand-new.

2. Organize Your Closets

People who want to buy your home will look everywhere, and even your closet will make an impression. You want everything to appear orderly and neat. An overstuffed, overflowing closet sends the opposite vibe. Try these tips for taming your closet.

  • Remove half the stuff in the closet so everything fits comfortably.
  • Invest in a closet organizer to keep everything in its place.
  • Limit the number of shoes on the floor, which can look sloppy.

Finishing Touches to Prepare Your Home for Sale

Your house is almost ready for market. Take a walk through of your home as a potential buyer to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Look out for scuffs on baseboards, loose doorknobs, furniture blocking a hallway or anything else that might cause someone to leave your home less than satisfied. Then, make the final touches and you’re ready to sell.

Is now the best time to sell your home? Find out when to put your house on the market and use our ultimate moving checklist once it’s sold.

Home showing checklist

It’s showtime! Before each showing, complete these tasks on your way out the door:

  • Spot check rooms for clutter or dirt
  • Vacuum or sweep
  • Wipe down sinks and faucets
  • Clean kitchen countertops
  • Empty the trash
  • Secure your valuables
  • Put away pet dishes
  • Sweep your front porch
  • Open curtains and shades
  • Turn on the lights
  • Play soft music

Make Indoor and Outdoor Improvements

When selling a home, certain repairs and improvements are well worth the time and money you’ll put in.

  • Beautify your home’s interior and increase its property value with help from an experienced interior designer.
  • Make six easy repairs: Paint the walls, upgrade your light fixtures and flooring, spruce up the landscaping, and fix anything that’s damaged or broken.
  • Fix any issues with your home’s foundation. Take a moment to research local concrete repair experts and compare rates, reviews, timelines, and more.

7. What To Do To Prepare House for Sale That Needs Small Updates?

Just because you aren’t renovating your entire home doesn’t mean you can’t do a few small updates. Making small changes will help give your home a more updated appearance. This is especially important in high-end real estate markets

In the kitchen, consider painting or staining your cabinets. A new countertop will also help to update the room. New hardware and lighting fixtures modernize the space without breaking the bank.

In the bathrooms, you can replace mirrors, towels, rugs, and shower curtains to freshen up the room. New rugs in the main living areas or even new lamps help to update your décor.

New bedding and towels also help your home show better. Remember that anything you buy to update your home will come with you when you move. These small investments are also things you can use in your new home.

Make Minor Repairs

In some seller’s markets, you can sell a home in lived-in condition without much complaint. But in normal markets or a buyer’s market, repairs can make or break a sale.

Replace cracked floor or counter tiles, and patch any holes in the walls. Fix leaky faucets and doors that don't close properly, as well as kitchen drawers that jam. Consider painting walls neutral colors, especially if they're currently hot pink or purple. Don't give buyers any reason to remember your home as "the one with the orange bathroom."

Replace burned-out lightbulbs, and also consider replacing those that have been in service for a while. Avoid the potential of having a bulb blow out when you flip the light switch during a showing. It's a small incident that can easily be avoided if you are mindful. You want the buyer's experience to be as positive as possible.

Throw open the curtains and blinds, and turn on those lights. Houses show better when each room is clean and bright.

Don’t Slack on Staging

Even desperate buyers are prone to walk away if the house doesn’t live up to the price tag, or at least get close to it. And in today’s world of aspirational real estate shows aplenty, real estate agents say it’s essential for sellers to present their home in the best light so that people can visualize themselves in it.

According to a recent National Association of Realtors survey of real estate agents, 7 out of 10 agents said photos, videos and virtual tours were far more important since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Additionally, 23% of buyers’ and sellers’ agents said that staged homes fetched between 1% and 5% more in dollar value than similar homes that did not get a makeover.

“While it’s tempting to put little work in the repair and renovation of your home due to the high demand prior to selling, buyers will pay a premium when comparing options in this market for homes that provide peace of mind for being move-in ready,” says Shaival Shah, CEO and co-founder of Ribbon, a real estate technology company.

This doesn’t mean you should sink money into major renovations, says Adrienne Allen, a real estate broker at Homie in Henderson, Nevada. For sellers who want to juice their profits, the usual suspects will do: a fresh coat of paint, organize, minimize clutter and do a deep clean.

“Don’t worry about expensive remodels or renovations right now. Save that money and list the home,” Allen says. “As long as it is clean and decluttered, it will sell quickly.”

Step 2: Make small repairs

Take care of these problems before you take listing photos or get ready to do showings, either through in-person or video tours. These are all fixes that you can do yourself.

  • Fix any leaking faucets and running toilets.
  • Replace caulking around tubs, showers and sinks.
  • Freshen up or repair grout as needed.
  • Repair walls and repaint them in a neutral, generally pleasing color that complements your home.
  • Fix cracked or broken windows.
  • Replace or repair damaged window screens.
  • Replace burned-out lightbulbs.

4. Paint where it needs it most

A fresh coat of paint can make a home feel new. In fact, painting is one of the most common recommendations real estate agents make to sellers before they list. Paint can help small rooms appear larger and highlight architectural details, such as crown molding and trim. Be mindful of your color choice, however. Experts recommend warm neutral colors, such as beige, tan, gold, gray, and “greige,” a blend of gray and beige. Because these shades go with anything, they can help buyers to picture their belongings in your home.

If you don’t have time to paint your entire home, HouseLogic.com recommends painting the kitchen, bathrooms, entryway and foyer. If you’ve had your house painted in the past few years, you can likely just touch up scuff marks or stains on walls or baseboards.

Homeowners often tackle painting projects themselves. For best results, prep the rooms by cleaning the dust and dirt from walls, repairing any damage or holes, applying painter’s tape to trim, and covering furniture and floors with a drop cloth. While painting isn’t difficult, it can be time-consuming. The average bedroom will take 30 minutes to two hours to prepare, and one to two hours per coat to paint, according to the paint company Glidden. Hiring a professional painter runs from $380 to $790 per room, not including ceilings, trim or paint costs, while doing the project yourself can cost between $200 and $300 per room, according to HomeAdvisor.com.

Get Help Preparing Your Home for Sale

If you’re ready to prep your home for sale, but are falling short on the cash needed to make the necessary repairs or renovations, PSECU has several home equity and other loan options that can help you bridge the gap while you prepare to sell your home. Visit our website to learn more about our loan offerings.