How to Prepare Your Home for Sale

October 16th, 2023  / Author: Cesar Gomez
Home Sales

Preparing your home for sale before putting it on the market can help you find a good buyer – faster. Generally, the longer your home stays on the market, the more difficult it will be to sell for the price you want. Preparations you make won’t necessarily increase the value of your property, but they can help attract a buyer.

However, preparing your house for sale can (and likely will) be an investment of both time and money. So, you should always calculate whether the investment is worth it or if you can get a reasonable price without investing too much.

In this article, we’ll explain and list things to do before selling your house, help you focus on the most impactful preparations, and arm you with valuable tips to get your house ready to sell in no time! Let’s dive right in.

How to Prep Your House for Sale Step 1: Have a Master Plan in Place

Packing a box

“How do you prepare your home for sale before moving?” is one of the most common questions weighing on people's minds. This goes without saying, but before you start doing anything, you should think of a strategy and have a master plan in place. It’s doubtful that you have an overabundance of time to make everything perfect, especially if you are working on a distressed property.

So, you need to prioritize. Select the best time for putting the house on the market and set time limits for each major step in the preparation process. Essentially, make a checklist of the crucial things to do before selling your house first. As each situation is unique, we can’t tell you the exact steps you should prioritize.

You should focus on the most visible and impactful repairs/improvements that will make a buyer more likely to be interested. Major steps could include fixing broken doors and windows, while smaller ones could be things like fixing leaky faucets. What you can get done is up to you, but we’ll list all things to do before selling your house that will increase your home’s selling potential.

Identifying the Issues

You’re probably wondering: “What should I do to prep my house for sale?” The first step in making a plan is identifying what needs to be done. Start by going room to room and writing down any repairs you need to make, whether large or small. You can rank them by importance later, but first, you need to know what needs to be done. Check whether each door, faucet, cupboard, appliance, etc., is working as it should.

Do the same with the outside of your home. Be as detailed as you can. Of course, note any major repairs you need to make, too – such as a caved-in roof or peeling paint. Once you figure out what needs to be done, you can start prioritizing.

Making Major Repairs

Put yourself in the potential buyer’s shoes. What would turn you off from making an offer on this house? Or, what would make you demand a much lower price than what the seller is offering? Many buyers want to move in soon after purchasing a house, which means they won’t be willing to spend a few months making repairs.

Are the walls visibly cracked? Is the roof leaking? Is the plumbing not working? Are multiple doors and windows coming off of their hinges? Is there any significant water damage? How about visible mold in the corners? Getting a house ready to sell means you must take care of all these issues.

In short, any clearly visible damage needs to be repaired first. There’s another thing that needs to be mentioned – does the house you are selling pass the smell test? It’s not uncommon for houses that have not been lived in for a while to develop an odor.

An unpleasant smell can instantly make a buyer disinterested in buying a home. Whether it’s due to bad plumbing, pests, or anything else, you need to identify and deal with it before showing the house to potential buyers. How quickly can you prepare your home for sale?

Increasing Curb Appeal

First impressions matter. If a buyer likes the look of the property as soon they see it, they are much more likely to disregard any imperfections and focus on the positives. All it takes is setting aside some time to tackle updating those interior rooms that could use an aesthetic lift, properly staging areas throughout the house, and sprucing up your curb appeal to maximum potential.

You can improve your curb appeal in many ways, such as repainting your fence, lacquering the front door, and tidying your lawn or garden. If you have the time and means, you can redo your driveway, plant some enticing plants, and install some pleasant lighting.

If you can imagine a passer-by seeing your house and thinking – I like how that house looks – you’ve done your part. As a bonus, if the outside of your house is attractive, you can take pictures and use them for marketing your home when you decide to sell.

Decluttering and Cleaning

Cleaning home

If you’re wondering: “How do I get a messy house ready to sell?”, don’t worry – we’ve got your back. When you are preparing your home for sale, you want to remove all unnecessary furniture, appliances, and any other items that take up significant space. A home with fewer items can seem more spacious than it is, which can appeal to your buyer.

