Home » Blog » Prepping Your Home for Sale: A Step by Step Checklist

Prepping your home for sale may not be fun, but it’s something that has to be done when you’re selling your home on the traditional market.

You’re going to be making a lot of lists when you’re considering the sale of your home, but your home prep list is one of the most important.

Prepping your home allows potential buyers to truly see its potential. It’s time to turn up the charm, and you have a lot of work ahead of you.

Pack Up Your Personal Stuff

Packing up House

When people are coming to look at your house, they need to be able to picture themselves living there.

This means they’re envisioning their own ceramic figurines on the shelves, and photos of their families on the walls. If your walls and shelves are stocked with things that hold sentimental value to you, potential buyers won't be able get a clear picture.

Pack away all of your mementos.

Leave general decorations, like candles and vases – especially if they’re simple touches that don’t heavily exhibit a specific taste. You want your home to appear to be a blank canvas.

You want it to be warm enough to feel homey, but not too crowded with unique touches that the people viewing your house will feel overwhelmed by your lifestyle and your memories.

Tend to Your Walls and Floors

Repainting the Walls

Stained carpets and peeling laminate certainly don’t feel welcoming.

Floors in bad shape should be cleaned, repaired, or replaced. At the very least, floors should be presentable and in acceptable condition.

If they aren’t and it isn’t in your budget to handle them, take the poor condition of your flooring into account when you determine your asking price.

Walls are equally as important.

If you have walls that need patching or walls that show signs of water damage, you’ll need to get them fixed.

If your walls are in good condition, a coat of paint will suffice.

Start by washing your walls to prep the surface, and pick up a few gallons of a new color. Always choose neutral tones.

Off white, beige, cream, soft tan, and beige are top contenders. These shades are inoffensive enough to satisfy any potential buyer.

Handle the Garage, Attic, and Basement

These areas of your home are more important than you might be giving them credit for.

The people who are curious about buying your home want to know they’ll have enough space to store their stuff.

Where will they put their reusable Christmas tree or their boxes of childhood relics?

It will be in these spaces, and they’ll need to be able to see that these spaces are roomy enough.

It’s time to declutter them.

You were going to have to do it sooner or later, and now is the perfect time. This is an ideal opportunity to donate the things you’ve been meaning to donate.

Everything else should be neatly organized and put away. If you’d like to, you can rent a storage unit to keep the overflow safe before you more into your new home.

This will allow potential buyers to see how large these areas really are.

Make Some Repairs

Making House Repairs

How is the roof?

What about the plumbing and the electrical?

Most buyers will want an inspection of your home before they close on the deal.

These are exactly the kinds of things the inspector will be looking for.

Buyers can & will use defects as bargaining points.

Why would they pay full market value for a home that needs a new roof when the similarly priced house right up the block had a new roof put on three years ago?

When making repairs, it’s important to think like a buyer.

What would be a deal breaker for you?

Don’t count on an inspector to miss things, either – they know exactly what they’re looking for.

This might be the most expensive part of the prep process, but it’s one of the most important things you can do.

You can’t afford to cut corners unless you’re prepared to accept less.

Fix Up The Yard

First impressions count for a lot, and when it comes to selling your home, your yard is that first impression.

People will see the front of your house before they have a chance to see the inside, and you want the exterior to woo them.

Make sure you don’t have any junk visible, and put your lawn tools away.

Spread some grass seed and let nature take its course.

If you’re willing to go the extra mile, fix up your existing flower beds or build some new ones. It’s a fun way to spend the day, and almost anyone can do it.

There’s no need to do anything too fancy - some mulch and a few plants will be enough to do the trick.

Remember that your back yard is just as important as your front yard, and should be treated with the same care.

Stage Your Home

Broken Arrow House Stage

Depending on who you ask, staging your home for an open house is either the most fun part of the process, or the most agonizing.

There are a few tricks that people commonly employ to stage a home.

They usually involve letting all of the natural light in, polishing every surface until it sparkles, and creating a pleasant fragrance by either baking something sweet in the oven or lightning scented candles.

If you don’t want to stage your home yourself, you can pay a staging company to handle the final part of the process.

Some realtors will stage your home and add the costs to their commission fees for reimbursement once the home sells.

"But I Don’t Have The Time or Money for All of This!"

The easiest way to prepare your home for sale is not to do anything at all.

It’s necessary to prep your home when you’re selling by owner or on the traditional market, but you won’t need to lift a finger or spend a dime when you sell your home to a home investor.

So Cal Home Buyers would be interested in purchasing your home exactly the way it is. We buy houses in any condition, located anywhere. If you don’t want to go through the motions, you can bypass the entire process simply by giving us a call or dropping us an email. All we need is a few quick details about the home you want to sell, and we can prepare you an all cash offer on your property.

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Doug Van Soest
Doug Van Soest

Hi I'm Doug! I'm a professional Investor here in SoCal. My wife Andrea and I have been purchasing homes for over 12 years and have helped over 500+ happy sellers just like you. If you'd like to remove the burden of finding a buyer and eliminate a lot of stress from selling your home we can genuinely help your situation.