Thoughtful Ways to Make Your Home Ready to Sell


Listing your home for sale is daunting for anyone, but especially for those with a family to think about. You’re balancing moving your kids to a new location, working with an agent to get the best price for your home and ensuring your house is in tip-top shape for showings. 

Once you have the perfect new home picked out, you can leave most of the responsibility of finding a buyer to your agent, but you still need to do your part to make your home ready to sell. You can ask your realtor what changes you should make and consult this list of items to make your house appeal to potential new homeowners. 

  • Scrub Like Never Before 

Life with kids leads to plenty of messes — there’s no way around it. While you may be used to certain lived-in conditions, prospective buyers won’t appreciate fingerprints on the glass, Legos all over the carpet and last night’s dishes still in the sink. Now is the time to give your house a deep clean like never before — think mother-in-law level. 

Then, unfortunately, you’re going to need to keep it that way for the duration of your house’s time on the market. If it helps, you can have a handful of cleaning supplies accessible in each room for quick wipe-downs whenever needed. You should also hold a family meeting to sell everyone on the importance of keeping the house tidy and enlist their help.  

  • Store Your Personal Items

While your house is on the market, you should keep your personal belongings personal. Consider the cost of renting a storage unit to hold any items you want out of the way. Prospective buyers want to be able to envision what their lives would be like in the space. Having your family photos and knick-knacks cluttering the view will disrupt that ability. Leaving a few things around is okay to make it feel homey, but lose the excess. 

  • Declutter Storage Spaces

It’s not easy to imagine strangers going through your cabinets, closet and drawers, but you better believe they’ll check anywhere. Instead of stuffing all your belongings into your storage areas, prioritize making them look as neat as possible. Use a storage unit, basement or attic to safely store away anything you can live without. You may even find you have things you’re ready to let go of. Donating items now will give you less to pack later when it’s time for the big move. 

  • Make Necessary Repairs

Dripping plumbing, small cracks above doorways and wonky shelves may not seem like a huge deal to you, but they will speak volumes to potential buyers. These minor inconveniences and blemishes will look like dollar signs. Plus, interested parties may wonder what further renovations and repairs they may need to make if you haven’t even tackled these small projects. 

  • Remove Odors

You may be used to the smell of your pet or nose-blind to the fumes emanating from the diaper genie, but strange odors will turn buyers away. Set your home sale up for success by appealing to all the senses, including smell. You can use a few wax warmers to cover some scents. You should also ensure your house is spotless and keep up with pet messes, diaper pails and the like. 

  • Stick to Minor Upgrades

Where most homeowners go wrong when preparing their house for the market is putting too much time and money into renovations. Unfortunately, many never see a return for their efforts in sale price. 

Most of your home’s value for buyers is in the kitchen and bathrooms, so those are great rooms to start in. However, you only need minor upgrades to make them look brand new. Switch out cabinet hardware and add a new faucet to revamp the space. 

More costly or extensive projects are great if you’ll get personal use from them and don’t plan to sell right away, but if you intend to move soon, save those for the next home. You won’t see enough of a return to make it worth your resources. For example, many people add a pool as a selling feature, but it only brings a 43% return on investment on average. 

  • Paint Over Bold Hues

A coat of paint can make a significant difference in the sellability of your home. You want to aim for neutral colors throughout so potential buyers can imagine their own furniture and possessions in the space. Bold hues will appeal to a much narrower audience and keep your house on the market longer. Besides, you probably have plenty of marks and dings on your walls that could use fresh paint. 

  • Make Your Home Feel Welcoming

Stage your home with small, homey touches to make people touring your house feel welcome. Fresh flowers in a vase, a plate of warm cookies and a jar candle for some ambiance go a long way toward making your house feel like a home. The small amount you pay for these amenities can seal the deal with interested buyers. 

  • Create an Entry Zone

It’s essential to ensure each room in the house has a clear purpose, but perhaps none is more critical than the entryway. A proper entry gives people a place to corral their odds and ends and welcome guests into their homes. It contains space for coats, boots and other bits and bobs. 

If you already have a landing area that serves these functions, play it up. If you don’t have a designated entryway, find ways to clarify that space. Set up a coat rack, skinny table or hall tree so potential buyers fall in love from the moment they enter the door. 

  • Amp Your Curb Appeal

Like designating an entry area, your curb appeal is vital for welcoming prospective buyers. It’s the first impression they’ll have of your property and will decide what attitude they come inside with. Buyers want to see low-maintenance but well-groomed landscaping. 

Make sure you keep the lawn mowed and weeds pulled. Your porch or front steps should stay clean. Think about adding extra touches like potted plants or lanterns around your door and solar light along the path to the house.

Do Your Best and Ask for Help

You’ve got a lot on your plate, and this list is extensive. If your current phase of family life is keeping you from getting your home ready to sell, it’s okay to get help. Hire a cleaning service, handyman or professional home stager to make your house look its best. You may need to shell out a few hundred dollars for each professional you bring in, but the results will help you sell your home quicker and for more money.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9 months ago

Great article with great tips!
Another thing homeowners may want to consider to make their homes more sellable is installing solar panels. With consumers pushing toward renewable energy use, a house with a solar panel system becomes very attractive to buyers. Solar installation can help fetch top dollar when selling your home in this already hot seller’s market. And while it is an investment upfront, now it is more affordable due to government solar incentives that allow them to claim a credit equal to a percentage of the cost of their solar panel system installation. The current federal solar tax credit stands at 30% of the total system cost.