Preparing Your House for Sale

Whether you are looking to find the perfect move up home or hoping to downsize to a more manageable condo, there is a lot to consider before writing an offer to purchase and prepping your house for sale. You may be either turning your home into an investment property, passing it along to a relative, or in need of selling it to purchase your next property. Not only will you need a lot of forethought to be prepared if you are looking to sell, you will need a skilled agent and team of professionals to ensure that you go about this process properly to keep you from undue hardship and stress. Below are some tips and tricks to prep your house to hit the market and to get you the best offer(s) possible.

Do Your Research

preparing your house for saleDid your neighbor two doors down just sell their property weekend 1? Did your cousin across town languish on the market for 3 months before withdrawing? Taking advantage of more resources than just your agent can help set expectations with your own sale. An experienced agent should be offering more than reputation in town, they should be digging and sharing what they find with you.

Don’t be afraid to suggest tidbits of information you came across to your agent. A good agent will listen and manage all information appropriately. Someone might claim to know it all but don’t be fooled, they don’t. Utilize as many resources as you can and be willing to cede your amateur real estate license when what you found is more fool’s gold than gold!

Focus on Curb Appeal

preparing your house for saleThe first photo on a listing sheet, regardless of area, size or price point, is almost always an exterior shot. Now this is not an excuse to not take care of the interior of your home, but it is a warning that many buyers will write off your house before ever seeing that stunning kitchen island.

Seasonality plays a big factor around this in New England. Given that Spring is often the most popular time to list your house for sale, you may be dealing with fledgling horticulture, ice dams, debris covered yards, and more. It is key to time up seasonal cleaning as a homeowner and this is also a crucial factor prior to having your agent call the photographer.

  • Ensure plants are growing how they should or consider trimming or removal.
  • Remove debris like downed limbs, pet waste, kids toys and so on littering the yard.
  • Inspect the presentation of your roof and if that is something to consider before listing.
  • Clean your gutters
  • Consider touch up painting or a full paint to a neutral but eye-catching color.
  • Paint your front door and consider garage door replacement (often considered as the #1 return on investment or ROI at up to 100% of cost). 

Don’t let the open house down the street pull a bidding war in while you sit on market considering your next price cut. 


Just like the outside of your home is important, so is the interior. Now that you have a packed weekend of showings thanks to expertly preparing your exterior, it is time to make sure you wow within reason on the inside. The days of putting in high price remodels right before close and expecting 150% return on your money are over, and for good reason! Instead of focusing on expensive guts, consider prioritizing cosmetic maintenance and small time contract work that will make the home readily appealing without breaking the bank.

Has the toilet been running for 6 months endlessly? Maybe getting a new flusher is a low cost way to avoid putting buyers off. Have your 3 Great Danes ripped the shine off those beautiful hardwoods that sold you on the house 8 years ago? Consider hiring someone to refinish them instead of replacing. Most times, a little bit of money and some well placed sweat equity can go a long way to breathing life back into your house.

Build a Roadmap

preparing your house for saleIt’s hard to get to where you want to be without charting a course ahead of time. Some folks get lost along the way like and still luck out but when it comes to your goals, preparation over luck is the best path forward.

If you are selling with a partner(s), ensure you are on the same page and compromise as needed so that your goals align. Make sure that the agent you ultimately go with shares your same values and beliefs, don’t just go with the agent on the billboard because they must know best. Take the time and build a checklist and course of action and don’t be afraid to make changes to it as you go along. Much like a great explorer, you might miss your intended destination but just roll with the punches and find success even in the face of “failure”!


By taking all these things into consideration, you will be far better prepared when it comes to placing your house for sale and getting the best possible offer! If you’re ready to talk with one of our licensed Realtors® to discuss selling your home, contact us today!

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