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How To Prepare Your Home To Sell

Updated on May 9, 2017

Preparing Your Home To Sell

As a first time seller, there is so much to learn about selling your first home. As a first time buyer, you experienced how stressful the house buying process can be. When you become the vendor, expect the difficulties to exceed your expectations. Being prepared and putting in some time and effort in preparing your property to sell can save you a lot of money in the long term. This is particularly important if you are selling a small flat, because smaller flats don’t sell as fast as larger ones. Use colour and accessories wisely to give the impression of space and impress the buyers by keeping everything neat and tidy.

For Sale


Before you list your home for sale, take the opportunity to do a ruthless cull of everything you no longer need and that takes up too much space. Discard, recycle or take items to a local charity shop

If you have enough cupboards and wardrobes, start packing as much as possible and store boxes away from sight. If that is not possible, ask a friend to keep some of your boxes while you are selling your property, or rent a storage unit.

Be ruthless with your furniture, too. If you have too many chairs, tables, sofas taking up floor space, consider taking some of them out and put them into storage or sell them. It is far more pleasing to the eye to see a lot of floor space, which in turn makes a good impression with buyers.

If you are selling a small flat, keep everything as tidy and clean as possible, keeping the surfaces free from unnecessary ornaments. Walk through each room: are you bumping into the furniture? Try and re-arrange it in a different position.

Interior Design


If you have watched enough TV programmes on interior design and decorating, you will know that neither a dull colour scheme nor an excessive one help sell houses.

Beware of fashionable colours from magazines: they are there to help build a story, but trendy colours may put off some buyers. While a neutral colour scheme is a safe bet, you can still inject a bit of colour with accessories. Magnolia is out, light grey is in. If you can, look at what other houses that are currently on the market have done. What colours have they painted the walls? What colour do you find more appealing? It helps to think like a buyer when you redecorate your property.

You can choose slightly different colours in each room as long as they are not dark and ensuring that each colour goes well with the next. For example, a light blue and a light green can go well going from one room to the next. Jarring colour combination will irritate potential buyers. Think about the best hotel room you have stayed in, especially when it comes to the bathroom. Create a spa atmosphere in the bathroom: put some candles and flowers on the shelves, and roll up some fluffy towels.

If you can’t upgrade your sofa, use a throw and some cushions to add a bit of colour and texture. Soft furnishings can really make a difference in making a room more inviting and more appealing to the eye.

Look at all the rooms and decide where to put extra mirrors to create a sense of space. Place fresh flowers and plants for a touch of colour and to make each room more welcoming.

Hang some interesting art on the wall – you can borrow it if you don’t want to invest in paintings or pictures. Landscapes work well, as they give the impression of extra space.

Take pictures and carefully study the overall effect. Potential buyers will look at pictures first before deciding to book an appointment to view the property.

A Spa-Like Bathroom

Action Plan

Create an action plan for each room as you prepare you property to sell and tick off items as you complete them. It will make the process much easier.

  • In the bedroom make sure there are no clothes scattered on chairs and only keep a few items on display like books.
  • In the bathroom have new towels, keep toiletries in cabinets and buy a new shower curtain.
  • In the kitchen clean all surfaces and keep them as clear of gadgets and ornaments as possible. The more surface buyers see the more they can see how spacious the kitchen is. Never leave the dishes out, even if they are clean. Put them away, to show that there is enough storage on the counters.
  • In the living room only keep few items to display like an elegant coffee table book. Select only a few books to keep on shelves leaving some empty space.
  • In the entrance hall keep all the clutter away, especially shoes, in a cabinet if you have it. Don’t hang too many coats on the wall, but put them away.

Check what repairs you need to do in each room. If buyers spot that something needs repairing, they will try to haggle on the price.

Clean all the windows to let in as much natural light as possible. Also check the communal areas if you live in a block of flats and make sure all the external windows are clean and that everything is working properly, especially the intercom.


A cluttered home makes buyers panic, as they think there’s not enough space for their possessions. However, if you depersonalise your home too much, it will end up looking like student accommodation or a faceless low quality hotel room. Invite friends for coffee and ask them for feedback: does your place make them feel at home? Is there anything they would change? Also ask a few estate agents for their opinion on your colour scheme and on the way you have arranged the furniture. They may have some tips on how to make your property look better and more appealing to potential buyers.

As long as your property is well looked after and you talk enthusiastically about it with buyers during viewings, the process of selling it should be fairly straightforward.


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    • paolaenergya profile image

      Paola Bassanese 11 months ago from London

      Hi Mary, I'm so glad you found the information useful! Best of luck with the sale, please keep me posted! I see you are based in Brazil so BOA SORTE!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 11 months ago from Brazil

      You've offered some great advice. We currently have our home up for sale and will use these helpful tips.