How to Prepare the Interior of your House for Selling

Selling a house can be a daunting task.  You haven't done spring cleaning in five years and paint is the last thing you want to shop for.  Where do you start?

Throughout the whole house, the following needs to be done:

  • Remove personal pictures.  It sounds cold, but without your family's faces staring at them, a prospective buyer can imagine themselves in your home more easily.
  • Reduce the clutter.  Pull extra items off of shelves in the linen and entry closets.  Box them up and label them and move out of sight.  By reducing clutter, it gives the appearance of a larger, roomy house.  A house with enough room for all of the clutter they need to move in.
  • Straighten up closets.  A well organized closet looks appealing, especially if your house is an upgrade for them.  By seeing organized closets, it gives them hope that theirs can be too.  Whether or not it's true makes no difference, the visual of seeing it makes it possible in their mind.
  • Clean.  Clean.  Clean.  Do the usual cleaning chores like dusting and vacuuming.  Go the extra mile and clean all the ceiling fan blades.  Wipe down the window sills.  Clean the tops of closet and entry doors, and the molding around all of the doors and floorboards.  A clean house makes move-in condition seem real.
  • Neutralize.  The term ‘resale beige' was created for a reason.  People like to see neutrals in a potential house.  They might have plans to change to red, blue or green, but until they can afford the change, neutral colors are satisfactory.  Neutral colors are easily adaptable in bedrooms.  If a wall is a non-gender specific color, bed linens, curtains and pillows can give color to a room without spending the time to remove wall paper and re-paint.
  • Wash window coverings.  People are drawn to windows and the ability to look outside.  Since they are drawn to the windows, make sure to clean any blinds or shades.  Keep the blinds and shades up, since it lets the most light into a room.  Light makes any room seem bigger, and big rooms are what sell people on a house.  Take all of the curtains and valances to the dry cleaners for a cleaning or throw them in the washer.  Typically window dressings remain in the house.  If they are clean upon moving in, it's one less step for a harried new tenant to deal with.

There are special considerations for certain rooms. The most time a person or a family spends awake in one room is the kitchen.  This room in usually the focal point of any home, therefore it needs to be ultra ready with extra steps taken.

  • Make the refrigerator spotless.  Whether the appliance is staying or not, it needs to sparkle on the inside and out.
  • Empty the small appliances, paperwork and odds and ends from the counter.  Put away as much as possible, while still leaving your cupboards organized.
  • The pantry door may be the busiest in the house, but make sure the area isn't the messiest. 

The bathroom has the reputation of being the ‘germiest' room in the house.  To combat that image, make sure yours sparkles.

  • If you have important prescriptions, keep them out of sight or with you while they look.  If there are personal items you don't want to be seen, hide them too.
  • Use diligence to remove all signs of hair and hair products from the floors, counter tops and mirrors.
  • Close that nasty lid.  Scrub the toilet inside and out, but leave the lid down. 

A house that is immaculate will sell much faster than one that needs cleaning before moving in.  It will save the home buyers a lot of time, and they can focus on unpacking boxes.

Information is for educational and informational purposes only and is not be interpreted as financial or legal advice. This does not represent a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any security. Please consult your financial advisor.