While they are not buying your house for the items that are or are not in it, they influence how they will perceive your home. The same goes for cleaning – a buyer is more likely to appreciate your home if it is clean and tidy. So clean it top to bottom as best as you can. Or, you can always hire professional cleaning before selling the house.

As you are cleaning, you could consider removing personal items. So, pictures, artwork, display heirlooms, overly bold decor, etc. The aim is to depersonalize the home, as you can’t know your buyer’s tastes, and enable them to imagine themselves living in the house.

Bonus Tip: Top Realtor Tricks to Make a House Smell Good Before Viewings

No property is complete without a captivating scent lingering in the air. Of course, this can be tricky to achieve, as it’s not always easy to make an entire house smell inviting. Luckily, there are some tried and true tricks of the trade for getting rid of lingering odors and leaving a pleasant aroma that realtors swear by.

From baking cookies in the oven, simmering some citrus peel to freshen up your space, to placing scented candles in strategic spots or even bringing some fresh flowers indoors before showings or open houses, these simple tasks can make all the difference in guests’ perceptions of your property. These are powerful tools to prep your home for sale, get an offer, and send potential buyers out enchanted.

Making sure your home has just the right scent before listing it can be a great way to draw people in and add that extra special something to help get it off the market lightning fast.

Making Small Repairs

Finally, you need to fix anything and everything you can get around to. From leaky faucets to creaky doors, fix whatever you can. While most of these things are minor, too many little things that need to be fixed can point to larger problems underneath.

This doesn’t have to be the case, but it’s enough for your buyer to believe it. If your home has too many small issues, the buyer may insist on conducting a professional home inspection if your home has too many small issues. And a home inspector will likely find issues you didn’t know existed. This may force you to fix things you wouldn’t fix otherwise or lower the asking price.

How Quickly Can You Prepare Your Home for Sale?

Selling a home doesn't need to take forever; with a little bit of elbow grease, organization, and the right resources, you can prepare your home for sale in no time! From decluttering and touching up paint to taking care of any repairs needed, having the right game plan in place will help you streamline the process and have your home looking top-notch and ready to hit the market within a few weeks.

Whether you opt for do-it-yourself renovations or hire professionals for help along the way – you’ll find it only takes a few projects done well to get your house ready to sell. Once everything is ready to go, all that's left to do is sit back, relax, and wait for the offers to come flying through the door.

What Should You NOT Do Before Selling Your House?

As exciting as it might be, there are a couple of critical mistakes you should avoid when selling your home. For example, try to resist the urge to buy any new pieces of furniture or overspend on upgrades that won't return more than you paid for them – no matter how much personality that new retro armchair might bring to the room, buyers will want to picture the space with their own style.

Remember not to skimp on maintenance, cleaning, or any other steps described above. When potential buyers come by, they should be able to envision themselves living there – fresh paint and sparkling fixtures will go a long way.

Is There a Way to Avoid Repairs But Still Get a Fair Offer?

Once you understand everything that needs to be done to prepare your home for sale, it naturally leads to the following question – how to get your house ready to sell but avoid investing much time and money into repairs and improvements while still getting a good offer?

Well, you can contact a restoration company. SleeveUp Homes buys and restores houses. We buy homes in the state they are in and do all of the repairs necessary. Since we are not retailers and aren’t looking to flip houses, we cut out the realtors and wholesalers so that we can pay top dollar for your property, regardless of its conditions and repairs needed.

When you work with SleeveUp Homes, you won’t need to worry about preparing your home for sale. Instead, we give homeowners a generous cash offer for properties in any condition. We buy directly from you and give you the fairest possible price for your property. If you don’t want to go through the process of selling or preparing your house for sale on your own, or you need to avoid foreclosure, SleeveUp Homes can help.

We buy and rehab homes directly from homeowners and perform any repairs required to get your house ready to sell in no time. Request a cash offer for your property today, and have peace of mind knowing SleeveUp homes will have the funds on hand to pay for the purchase.



If you want to sell fast and are worried about how long the traditional process takes, and the commission and fees involved, consider working with SleeveUp Homes.