Skip to main content

When It’s Time to Move, Here’s How to Sell Your House

Not sure how to get your home ready when it’s time to sell it? Not to worry, there are a few steps that you can take before putting your home on the market that will help increase the odds of receiving an offer from a buyer. From repainting to depersonalizing to cleaning like you’ve never cleaned before, here are nine steps to consider before you sell your home.

Get to Know the Local Housing Market

It’s time to do your homework on the value of your home. Search comparable sales in your neighborhood to figure out the appropriate listing price for your home (sites like Trulia and Zillow are helpful here). Things to consider from comparable homes are square footage, features, and location. Once you have your price in mind, consult with a reputable realtor to assist with finding comps and determining a final and appropriate listing price for your home.

Find the Right Listing Agent

Hero Images/Getty Images

This is the time to ask your friends for their recommendations. Sometimes the best agents are found simply by asking a friend or neighbor. You can also search online for agents to consider. When interviewing a listing agent, make sure you ask about their personal experience in your neighborhood, connections to potential buyers, and social media expertise. Your new potential realtor should be able to present a game plan on how they are going to sell your home.

Stock Up On New Light Bulbs

When your home is being shown to potential buyers, all light fixtures and lamps should be turned on. So stock up on light bulbs to ensure that all lights have working bulbs and so that you have backups just in case a light fizzles out.

Clean Your House Like Never Before

Gravity Images/Getty Images

Now is the time to deep clean your home. Clean it as if the Queen of England herself is coming to inspect it with a white glove. This means: clean the toilets, wipe every surface, mop the floors, have the rugs cleaned, and scrub the bathrooms and kitchen like you’ve never scrubbed before. If that all sounds like too much of a task, it’s time to consider hiring a professional cleaner to come in and do a deep clean.

Get Rid Of Your Clutter

When a house is decluttered, buyers can focus on the actual home instead of your knick-knacks, junk, and closets full of whatever you keep in them. Consider purging your things before you list your home. You aren’t going to want to take everything with you when you move, so you might as well get rid of it now.

Have the Handyman on Speed Dial

female plumber
Highwaystarz-Photography/Getty Images

You should already have a trusted handyman, but if you don’t, it’s time to find one. This is the time when your handyman can fix things like locks, hardware, leaky faucets, running toilets, cracks in the walls, broken appliances, squeaky doors, and more. First impressions are everything and you don’t want potential buyers to think your home hasn’t been well taken care of.

Paint Those Walls a Boring White

You may love bright colors or floral wallpaper, but buyers most likely will not share your same tastes in décor. When painting, stick to whites, light grays, and/or light beiges. These particular shades will make your home appear brighter and more welcoming, not to mention bigger. A fresh coat of paint also helps mask the walls’ imperfections.

Remember, Staging Is Everything

home stagging
Krblokhin/Getty Images

Once you have removed your clutter and depersonalized your home by removing framed photos and other personal items, it’s time to stage your home. Staging a home is a skill that not everyone has. If you need inspiration on how a home should look when properly staged, visit a new housing development where they have model homes to view. Most of what you need can be purchased at discount stores like Home Goods. If decorating isn’t your thing, bringing in a professional stager is always a great option. Homes that are professionally staged tend to sell a lot quicker because they are more appealing to buyers.

Put Down Your Phone and Hire A Photographer

Potential buyers are going to be searching for homes online, so it’s crucial to include high resolution, professional photos in your online listing. It doesn’t matter how great you are at using Instagram filters, when selling your home, don’t cheap out on one of the most important steps before listing. A realtor should have a shortlist of their favorite home photographers. Without professional photos of your newly staged home, potential buyers could and most likely will give your home a pass.

Originally published July 18, 2017 by Amanda DePerro. Updated August 5, 2019 by David Duran.

Editors' Recommendations

David Duran
David Duran is an award-winning travel writer who has visited all seven continents and more than 70 countries. His writing…
Men’s Apartment Essentials To Turn Your Bachelor Pad Into a Home

Sooner or later, the time will come in your life when you have to decide about certain adult things -- like your living space. The space you live in should reflect your personality. Your home -- whether it's your first apartment, a condo, or a house -- must be your safe space. It should be a place that brings comfort and that is functional. Let’s dive in and talk about some of the essentials for living in style and comfort.

Related Guides

Read more
How to Plan an Unforgettable Staycation at Home in 2021
Man changing TV channels with remote control

Staycations are an amazing way to step back from the craziness of your everyday life without having to deal with the stress that comes along with travel, especially during the pandemic. From staying at a hotel to rediscovering your hometown to plotting out home activities this fall, it’s really just a break from your typical schedule.

Before embarking on your at-home getaway, do yourself a favor and spruce up your home. Clean your house or hire someone to do it for you. That way, you’ll feel as though you’re chilling in a luxe boutique hotel, which will make your homegrown fall vacation more realistic. You don’t need to go crazy, but kicking off your staycation with these activities will make for a more relaxed stay.

Read more
How To Achieve a Maximalist Style in Your Own Home
Living room with high ceilings and architectural features.

Our home is where our heart is. It is more than a structure composed of several rooms. It is a sanctuary that reflects our individuality and story. A well-designed interior not only improves our mood, but it also bolsters productivity and enhances room functionality.

They say design trends come and go. Looking back at the last decade of pared-down design, it’s clear we were due for a revival of 1980’s opulence in our lives. Maximalism is the Millennial’s answer to simple styles such as Scandinavian and minimalism. If you love “stuff” or want a more personal or over-the-top approach to interior design, this is the style for you.

Read more