how to prepare your house to sell

A good first impression can encourage a potential buyer to take a closer look and be more willing to overlook other negatives the property may have. Just as easily, a bad first impression may be impossible to overcome no matter how attractive the inside of the house may be. The idea is for buyers to feel this home has been loved and well maintained.


The first thing potential buyers see is the exterior of your home. Make sure everything they see screams “well kept.”

Start by imagining how buyers will see your house when they first pull up.

Park where you think they will park when they come to visit and walk to the house along the same path they will take.

How does the house look to you? How do the yard and landscaping look?

Exterior areas often overlooked are the front door and surrounding area.

If the house has not been recently painted or is painted your favorite color… consider repainting to a more neutral color.

Landscaping can make a significant difference in the appearance of a home. Mow the lawn and plant some flowers to add color to your landscaping.


There are some simple things you can do at almost no or very low cost to make sure that your house makes a great first impression.

  • Remove any debris or trash and move the garbage cans to the side of the house or into the garage
  • Wash the sidewalks, porch, driveway, and front patio
  • If you have weeds in the yard, pull them
  • If the mailbox is crooked, straighten it.
  • Put away tools, garden implements, and children’s toys
  • Clean the gutters
  • Wash front-facing windows
  • Staining or painting the front door an inviting color makes a good first impression. 

By placing potted flowers and having a well-maintained front yard, buyers will be motivated to see if the inside of the house is as appealing as the outside.


One of the easiest ways to create the appearance of square footage is to get rid of anything you don’t use on a daily basis.

Put items you wish to keep in temporary storage and sell or donate the rest. This will help your home appear more spacious.

Store personal items. Remove any photographs or other items identifying your family. You want buyers to imagine themselves living in your home rather than picturing what your life is like.

Get rid of any funky paint colors a buyer is going to want to replace.

Do a walkthrough and look for details like loose handles, burned-out lights, and creaky doors that need a quick repair.

When a buyer begins to make mental notes of what they’re going to have to repair after move in, they also begin to reduce the price they’re willing to pay for the property.

For home sellers, home inspections can be like a scene from a scary movie!!

Strangers arrive at your front door and dive into every nook and cranny of your personal space.

For hours they open closets, turn on every faucet in the house, flush toilets, fire up your oven and run your washer, dryer, or any other appliance they can find.

Then, they climb your roof, wander through your basement and seemingly trounce over every square inch of your yard.

couple scared with movie

When it's time for the home inspection...
What should you do to prepare ?

As a seller, you’re going to want the home inspection to go as smoothly as possible, with little to no major issues detected.

Start outside repairing things like loose steps, disconnected gutters, and rotted trim. Look, with a critical eye, for anything that’s been neglected and needs repair, like a rotted windowsill or missing roof shingle. When’s the last time you took a good look at the roof of your house? 

Inside the home, give your mechanical systems an honest assessment. If your heating and cooling system haven’t been recently inspected and serviced, do it now. Replace filters in HVAC system. Dirty air filters compromise the air quality in the home and will raise a red flag for the inspector.

If you are aware of any minor plumbing or electrical repairs that need to be done, get them done way before the home inspection takes place. 

Look for signs of leaks or water damage. Be sure to check under sinks, around faucets, around the base of your toilets and bathtubs and/or showers, and under any appliances that may leak, such as dishwashers and refrigerators

Leaky toilet fill valves, drippy faucets, or electrical outlets that don’t work might seem minor, but fixing them now not only means you’ll have less to worry when the inspection is done, it also shows both the inspector and the buyers that you have taken good care of your home.

At this point, take a deep breath. Most buyers aren’t expecting complete perfection; they just want to know that there are no heavy burdens waiting for them. It’s common for the home inspector to note a few minor issues, but most of the time, if there’s something serious to detect you’ve already figured it out on your own.

Remember, a home inspection is not a pass or fail test. It does, however, open the door for renegotiation. You’re not obligated to fix anything, but the buyer can also walk away if they’re not satisfied. 

Rest assured that we will be with you every step of the way to help you throughout the entire process. We are present at every home inspection and we will offer you the best advice depending on the current real estate market, the condition of your house, and your financial needs.