Preparing your house for sale

Preparing your house for sale

There are a lot of steps you can take to prepare a house for sale to help attract potential buyers. Making your house “show ready” is probably the biggest piece of advice that a real estate agent would give on the best way to prepare a house to sell and what would help you sell your house fast.

Repairing broken items, deep cleaning, decluttering, and staging your house can help create more interest from buyers and possibly bring in higher offers too. However, getting your house ready can be expensive and take a lot of time and effort. Most homeowners will have to decide what they can get done themselves and what may be best left for professionals.

Make a list of needed repairs

The first step is to go through the house room by room and look for any repairs that may be needed. It’s normal for wear and tear to happen in homes, especially if you’ve lived there for a while. Even if you’ve gotten used to that dripping faucet and barely hear it anymore, most buyers won’t feel the same way. If they see a few things that need to be repaired, they could start to worry about bigger hidden issues, such as a leaky roof or a cracked foundation. 

For minor repairs, you can consider fixing them yourself or watching YouTubes videos to learn how to do it. A lot of hardware stores also have tutorials on how to do small home projects. If the project is too difficult or overwhelming, you may want to hire a professional handyperson. Here are the main things to look for:


  • Leaky faucets
  • Windows that are hard to open
  • Running toilets
  • Squeaky doors or doors that stick
  • Dents, scratches, or holes in walls
  • Loose, chipped, or cracked floor tiles
  • Dirty grout
  • Broken tiles in bathrooms and kitchen

Declutter the entire house

The first step before you start to declutter on a smaller scale is to think big. Go through each room in your house and decide what you want to keep, toss, donate, or sell. Getting rid of unnecessary and unused items will not only make your house look great for buyers, but it will also help you get ready for your upcoming move. You’ll have already gotten rid of unwanted items and will have less to pack up at the time of closing.

Once you’ve gotten rid of things you don’t need to keep, you can start to declutter on a smaller scale. The goal here is to help the house look open and spacious. You’ll have to tuck away daily items like backpacks, coats, and shoes, so you’ll need plenty of space in your closets to do that. Some professional stagers recommend removing about 50% of your belongings—including bulky furniture, personal items, and things in closets. 

Closets should be about halfway full to help them look larger. It’s not ideal to stuff them with extra boxes or hide your personal belongings in there. Don’t use pantries, closets, or cabinets to store the extra items—buyers will open these areas and think there’s not enough storage. Ample storage is important to most buyers. Remove furniture to make sure it’s easy to walk through rooms. Minimal amounts of furniture are best.

You may need to rent a storage unit to have enough space to put furniture, boxes, closet clutter, and belongings in. Pack up all personal items such as children’s art, photos, collections, certificates, etc. Buyers want to be able to see themselves in the house and it helps to have a depersonalized space. Preparing a house for sale can be a lot of work, but these steps can help your house stand out on the open market.

Make the house shine

Now that everything in the house has been paired down, it’s time to make it look its best. Consider making any updates that you can afford or that you can do yourself. It could be beneficial to put in new countertops in the kitchen or retile a bathroom. If those types of renovations are too expensive, you could update some light fixtures or replace the handles on the kitchen cabinets. A relatively inexpensive update that goes a long way is painting. Try to paint any dark or bright walls with a more neutral color. If you can’t paint the whole house, painting the kitchen, bathrooms, entryway, and foyer is highly recommended. It could be helpful to hire a professional to do the job if you don’t have the time.

It’s imperative that after the updates are finished, you clean the entire house from top to bottom. Light is important for buyers, so make sure you clean the windows inside and out and remove old drapes or open blinds before showings. After cleaning, you can begin to stage the house to make it more inviting. You can use simple items like adding fluffy towels in the bathroom, a few stacked books on a bookshelf, fresh flowers on the dining table, throw pillows, or a blanket draped over the couch. 

After all your hard work, it’s important to maintain it throughout the entire showing process. Make sure that the house stays clean, and that you put all personal items away, like water bowls for pets, bags, briefcases, and shoes before you leave for a showing. Wipe down surfaces daily in the kitchen and bathroom, empty the trash often, and vacuum once a week. Many buyers want to see houses at the last minute and if you’re not ready for a showing, they may move on to the next house and skip your house altogether.

Skip the work and go straight to the offer

Preparing a house for sale can take a lot of time, effort, and money. If you’re saying, “I want to sell my house fast,” and don’t have time to take all the steps to get your house ready to sell on the traditional market, We Buy Ugly Houses® can help. We buy houses “as is,” meaning we can buy houses in almost any condition. We aren’t scared off by major repairs or renovations. You don’t even need to clean before showing us your house.

Once you book a free, no-obligation consultation, we can come to visit your house and may make a cash offer on the spot. If you accept our offer, we can close quickly, sometimes in as little as three weeks. We have local property specialists living and working in the Atlanta area and are happy to visit houses across greater Atlanta and the surrounding cities. Call 866-200-6475 or fill out our online form today!