getting your home ready to sell

Photo by Diana Parkhouse

by Dan Fritschen
This is a common question that homeowners ask, and one that there are several different answers to. Depending on how much work you want to put in and how much you’re willing to spend, there are a number of ways you can get your home ready to sell. The bottom line is that you need to make your home look as big, bright, clean, tidy and well-maintained as possible.

Firstly, cosmetic changes: clean up the yard, plant flowers and put down nice mulch in the front yard. Add new house numbers, mailbox and front exterior light fixture for a fresh, inviting appeal. If the exterior of the home needs to be painted, get it painted – even if it’s just the front. Also consider replacing the front door or giving your existing one a fresh coat of paint.

Add fresh paint in the entry hall, kitchen and bathrooms – these are the rooms that appeal most to potential buyers! Paint your interior doors and door trim, and if dated or damaged then replace door knobs or doors altogether. New carpets and vinyl flooring make the house look clean and bright. Replace light fixtures if they are damaged or dated.


Remove most of your belongings – empty closets look larger than full ones! You should also remove most family photos and personal items.

Carry out a few big renovations that are must-dos (both interior and exterior). Focus on the front exterior of home, entry hall, bathrooms and kitchen; paint exterior, replace front door, exterior lights, front landscaping.

Paint bathrooms and the kitchen, possibly add a new toilet, vanity and sink in bathroom, depending on the condition of existing ones.

Maybe also replace flooring. Unfortunately many of the changes in the kitchen are big and expensive; painting or refacing cabinets is sometimes manageable. Install new linoleum or vinyl flooring depending on what is in the kitchen already. Add new cabinet knobs if current ones are dated, and maybe a new countertop depending on the cost. Replace your appliances if current ones are damaged or dated.

There are several great technologies now available to help with planning and completing renovations like this.

First, decide if you should remodel – use our free, easy to use remodel or move calculator.

Second, get an instant budget for free – use our online remodel cost calculator.

Third, if the two steps above fit your budget and confirm you should remodel then start collecting and organizing remodeling ideas in our Design Gallery, also available as iPhone and Android smart phone apps.