Wouldn’t it be wonderful if selling your home was as easy as putting it on the market as is and waiting for someone to make an offer? That may be wishful thinking, but you can increase the odds of a quicker deal if you spend enough time preparing to sell your home. With a few simple changes, your house will be ready to dazzle potential buyers as soon as they step through the door.

Keep it clean

It might sound obvious, but presenting a clean home is one of the most important things to entice potential buyers. They’ll want to see the space in its best condition, so be sure to clean absolutely everything, including the areas you might skip over if you were just cleaning for yourself. Dust every surface, including the fireplace mantel and ceiling fan blades, scrub tile grout in your kitchen or bathroom, wash all windows and give each faucet a good polishing.

Clear away any clutter as well. A pile of shoes by the doorway or stacks of mail on the coffee table may give your home a lived-in feel, but buyers want to imagine what the place will look like once they move in. Clutter interrupts an otherwise clean and presentable room. Make sure your potential buyers are focusing on how gorgeous the space is instead of how messy the current owners have left it.

Simplify the surroundings

We fill our homes with furniture, art and amenities that represent who we are as people, so our spaces naturally begin to reflect the people living in them. When someone walks around the house they may potentially purchase, however, they want to see how the space will represent them when they’re living there. It’s important to keep things simple so buyers can fill in the rest with their imagination.

Store away any personal items, like family photos or kids’ artwork hanging on the fridge. Repainting dramatically colored walls to a neutral white or cream color will help buyers focus on the space itself, rather than the color of the room. Likewise, replacing unique or flashy furniture with something more unassuming will allow the buyer to see how their furniture will fit instead of being distracted by your pieces.

Look with a buyer’s eye

When you’ve lived in the same place for years, it can be easy to ignore or not even notice things that other people would immediately focus on. To you, that rattling doorknob is just a charming quirk of the home that wasn’t worth bothering over. To a buyer, it’s a sign that the home hasn’t been properly taken care of.

When preparing your home, walk through every room as if you were seeing it for the first time. Take note of loose doorknobs, leaky faucets and drafty windows, and be sure to fix them before potential buyers start viewing your home. Better yet, have a friend (ideally one who hasn’t spent much time in your home) walk through and point out things they notice that you might have missed. When it comes to selling a home, the small details can make or break a deal.

Plan with purpose

While it’s important to leave enough room for buyers to picture themselves in the space, giving rooms a purpose and setting up small vignettes around the home can help them come up with their own ideas of how they want to use it.

Instead of leaving spare rooms empty, give them a purpose by designing a home office or guest bedroom. Give a plain bathroom a spa-like atmosphere by placing quality washcloths near the sink, lighting a soothing candle and using plush bathmats near the tub or shower. Keep only the kitchen utensils that are used regularly, and replace out-of-date appliances with newer models to show that this is a space of utility. Rearrange the living room to encourage gathering and conversation.

Arranging small vignettes can also help highlight certain aspects of a room and show off more of the focal points. A relaxing chair next to a side table with a book and coffee mug turns an otherwise empty corner into a cozy reading nook.

Increase curb appeal

First impressions matter. Although prospective buyers will be spending most of their time inside, the first look they will have of your home is from the curb. Improving the curb appeal can do wonders for bringing potential buyers closer to a deal. A fresh coat of paint, upgraded fixtures and hardware and a well-manicured lawn or garden are some easy ways to boost your home’s curb appeal.


Putting a home on the market is no small matter, but you can help yourself come closer to a deal if you devote enough time to preparing to sell your home. By following these tips, you should have offers coming your way in no time!