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7 Things You Should Do Before You Put Your Home up for Sale

Written by:
Susan Melony
Wang XiNa

Selling your home takes more effort than just listing it online. If you don’t want your home to sit on the market for months, and if you want to get as much money as possible, there is a lot you need to do to get ready before you officially put your home up for sale.

Here are seven things you should do before you sell your home:

- Replace old appliances

- Clean things you've never cleaned before

 - Tidy up behind closed doors

 - Declutter

 - Paint the walls

 - Fix the small stuff

 - Do some landscaping

Replace Old Appliances

A lot of homebuyers actively look at the age of appliances in the houses they’re interested in. If major appliances are old and will have to be updated soon, they’ll skip your home and buy another one instead. That’s especially true when it comes to essential, expensive appliances, like a furnace that costs between $4,900 and $9,600.

Do yourself a favor and update old appliances, even if they aren’t causing you any problems at the moment. When things like the water heater, AC, and oven are new, buyers are more likely to bite, which means your house will spend less time on the market before it sells.

Clean Things You’ve Never Cleaned Before

Everyone knows that it’s important to clean your home thoroughly before you sell it, but chances are, there are some spots you’ve missed.

When you’re getting ready to sell, you have to clean areas of your home you’ve probably never cleaned before like:

 - Window tracks

 - Baseboards

 - Door frames

 - Light switches

 - Walls

 - Light fixtures

You also have to clean items that will be in your home during showings. It's a good idea to have your upholstery cleaned, and you should clean things like bed frames and trash cans.


Decluttering your home can take time, which is why it’s something you should start doing before you sell your house.

You should start one room at a time and get rid of things as you go. For example, the entryway should be decluttered, which means getting rid of extra shoes, hats, gloves, and coats. The kitchen counters should be cleared of excess items, like appliances that are barely used, and family photos should be removed from the living room.

Use it as an opportunity to start packing away items that you don’t use often but you will still want to have in your new home. Just don’t make the mistake of cluttering your basement or garage with all your boxes. Rent a storage unit instead so every area of your home looks spacious and free of clutter.

Tidy up Behind Closed Doors

Potential homeowners don’t just float into one space, take a look around, and then float into another. If they are really serious about buying a house, they want to look in all the nooks and crannies, which includes opening closet and cabinet doors.

That means you’ve got to tidy up there too!

Clean out kitchen cupboards. Get rid of that mountain of mismatched food containers and stack dishes nicely. Organize cleaning items underneath sinks, go through your medicine cabinet, and empty closets of all but the most essential items so potential homebuyers can really see how they can use those spaces.

Take some time to get your trash situation under control too. Hide garbage cans, if you can, and replace bins in the kitchen and bathrooms so that they all have lids.

Paint the Walls

Painting the walls is a timeless piece of advice. It truly has the ability to freshen up the look of every room in your home.

White is a common choice, but it isn’t your only choice. Surprisingly, dark gray is immensely popular with potential homeowners, with houses that feature this color in the right places selling for thousands more than their white counterparts.

If you prefer a bit more color on your walls, consider shades of blue and green, especially in the bathrooms and bedrooms.

Fix the Small Stuff

We’re willing to put up with a lot more little annoyances living in our homes than homebuyers are. Something as simple as kitchen cabinet knobs can be what makes or breaks a sale.

That’s why it’s so important to fix the small stuff before you try to sell your house.

Updating the knobs on kitchen cabinets is a great place to start, but there are other small fixes you can make. Update light switch covers and outlet covers, change out the rings on shower curtains, and change out door hardware.

You should also take the time to fix all that little stuff you’ve been putting off. Spray those squeaky door hinges and replace the lightbulb in the closet.

Do Some Landscaping

Your home’s curb appeal is extremely important. After all, it’s the first thing potential homebuyers see when they pull up to your property!

It’s important to spend some time in the yard, but that doesn’t mean it needs a complete overhaul. There are plenty of small, easy things you can do to your yard to get your home ready to sell:

 - Put down new mulch

 - Plant colorful annuals

 - Power wash decks, driveways, and walkways

 - Shape overgrown trees and shrubs

 - Plant and arrange containers in high-impact areas

At the very least, make sure you pick weeds and cut down any overgrowth you’ve been meaning to get to. Make sure the grass is mowed regularly and take the time to edge. Use a broom or leaf blower to clear walkways of grass clippings and debris.

It’s normal to want to get the home selling process over with as quickly as possible, but that doesn’t mean you should put your home on the market the instant you know you need to sell. Before you list your home, it’s important to take a few weeks to a few months to get everything in order. When you do post your house, you’ll sell for more and spend less time on the market.

By Liliana Alvarez

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