You've successfully subscribed to ExpertEasy
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to ExpertEasy
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
How to prepare your house for sale

How to prepare your house for sale

. 4 min read

Preparing your home for sale can involve a lot of work to get it ready for the sale. Before you list your home you might need to renovate your home or modify it to increase the value of it. It doesn’t matter whether your home is old or new, improvements and renovations always increase a property’s value. In the best case scenario situation you can get a return of $2 for every dollar that you spend. If you’ve owned your home for a few years you’ll have an emotional attachment to it and may not be able to look at what needs improving objectively. If you’ve never renovated a home before you could have difficulty deciding where to start, so we’ve got some tips below that will help you get your home ready for sale.

Remove clutter

Before you list your property for sale and undertake any renovations, you should remove any clutter. Clutter can be unappealing to prospective  buyers and give the impression that the home lacks space, especially if it looks messy.

When renovating a house you don’t paint or wallpaper all the rooms at once. Instead you go room by room. Clutter should be approached in the same way, starting with the hallway. Clutter you should get rid of includes things like coats, jackets and paperwork. The added bonus to your private information being kept out of public view is that the hallway will look more spacious which is important when people are choosing what home to buy.

Clutter doesn’t just include clothing like jackets or coats. It can also include paperwork or mail. When you’re Removing clutter will have the opposite effect. It will make the hallway look bigger than it actually is. Space can be important to prospective buyers, particularly for those with children, planning to have more children, those with pets or those who work from home who need the extra space for a study. If the space is small and unusable then the property will be harder to sell.

You should also remove clutter from your other rooms such as bedrooms and the living room. Clutter includes excess furniture and even photographs. Removing excess furniture, photographs and any other personal decorations like artwork or fridge magnets will help prospective buyers imagine themselves living in the home and making it their own. Some homes have fixed storage spaces like drawers or cupboards. To increase your home’s appeal you should put these things into storage because you can be sure that when someone is going through your home they will open the drawers to get a feel for how much useable space there is.

Clean your house

When you’re selling your house you want to create a good impression so you should hire professional cleaners and get a deep clean done. Simply doing a quick vacuum and a wipe down of surfaces is not enough. If you own a standalone house with a backyard then you should pressure clean the exterior of your house and ensure that the lawn, and garden if you have one looks neat and tidy. If the property has a garage or shed then you should sweep it and remove any toxic chemicals that might be lying around. Going above and beyond with cleaning will freshen up the appearance of your house and make it more appealing to potential buyers, which could increase the sale price.

After you’ve cleaned the exterior of your house, you should clean the inside including floors and any surfaces where any dirt may be found.  If you’ve got carpet then you may need to get the carpets steam cleaned so that they look spick and span. If you have tiled flooring in any part of your home then when you’re preparing it for sale you will need to scrub them to remove build up of dust or any other dirt. You will also need to thoroughly clean and disinfect other rooms in the house like the kitchen and the bathroom. When you’re cleaning the interior of your house you’ll need to wipe down all surfaces. A good philosophy to have when doing a pre-sale clean is to think that your house should be ready to show to potential buyers with five minutes notice.

Rubbish disposal

If any rubbish is lying around you will need to get rid of it. If it’s possible then keep your rubbish bins out of view. Most kitchens have a cupboard with enough space for a bin. Properties can retain smells from rubbish, so in the days leading up to your open for inspections, ensure that all windows and doors are open so that air can flow through the house and any odours will dissipate. Flowers will also improve the fragrance of your home and give it a nice visual aesthetic.

Paint the house

Although everyone has their own decorating preference, the easiest way to increase the value of your home is to paint it. Most paint jobs cost less just a couple of thousand dollars and can increase the value by up to $5,000 so you can expect to get a good return on your investment. You need to choose the right colours though. Whilst you may have a preference for bright pink or a bold shade of blue, the majority of prospective buyers will not share the same tastes. They may be turned off the property because of the colour scheme. This is applicable for both the interior and the exterior. Quite often older homes will have outrageous colour schemes. Think green or yellow walls that belonged in the 1970s or gaudy wallpaper that would only be favoured by a minority.

The best colours to use when you’re selling your house are neutral colours. Trends come and go but neutral colours will always be favoured. Neutral colours allow prospective buyers to visualise what the home would look like if you were to personalise it with posters, artwork or photographs. When choosing neutral colours you should also consider light colours. Although some people prefer dark colours, the majority don’t, and dark colours can make a room look small, dark and uninviting. Of course, if that’s the atmosphere you’re going for then dark colours are an excellent choice.

When you’re selling your house, these are just a few things that you need to consider and before you undertake any renovations you should get the property valued. A current market valuation will give you an understanding of what the property is currently worth and what improvements you need to make to increase the value and get a maximum return on your investment. Valuations VIC have over 20 years of valuation experience and can value your home so you can make an informed decision about whether or not to sell.


Part of the expertEasy writing team, Laura is from the UK and has a keen interest in Business, interior design and decor, home improvement and thriftiness in all things around the house and garden.