7 Steps You Can’t Skip When Preparing Your Home for Sale

7 Steps You Can’t Skip When Preparing Your Home for Sale

  • 10/15/21

Preparing your home for sale requires more than just the intention to sell. You need a plan of action, an expert team, and the willingness to strip your home down to its bones. All of this can be overwhelming, which is why it’s crucial to know which steps to take and in what order. We’re outlining the top seven steps you can’t skip when preparing your home for sale.

Making a Plan

When prepping your home for sale, be strategic about what needs to be done and when. Take an objective look at your house and assess what needs repairing or updating. Any chipped paint? Broken shutters? You’ll want to budget for the big fixes, so there are as few surprises as possible.

One of the best ways to avoid unexpected costs is to have your home inspected. A professional home inspection is a great way to get crucial feedback on your home’s current state. Once you know where your house stands, you’ll better understand how to spruce it up. (You’ll also be able to use the inspection as a bargaining chip with potential buyers.)


You want your home to be a clean slate on which you can stage and build. Give it a full scrub, paying special attention to wooden floors, tiles, and carpets. If you’re keeping any carpets, be sure to vacuum and shampoo them for an optimal clean. Dust all of your surfaces, as well as those sneaky places where dust likes to hide — behind furniture, in the blinds and drapes, etc. Repair any holes from paintings or wall decor, and buff out any scratches or scuffs. You’ll also want to clean your furniture, so it looks inviting and restful. Even the smallest touches will help prepare your home for staging.



A “clean” home is one that’s organized. If you’re like most people, you probably have some clutter lying around: family photographs, refrigerator magnets, toys, excess clothing, paperwork, and other “filler” items. Anything that takes up too much space needs to be stored, donated, or thrown away. Tuck away items that have personality - Buyers should walk into your home feeling like they’re touring a clean slate. Make sure your space is neutral, beautiful, and inviting.

Boosting Curb Appeal

Your home’s exterior is the first thing visitors see when they approach, so you want it to look nice! After all, you only get one shot at a first impression. Look at your mailbox and home numbers — are they in good condition? Buyers like to see modern versions, and they’re a low-cost and easy boost. Also, consider your home’s lighting. A well-lit walkway, as well as a gently illuminated front door, send the message that your home is a safe, inviting place. 

Speaking of your walkway: make sure it’s free of weeds and other debris. A good power wash will have your home’s exterior looking good as new.

You may also consider painting your front door a bright color. Bright front doors are an eye-attracting statement - so pick a color that compliments your home, and let your door do the talking.



A well-maintained lawn and garden suggest a well-maintained interior. There are many ways to spruce up your landscaping in simple ways! Add a seasonal potted plant to your front entrance; be sure to water and mow your lawn; head to a local garden center to get some ideas on what to plant and when. You might also invest in some decorations, like a fountain or chimes. These additions will tie together the entire exterior.


Staging is increasingly important in today’s market. Homebuyers want to walk into a home and visualize themselves there. This means working with a staging professional or teaching yourself how to effectively arrange your furniture and decor to make your home attractive to a mass market. You’ll need to highlight the best features of your property and de-personalize your spaces, helping spark buyers’ imaginations as they tour what could be their future home.

Go Neutral

You want your home’s color palette to be beiges, whites, and creams. It’s a simple range and makes it easy to play up with pops of color. Re-painting your walls one of these reliable colors will make your spaces look brighter, cleaner, and ready for staging.

Invest in Bathrooms and Kitchen

Bathrooms and kitchens see the most wear-and-tear, which means you need to invest in them more than other rooms. Today’s buyers want modern appliances in both rooms. That might mean adding a soaking tub to your bathroom or installing a bidet attachment to the toilet. You’ll definitely recoup the cost of replacing your kitchen appliances with new stainless steel ones, and consider refreshing your countertops with a luxe, durable material like quartz. Be sure to clear off any unnecessary appliances and tuck them away.

Storage is also very important in both of these rooms, so if your bathrooms or kitchen have great storage options, highlight them! Clear out your belongings so people can see all the space they’ll have to store theirs.

Open the Blinds

Natural light and fresh air work wonders for a home, especially if your unit has been vacant for some time! Open the shades and windows, weather permitting, so your home feels inviting.

Taking Photographs

Professional photography and videography are essential in today’s market, as many buyers often start their home shopping process online. You want to work with a photographer — or an agent who has an in-house photographer — who knows how to highlight your condo’s best features. If a room gets nice light at sunrise or sunset, be sure to capture photos then. If your home has stunning crown molding details, those are also important to highlight. 

If you want to boost your outreach, creating and marketing a virtual tour is also essential. When homes are available for virtual tours, logistics like travel and tour times become less important - anyone can view your beautiful property at any time! 


As you near the end of your preparation process and open your home to tours, you’ll want to add some statement-making finishing touches. Set out bouquets of freshly cut flowers; light some candles or spritz scented room spray; let in the fresh air. You want people to feel comfortable, so don’t have too many stimulants that might distract them from their visit. Turn off the TV or radio, so your visitors can look and observe in peace.

Interested in putting your home on the market? Contact the real estate professionals at The Riolo Team today.



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