15 Inexpensive Ways to Get Your Home Ready For Sale

Real Estate Agent with Fitzpatrick + Prince Real Estate Group DRE# 01752271

As an Accredited Staging Professional Realtor, I'm often asked what soon to be sellers can do to get their home 'show' ready.  I've complied a list of some of my least expensive techniques that I share with sellers before listing their home.  If you are in the Orange County area, I'd love to help.  I stage all my listings for my sellers and they love it.  Better still, I get offers in the first 30 days 100% of the time my homes are staged. 


Here are 10 cheap ways to make a property more attractive to shoppers:

  1. Q-tip clean your home. This means cleaning/dusting all baseboards, crevices, grout, and all surfaces.
  2. De-clutter the interior and exterior.  Don't stop with the personal photos in frames.  Take down 2/3 of your accessories on all surfaces in all rooms.  Place them in boxes and store them neatly in the garage or storage shed. 
  3. Improve first impressions. Touch up the paint on the front door and other areas that buyers see first. Clear the path to your door of leaves and shrubs. 
  4. Clean up the landscaping. Trim the hedges and trees and plant some annuals in the flowerbeds.
  5. Put down fresh gorilla hair.  This gives a uniformity to the landscape.
  6. Paint the interior. A coat of light tan or cream with contrasting white woodwork looks fresh and clean.
  7. Refurbish the floors. Buff hardwood flooring. Install new carpets – or consider neutral 18'' porcelain tiles.
  8. Advertise the home warranty. Knowing that the appliances will be under warranty for the first year a buyer lives there gives many a secure feeling.
  9. Improve energy efficiency. New windows or improved insulation tells a potential buyer the seller is on top of things plus they come with tax benefits.
  10. Replace light fixtures. Updated fixtures, especially at the entrance way and in the foyer, create a good first impression.  Make sure all fixtures have working bulbs.
  11. Buy a stove. Home owners whose kitchen isn’t top of the line can jazz it up for a few hundred dollars by buying a new stove, which gives the room a fresh feel.
  12. Move your furniture around.  Use what you have to create inviting spaces.  Try replacing adding and replacing furniture from different rooms. 
  13. Add lamps to each room.  This creates a cozy feel and gives better light to all rooms.
  14. Give every room in your home a use.  If you use your dining room as your sewing room or a bedroom as a playroom, don't.  Showcase the rooms for what they were meant to be used for.
  15. Tidy up the bathrooms. Get rid of mildew, replace caulking, and replace stained sinks.

Lastly, have fun with it and get a friend involved.  Their fresh eyes can make all the difference.  You'll find that a huge weight has been lifted living in a clutter free home and you will be motivated to keep it up. 


Comments (3)

Lisa Stafford
Broken Arrow, Tulsa, McGraw Realtors - Broken Arrow, OK
Broken Arrow OK Homes For Sale

Linda, This is a very good list.  Great job putting it together.

Feb 15, 2010 02:14 PM
Fitzpatrick + Prince Real Estate Group - Irvine, CA

Thank you!  :-)

Feb 15, 2010 02:36 PM
Heather Cook
Beyond the Stage Homes - Kitchener, ON
Delivering beautifully staged spaces

Linda - great post with lots of excellent tips!

The only thing I would add is to make sure that every space has a recognizable function. Its great to move furniture around but having the odd item "here" and something else over "there" only confuses buyers. Creating functional and appealing rooms with a layout which encourages buyers to walk through is a must for any home.

If the seller isn't able to figure out how to do this on their own - consult with a pro stager! Even if the seller wants to do all the work themselves, the small investment will ensure that they have a focused plan created by a pro. The majority of sellers have a hard time being objective about their homes so telling them to declutter or depersonalize is too general, many sellers don't know what should stay or go. A staging report tells them clearly what to do and how to do it for the best results possible!

Mar 28, 2010 04:01 PM