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How to prepare your house for sale

How To Prepare Your House For Sale 


So, you’ve considered all the options and decided to sell your family home. That was the easy part! Getting your house ready for the sales process can be an emotional and costly challenge, especially if you’ve never done it before. After all, your home is often the most valuable asset you own.

In considering what to do to prepare to sell your house, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. 

It’s more than a financial transaction; it’s a process of letting go. This guide simplifies what sells homes without tearing a hole in your heart - or your wallet.

Why Does a House Need to be Prepared for Sale?

Preparing your house for sale is key to a great first impression on potential buyers. Creating a warm, bright, yet neutral ambience to your home invites the prospective buyer to imagine how they could enjoy the lifestyle it represents on their terms.

For the buyer, purchasing a property is an emotional journey, too; you want to inspire more than one potential offer for your home to get the desired outcome at the auction or private sale.

How to Prepare a House To Sell

The most daunting part of the process is dealing with your emotional attachment to the property. The easiest way to resolve this is to make a practical “preparing to sell a house checklist” from our handy tips below.


Remove Emotional Attachment To House

Your home is more than a house - it’s a place full of personal items that mean something to you, like family photos, ornaments or gym equipment. The first step is to pack these things away. Removing your personal touch on the property will create a more neutral space, helping you switch gears from homeowner to salesperson.


Present Buyers With An Impersonal Environment

Your possessions can be equally distracting for potential buyers. Removing these items will allow them to imagine themselves in the home. While some well-placed decorative items like a vase or lamp may enhance the space, anything that reminds a buyer of the current owner should be out of sight. 


Declutter Your House 

Prospective buyers could be concerned that areas of the house crammed with clutter may need repairs they cannot see. Clear these areas to ease their worries and consider removing excess furniture to make rooms feel more spacious. Get rid of messy items from kitchen and bathroom counters so buyers can view these areas easily. 


Organise Rooms And Storage Spaces

The remaining furniture should be clean and neat, maximising the sense of space in each room. But don’t stop there. Buyers will open cupboards, drawers and pantries. Clean and organised shelves will tell a prospective buyer that the house is looked after and give an impression there are no hidden surprises.


Clean And Tidy Exterior Of House

The exterior of your house is what buyers first see when they arrive at your home.

Ensure the street frontage of your house is neat and presentable. Clean the exterior of windows and doors and also the gutters. You may need a professional landscaping service to get the garden looking its best.


Make Minor Repairs

Small repairs like a dripping tap, scuffed paint on window frames or cracks in plaster should be fixed before the open day. While it may seem like general household wear and tear, it looks like the house is not well maintained. These subliminal cues alert a buyer to look for other signs that the home may need repairs that will add to their expense.


Clean Around The House

A buyer may notice marks on the wall left by your children or pets. Little things like cleaning under the kitchen sink or removing that persistent bit of mould at the edge of the shower base can make all the difference to buyer perception. Giving the house a deep clean will help make it sparkle on open days. 


Keep Valuables In Safe Location

When your house is open for inspection, it’s a busy time. Your estate agent will be showing prospective buyers through your home and may be unable to keep an eye on everyone. Ensure you’ve secured valuables like jewellery, watches or laptops, so these items aren’t accessible.


Should You Renovate Before You Sell?

When it comes to renovating to sell, proceed with caution. Extensive renovations, such as a total makeover of your kitchen or bathroom can be costly. Consider whether the sale price would recoup these costs. 

Your local estate agent is your best source of knowledge when it comes to what sells homes. They can give you an idea of your area’s market so that any improvements target the right buyer. 

Rather than spending on major works, you may find some essential maintenance and cosmetic updates are all that’s required.  For example, if your kitchen cabinets are dated but in good condition, a coat of paint and new handles may contemporise the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank.


What Adds The Most Value To A House

An excellent first impression attracts buyers who will pay top dollar for your property. Here are some ideas to add that ‘wow’ factor to your home.


Garden design improvements

Enlisting the help of a professional gardener can work wonders to the presentation of your home. Buyers see this as an upgrade that will save them extra costs.



A fresh coat of paint makes a house feel crisp and clean. Use neutral colours that appeal to most buyers, and pay attention to small details, like window frames, guttering or skirting.


Lighting upgrades

Some of the best effects are achieved by enhancing light sources in a room. Contemporary light fittings can have a significant impact at minimal expense.


Reduce clutter

A light, bright, airy room feels larger than it is and gives a sense of transparency that there is nothing to hide about the home. Removing clutter and organising a space is one of the simplest ways to add value.

We’ve also listed our best tips for open days to maximise your selling price. 


Sell Your Home With One Agency Country To Coast

When you’re thinking about preparing your house to sell, it pays to talk it over with a friendly local who understands the process. Here at One Agency Country To Coast, we’re experienced in what sells homes in our neighbourhood. We specialise in properties across Gippsland, Bass Coast, Phillip Island and Cardinia Shire. You may like to weigh up your options with people familiar with your hometown’s property market. Whether you’re committed to selling or simply curious, you can always contact us for an obligation-free appraisal of your home.