Selling your home is both exciting and nerve wracking. What do you need to do to prepare your home to sell quickly and for as much money as possible?

If you’re not sure, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ll tackle the top tasks you need to do immediately if you want to sell your home.

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Clean Up and Clear the Clutter

This is a crucial step to selling your home. It may seem obvious, but I can guarantee you that it’s not. There are quite a few home sellers who neglect a basic cleaning of their home.

Dust, dirt, and rubbed in grime can prevent you from closing a deal. Spend a weekend deep cleaning your home. Alternately, consider springing for a cleaning service.

If you plan to sell your home while still living in it, you’ll definitely need to keep essential items close. In this case, devote yourself to minimalism, at least for the time being. Only keep in the home what you need to use on a daily basis.

Rent a storage unit to store the rest of your belongings. As tempting as it may be, avoid piling your extra stuff in the garage—buyers want to see an empty garage, too.

Stage Your Home

A staged home sells faster than a home without it. Staging simply means that you arrange furniture and accessories to maximize the space, bring focus to the best features, and clearly define each room.

Staging often means getting rid of the majority of your personal items (hence the need to declutter first). You may also need to store a lot of your furniture pieces that don’t fit the space.

For more information on staging your home, check out:

A Room by Room Guide to Staging Your Entire Home
Home Staging for Every Season

Kick Up the Curb Appeal


No matter how good your home looks inside, if it looks unkempt on the outside, it will turn off buyers before they ever have a chance to see it.

Fortunately, there are a ton of easy and budget-friendly things you can do to the exterior of your home to prepare your home to sell.

Here’s a starter list:

  • Remove unnecessary furniture, toys, and yard fixtures
  • Power wash the exterior
  • Clear weeds
  • Replace light bulbs
  • Plant seasonal flowers, especially in the spring and summer
  • Mow the lawn
  • Add fresh mulch
  • Invest in a new welcome mat
  • Clean off the porch, patio, and balcony
  • Stage the porch and patio areas with furniture

Invest in Professional Photography

Step away from your smartphone. Keep calm and hire a professional photographer to shoot your home.

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Although smartphones are amazingly useful, they do have limits, especially in the hands of an amateur. Don’t let the nominal fee of hiring a professional photographer dissuade you. While a high quality photographer doesn’t come cheap, you’ll likely make it back because you’ll sell your home for more money in less time.

I’ve actually discussed this topic in great detail in another blog post. Check it out: The Power of Professional Photos in Selling Your Home

Patch Up Your Walls

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After rearranging your existing furniture and removing extras, you’ll notice how many scuff marks, dings, and holes you have accumulated on your walls. It’s not a pretty sight, folks.

Patch up the holes, sand them smooth, and then repaint the entire space fresh. In fact, it’s a good idea to repaint the entire room when possible. A can of paint is less than $50 and it will instantly refresh your entire space.

If you’d like to learn about more repairs you can make to your home for cheap, check out our post here: 50 Home Repairs For $50 Or Less.

Appeal to the Sense of Smell

You’ve heard that you should bake cookies when preparing for an open house. Sure, do that… but that’s not the only aroma you need in your home.

What does the buyer smell once entering the laundry room, the bathroom, or the master closet? The scent of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies can only travel so far.

This is when you need a neutral but pleasant potpourri. You may opt for a plug in fragrance, but avoid overly floral or punch-in-the-nose type scents. Go for a crisp and clean scent, like fresh linen or vanilla. It’s simple, one-note, and doesn’t distract from the walk-through process.

You definitely don’t want an aroma so thick that it forces the buyer to run, not walk, out of your home.

Detach Yourself

This is perhaps the hardest of these easy tips, but I know you can do it. You’ll have to do it sooner or later anyways, but you should opt for sooner.

Once you put your home on the market, it’s time to emotionally withdraw from it. For example, paint over those height markers you’ve immortalized for your kids on the kitchen doorway—but take a picture of it first!

Sure, this home means a lot to you, whether it’s your starter home, or the home you grew up in and inherited. There are definitely a lot of emotions here, but now that you’re selling it to someone else, you’ve got to say goodbye.

This means make the changes you need to make—rearrange the furniture in a completely weird and unfamiliar way if it means you’ll sell the home quicker. To do this effectively, you’ve got to let go of the idea that this is your house.

Instead, embrace the idea that this home is someone else’s now, and you’re just waiting to find out who it will be.

But don’t be sad, you have your own new adventure waiting ahead of you. This is just one chapter in the story of your life.

Other Resources

Thanks for making it to the end of this guide. If you’d like to learn more about preparing your home to sell, check out these additional resources:

The Home Buying Process: A Beginner’s Guide on What to Expect

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