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Getting Your Home Sell-Ready

Ron NeversSeptember 13, 2018

Great, you decided to sell your home. Now what? Here are some pointers to help turn your home into a house that will allow prospective buyers to see how they can then turn it into their home.

Getting There

You can see where your house needs to be in your mind. But how to get it there—that’s the question. Before we get into room-by-room specifics, here are some easy tips that’ll go a long way in making your home stand out—in photography AND when showing your home to prospective buyers.

All-Around Prep to Sell Your Home

  • Thoroughly clean entire house (vacuum carpet, mop hard floors, clean countertops, clean windows)
  • Turn all overhead lights and lamps on
  • Replace any burned out light bulbs with a matching set
  • Turn all ceiling fans off
  • Turn all TVs and computer screens off
  • Open blinds and curtains to let in natural light
  • Remove personal photographs
  • Get rid of knick-knacks or other clutter
  • Take out small floor rugs to reveal original flooring
  • Place all shoes and jackets in closets

The Deets

Now that you have a general idea of what needs to be done before you sell your home, here are some room-specific tips that will help you set your home apart.

sell your home

Living Room

  • Remove stacks of magazines, papers and mail
  • Organize the fireplace mantel
  • Clean fireplace interior
  • Fluff and arrange furniture pillows
  • Remove toys

sell your home

Dining Room

  • Clear, dust and polish the table
  • Use decorative place settings if available
  • Feature one centerpiece
  • Straighten all chairs
  • Remove child seats

sell your home


  • Make beds and use decorative pillows
  • Clear clutter from nightstands and dressers
  • Remove phone/tablet charging cables
  • Close closet doors

sell your home


  • Clear countertops of clutter
  • Clean stove
  • Display no more than one small appliance—a coffee maker OR toaster
  • Remove photos and magnets from refrigerator
  • Store garbage cans out of sight
  • Clear away dirty dishes

sell your home


  • Clear countertops completely
  • Clean mirrors, glass doors and fixtures
  • Close toilet seat and closet doors
  • Remove soap, shampoo and loofahs from showers and tubs
  • Remove dirty towels and floor mats

Say No to Fido

You may love your dog or cat, but your prospective home buyers may not. Minimize their presence by doing the following:

sell your home


  • Remove pet food bowls
  • Store pet beds and toys
  • Use a lint roller on furniture to remove pet hair
  • Wash carpet and rugs to remove pet odors
  • Clear backyard of pet waste and toys

First Impressions

Remember, sometimes homes are like books—they will be judged by their covers. Let’s take a look at the outside of your home and at what it will take to make it appeal to more home buyers.

sell your home


  • Close garage doors
  • Remove cars from driveway and front of home
  • Clean up landscaping
  • Refill or remove empty planters
  • Wash siding and walkways
  • Put away garbage cans

sell your home


  • Remove toys and sporting equipment
  • Clean pool and hide pool cleaning supplies
  • Turn on any water features
  • Mow and trim lawn
  • Clean deck or porch area

The Finish Line

Think back to when you were house shopping and saw your home for the first time. What made you realize that it was the place for you? Was it a hard-core, lived-in look, with socks on the bedroom floor and dirty dishes in the kitchen sink? OR was it an open, inviting, clean slate that begged for you to make it your own?

Getting your home ready to sell might not happen in a day—and there are plenty of other things you can do to make your home more appealing — but it’s well worth the effort. So what are you waiting for? Get in there, roll up those sleeves and get your home ship shape and ready to sell!

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    Ron Nevers

    The Rocket Homes blog is here to bring you all you need to know about buying, selling and making the most of your home. Whether you’re thinking about becoming a homeowner, selling your current home or looking to keep your place in tip-top shape, our writers and freelancers bring their experience and expertise to meet you right where you are.