How to Prepare Your Home for Selling

See also: Decluttering Your Living Spaces

There are lots of online articles about how to prepare your home when you're trying to sell it. Most of those articles focus on the basics, like painting your front door, tidying up the clutter, and baking bread before an open house.

While those tips are all well and good, we wanted to look closer at the skills you need that will make selling your home easier.

Model house with a 'For Sale' sign.

There’s an opportunity to learn new skills every day, and preparing your home for selling is an excellent opportunity to learn something new. If your house has been on the market for a while, or you’re about to advertise it for sale, here are some of the skills you're going to need, some practical tips, and some creative ideas that you might not have thought of.

Have a Plan

Selling a home is a big job. As with anything on such an important and grand scale, you must plan in advance. Take a long, slow walk around your property, making notes and taking photos. Look at where paint is peeling, rooms that need a complete overhaul, or simple repair jobs that you can do yourself.

Planning and organizational skills are vital when it comes to big projects, and selling a property is certainly a big project. The more work that you put into the planning stage, the easier it will be to get everything perfect. Do it right and your preparations for selling your home will be done long before your first open-house event.

It’s all too easy to launch straight into the work that needs doing. Take a step back and slow yourself down. Do thorough planning so you have an action plan with steps that are easy to follow on from each other.

Decide Whether to Redecorate

We bring the personal touch to everywhere we live, but it's standard practice to make your property as appealing to as many people as possible when selling. Home decoration is vital even if you live in a small rental and you're worried about your deposit. Of course, when you own your home and you're planning to sell, deciding to redecorate is still a big decision.

Painting a radiator.

Quick jobs like painting a wall where the colors have faded, cracked, or chipped are where you should focus your priorities. This kind of redecoration is something that anyone can do themselves, even without a lot of experience. Remember to put covers on any surrounding furniture and the carpets, and get painting.

Redecorating is a big job, so make sure that you've done plenty of research on the best color schemes to use when selling a home. Don’t forget to cut down on the number of photos of you and your family that are on show. The goal is to let potential buyers easily visualize themselves living in each space. Too much of your personality will make that more challenging, and you’ll lose sales as a result.

Get Creative

With that depersonalization being said, there’s nothing wrong with letting yourself get creative. There’s a lot of competition when it comes to selling property, so you need to be able to stand out. It’s never been easier to learn how to find your creative genius, and that’s a skill that you’ll retain long after your home is sold and you've spent all of the profits.

Remember that people don’t want to buy a property. Instead, they’re looking to buy a new life. Get more creative with ideas to make your open-house event stand out, be more creative with your home photographs, and don’t be afraid to go large when it comes to your home decor changes.

Attracting buyers is the aim of the game, and being memorable will be much more beneficial than being bland. Flex your creative muscles, and your chances of selling quickly can dramatically increase.

Go Green

Combining creativity and redecoration, all while adding some fantastic benefits, you simply can’t go wrong by adding some plant life to your interiors. Indoor plants are a great way to add color and energy to a room, and you're truly spoiled for choice.


From the bedroom and bathroom to your lounge and kitchen, plants can be used in every room of the house. They bring health benefits, boost creativity, and even help keep your air cleaner. So even if you're not planning to sell your home anytime soon, plants and greenery are always an excellent addition to your living space.

However, plants do take looking after. You need to be aware of light and temperature, so choose the plants that will thrive with minimal effort. If you live somewhere that’s prone to drought, choose plants that are drought tolerant. If your bathroom is windowless, dark, and humid, look at tropical plants that thrive in that environment.

Gather a Team

Preparing a home for sale can mean a lot of work and requires a range of skills. If you don’t have time to learn how to do woodwork to replace the front door, or the thought of doing a complete kitchen renovation is simply too terrifying, you're going to need a team.

Of course, it’s still your house, and you’re still in charge. Basic team-working skills are going to be essential, so brush up on those if you're new to working as part of a group.

Working as part of a team almost always means challenges, especially if every member of the team is bringing a different skill set to the task. For that reason, make sure that you have some core communication skills to hand. They’re going to make it much easier to ensure that everyone is on the same page at all times. That’s only good news for your productivity.

Unfortunately, working as part of a team can lead to disagreements. If those disagreements aren’t tackled in the right way, they can spiral out of control quickly. Brushing up on your conflict resolution strategies is always smart before you begin a big job like preparing a house for sale.

Get the Big Jobs Done

Some jobs are going to be very risky to do yourself. If you only have minimal experience carrying out plumbing work, it’s best to leave that to the professionals. Working with water or electricity can be dangerous or even fatal if things go seriously wrong.

That’s not to say that you should hire just any electrician to do rewiring work or any large installations. There are seven skills that every electrician needs, so you need to check that the expert you hire has those skills. If you’re going all out, then you could take the time to learn some of those basics yourself.

From roofing repairs to a full re-plumbing in the bathroom, don’t assume that you can do everything yourself. Experts are going to be needed, and the bigger the changes you're making before selling your home, the more of those experts you’ll need.

Get Into the Details

All the big jobs have been done, and you've even done most of the smaller tasks from your initial plan. Now you can get down to those extra tasks that highlighted themselves while you were getting everything else done.

This is another chance to get creative and teach yourself something new. Not many people will need to learn the skills needed to become a mattress maker just to sell a house, but that worn-out mattress in your spare room could be stopping a sale. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to making changes to your home before selling it.

From making and replacing a tired mattress to crafting your own curtains to replace the shabby ones that have been up for years, start fine-tuning. The more work you put in now, the greater the rewards can be.

House with young family and 'Sold' sign.

Learning the Skills Needed to Sell a Home

The key thing to remember is that the better you can make your home, the more money it will be worth. That’s why DIY and home renovations are so popular. Some changes to your home will have more impact than others, though. For example, turning an attic into a usable bedroom or office space is one of the best ways to increase home value.

Tackle the trouble spots, get creative, and don’t be afraid of making big changes. If you can do as much of the work yourself as possible, the returns on your time investment might be more than worth it. And even if you don’t add any real value to your home, you’ll have picked up some incredibly useful new skills that you’ll have with you wherever you move to next.

About the Author

Jason Wyrwicz is the owner and founder of Pots, Planters & More, a premier provider of state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor planters. He has been in the manufacturing industry for 25 years breathing new life into interior and exterior spaces, helping transform spaces and turning ideas and visions into reality.