Re/Max Realty Specialists Inc.,
Brokerage Independently Owned & Operated
*Sales Representative

Blog by Krisztina Neglia

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How To Prep Your House For A Sale

Creating a pleasant first impression is crucial to gaining a competitive edge in the housing market. Most buyers make decisions based on their emotions; therefore, it’s important to ensure that your house looks appealing. Make sure you stage your home before the realtor takes pictures for listing. You should also remember to highlight the best features in your home. If you don’t have the skills to pull off some of the home repairs, you can hire a professional to help you spruce up your home. Here are steps to help you prepare your house to impress potential buyers.

Start With Your Curb

What your house looks like from the outside will determine the first impression of potential clients. If your curb looks drab, people will not even bother to stop and have a look at the house. Here are simple tips you could use to make your curb more inviting.

  • Weed and add some fresh mulch to your flower bed. It makes the flower bed appear fresh and well looked after
  • You could consider adding some tree bushes and trimming the existing bushes
  • If the paint on your house has chipped off or looks outdated, you can use a fresh can of paint and the house could look totally different. Make sure that the colors you choose match the style of your home; if you are unsure, you could get advice from a professional
  • Decorate your front door or add a fresh coat of paint. A bold color could make the door pop from the rest of the house structure
  • Buy a new welcome mat and place some potted plants near the door
  • Ensure that the door handles are in good condition, replace them if they are old and loose
  • Make sure the windows are clean and in good condition. Examine the putting and weather stripping on the window frames and determine if they need to be replaced
  • Make sure all gutters and pipes are functioning and free of clutter
  • Your patio, deck and driveway should be clean
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint to your wooden fence

Spruce Up the Interior

Bear in mind that your house is in competition with other houses in the market. Stage your home in a manner that will appeal to most buyers. Discussed below are ways to make your home more inviting.

Start With the Entryway

  • Make sure that the doorbell is functioning
  • The front door should be in perfect condition; it should not squeak or get jammed. You don’t need to use much effort to open the door
  • Check that there are no shoes, umbrellas, coats and other clutter on the entryway
  • If you have a shelf in the entryway, it should be clutter free and dust free
  • The light in the entryway should be bright enough, make sure that the lights are always on during and after dusk

Work On Your Living Room

  • The first thing you need to is de-personalize. Put away all your pictures, trophies and other personal items because they’ll distract the buyer. Allow the buyer to imagine how their pictures and other items would fit in the room.
  • Remove extra pieces of furniture to create the illusion of more space. Check that no furniture prevents the doors from fully opening
  • Make sure the fireplace is clean
  • Make sure that you turn on lights in each room as you show the house
  • Open the blinds and drapes to increase the amount of light in the living room; it creates the illusion of larger space
  • Remember to put away your CDs, video games and DVD collections
  • Replace your carpet if it’s old and worn out. You can opt for thick, inexpensive carpet.
  • Make sure the ceiling is in good condition

Organize Your Kitchen and Dining Room

  • Create more space in your kitchen by removing all the appliances from the counter. These include your toaster, coffeemaker, containers, flour and knives
  • Make sure your counter is clean and shiny
  • Garbage and recycle bins should be out of sight
  • Your cabinets should be organized and clean just in case the buyer may want to have a look
  •  Make sure there is plenty of fresh air in the kitchen. You would not want the smell of things like spices and fish lingering in the room. You can pour hot salty water in the drain twice a week to get rid of smell
  • Put chairs and tables in the dining room to show the purpose of the room
  • Set the dining table to enable the buyers imagine how they can arrange the room
  • Remove stickers, pictures and notes from the refrigerator

Make the Bedrooms Appear Bigger

  • Use candles and fresh flowers to accessorize your bedroom furniture
  • Spread new quilts and duvets to make the room more inviting. Make sure that the quilt covers the view under the bed
  • Take down personal items hanging on the walls of your bedroom. Allow the buyers to imagine how they would arrange the room
  • Make sure that your clothes are neatly folded, put away the extra ones if they all don’t fit
  • Put away the kids’ toys in boxes and slide them beneath the bed.
  •  Make sure that all posters, photos and drawings in the kids’ rooms are taken down. It creates the illusion of a bigger space

Tidy Up the Bathrooms

  • Replace the shower curtain; it greatly transforms the bathroom
  • Place new colorful towels, they accessorize the bathroom in the same way as the shower curtain
  • Put away personal items such as toothbrushes, hairbrushes, shampoo and hairdryers in drawers
  • Change the caulking if it’s stained or cracked. If you don’t have enough time to do repair, you may consider adding some silicone beading to mask the caulking
  • Make sure that your shower or tub is shiny and spotless
  • Check the taps for drips, leaks and rust; replacing faucets could give your sink a more updated look
  • Put the trash bin away; you want to the floor space to appear larger
  • Scrub the tiles and make sure they are sparkling


Nowadays, most home buyers prefer energy efficient homes; therefore, make sure you seal shut unwanted gaps in your house. You can apply for an energy audit from your utility company; some buyers may request for one when viewing the house. Hire a professional to carry out a smoke test; it helps to find all the air leaks. Although you might like certain bold colors, paint your walls with neutral shades. Most buyers find neutral shades appealing and easier to work with.