Tips to Sell Your Existing Home

Curb Appeal

The better the curb appeal of your home is, the more attractive it is to prospective buyers. This is likely one of the most important aspects to preparing your home for sale - this is where buyers make their first impression. Get rid of any debris, weeds and toys in the yard. Sprinkle mulch around the trees and trim back the landscape so you are not obstructing windows. Plant colorful flowers and put out a colorful welcome mat.

  • Trim overgrown bushes, weed beds and add a fresh layer of mulch
  • Clean your front door and touch up paint if needed
  • Keep grass cut, edged and sweep sidewalks
  • Plant some color in the landscaping to add vibrancy

Baths and Kitchens

Kitchens are a main selling factor in a home, with bathrooms a close second. If countertops have become dated, consider replacing them with granite or laminate surfaces. Many new laminates offer textured surfaces that look more like real stone but without the cost. Switch out pulls and knobs as another low cost way to change the look and feel of a room. Surfaces should be free of as much clutter and small appliances as possible. To spruce up the bathrooms, the most important aspect is cleanliness. These rooms should be spotless. To give them a spa like feel, keep this area fresh and simple. Consider replacing the lighting fixtures and possibly countertops. Hang some fluffy white towels and ad some softly scented candles. Tie back the shower curtain to make the area feel more spacious.


This has enormous overall impact in the perception of your home to a potential buyer. Not just the colors chosen but the condition of the paint as well. Stick with light neutrals such creamy kakis, pearly grays or even soft greens such as a light sage. If trim is painted now would be a good time to re-paint or thoroughly clean to keep it looking crisp. You do not need to have a pro do this if budget does not allow but it should look professionally done.


The front door should be clean and consider an upgrade to the hardware. If there are sidelights make sure glass is clean and unobstructed for plenty of light inside. Doors inside the house should be painted and the hardware should be the same on each one. Fix any annoying squeaks. If there is damage to the doors, replacement would be expected.


If the carpet is in good shape, shampoo it so it's free of stains and pet smells. You don't need to buy new carpeting because the homebuyer will want to select it if a change is needed. If the carpet is extremely worn, you may want to consider replacement with a low cost neutral carpet. Laminate flooring also is fine, but it should be a neutral color.


Upgrading the lighting is an inexpensive way to improve the look and mood of a house. Replace the fixtures, install dimmers and use soft-wattage light bulbs. Buy a chandelier, but nothing too ornate. Also, keep the outside lights on at night because prospective home buyers often drive through neighborhoods after dark.

Living Room and Closets

Re-arrange the furniture for the best flow and show of floor space. Less is always more, a cluttered house will turn-off potential buyers. Pack up what isn't necessary on coffee tables, walls and closets and put into storage away from the home. Do not simply store in the garage or basement. This would just indicate your home doesn't have sufficient storage, another buyer turn-off when they are typically looking for more storage.

Patio & Windows

Again, less is more. Make sure the junk is gone and that the furniture looks new. Set up the grill. Create a scene that allows potential buyers to see themselves relaxing outside and enjoying the backyard. Pressure wash the deck.

Consider Staging your home

Buyers who look at vacant homes only see floors, walls and ceilings. With nothing else to look at, they focus on flaws. Consider working with a professional home stager. You can potentially recoup the cost by avoiding offers well below value as typically seen on vacant re-sale homes.