Getting your home ready to list for sale is no easy task. As a matter of fact, preparing your property to go to market is a collection of big and small tasks that can be time-consuming, energy-draining, and all-out frustrating. However, if you have an idea of what you’re working toward, and outline the steps for getting there, you can get your house into tip-top show-shape with minimal stress and maximum gain. Here’s what you need to know about getting your home market ready.

Before you get to the staging portion, which is when you make your house as pretty as can be to romance potential buyers, there’s a whole lot of other tasks that need tending. So don’t think about the fancy just yet. Start with practicality.

Practical Preparations

There’s not much you can do to get your house ready to put on the market until you get rid of the build-up of belongings, the piles of papers, and the things you forgot you even had. Removing clutter and organizing what’s left is the most important thing you can do to launch the successful sale of your home. Sort through every room of your home and touch every item. Arrange items into four categories: keep it, pack it, trash it, and kiss it goodbye.

Things you’ll need before your move you should organize tidily. Things you need but not for a while, neatly pack and store out of sights such as in the basement, garage, or a storage unit. Things you can recycle, set aside for donations or yard sales. And, finally, things you don’t use, won’t use, or can’t use for donations or sales belong in the trash. This de-cluttering is perhaps the most challenging and time-consuming part of the process of getting your home ready to list.

This stage of the prep is also ideal for removing your personal belongings – photographs, collections, religious items, political statements, or anything that has your personal life on display.

When all the clutter has gone away, it’s time to bust out some serious elbow grease and clean the heck out of everything.

The Cleaning Crew

You can roll up your sleeves, recruit household members, and conquer the cleaning yourselves – or you can outsource the job to a professional cleaning service to do the deed for you. Cleaning in preparation to market your home for sale is much different than tidying up your house for company. In fact, it’s a deep-clean like it may have never seen – baseboards, doors, walls, ceiling fans, air vents, and every single nook and cranny needs to be as spotless as it can be. Bleach the bathtubs, wash the windows, clean the refrigerator and oven inside and out. Not only should your house look spic-and-span, but it should also smell fresh and clean.

Paint & Touch Ups

Your walls may be in relatively good condition and just need a bit of touch up paint. Or, they could be disastrous and need an all new look. Either way, the walls should be free of stains, holes, scratches, or crayon artwork from the toddling artist. Walls should also be neutral colors, so if you went for that big, bold, bright, vibrant red color for an accent wall, it might be time to put that vision to rest with a few good layers of primer and a soft beige, sage, or gray color.


So the clutter is gone, you’ve done the scrubbing, the walls have fresh paint, and now it’s time to tend to the floors.

If you have carpet in your home, shampoo it yourself or hire a carpet cleaning company. Carpets are a huge focal point of potential buyers, and also a reason people negotiate a lower sales price for a carpet allowance. When the carpet is beyond repair and shampoo doesn’t do the trick, replace the carpet. You’ll likely earn that money back and then some in your sales price.

Laminate flooring can have gaps, misalignments, or require patching in some areas. Make sure the laminate is in great shape.

Fix and Replace

If it’s broke, fix it. Period. Cracked socket covers, torn screens, chipped countertop, rusty door knobs, outdated fixtures – these all influence the buyer’s perception as well as your appraisal, which thereby affects your bottom dollar when it’s all said and done.


Only after you’ve removed the clutter, de-personalized the home, neutralized the colors, cleaned, and made repairs is it time to think about staging – the decorating part of getting your home ready to go to market.

Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Shawn McNeal a call today at 360-929-6650 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.



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