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How To Get Your House Ready To Sell

5-minute read

August 04, 2020


You want your home to sell for as much as possible, but it takes a little work, research and time to get the best offers. Use our easy-to-follow guide to get more out of your upcoming sale. 

How Do You Sell A House?

Here are the basics steps you’ll need to take to sell your house:

  1. Determine how much your home is worth. A real estate agent can help you decide when to list and how much to ask for your home. They can also coordinate showings for you.
  2. Prepare your home for sale. This might include repairs and minor cosmetic touchups. Some sellers opt to stage their home to appeal to as many buyers as possible.
  3. Advertise your property. Your real estate agent will list your property and advertise it, if need be. Once you get interested buyers, they’ll arrange showings.
  4. Negotiate the purchase price. Buyers who like your home will submit offers. You can negotiate with interested buyers until you reach an agreement that works for both of you.
  5. Finalize the details. If the buyer is purchasing the home with a mortgage, they’ll need to take a few steps to finalize the details. Your home will likely be appraised. The buyer may conduct an inspection to make sure there are no major problems. There may be further negotiations if the home appraises low or if repairs are needed. (See our tips for appraisals here.)
  6. Close the sale. You’ll sign over the title and deed to your home and receive funds from the buyer’s mortgage lender.

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6 Tips For Selling Your Home

The most difficult part of the selling process can be bringing in high-level offers and serious buyers. Follow these tips to make it happen, and don’t forget to consult a real estate professional before you make any moves.

Understand How Much Your Home Is Worth

You’ve likely made a lot of great memories that involve your home. Maybe you grew up in it, raised a family in it or have spent time there with friends and family. With so many memories attached to your home, it can be easy to believe that your home is worth more than it actually is. A common mistake that homeowners make when they sell their home is overvaluing it and pricing it too high.

A local real estate professional can help you determine how to price your home. They’ll consider recent home sales and current market conditions to figure out a good price point to attract buyers and bring in offers.

Find The Right Listing Agent

A great listing agent is an invaluable asset when you sell your home. Listing agents help you create your battle plan to market, show and sell your home. They’ll make sure your home doesn’t spend too much time on the market.

Need help finding a listing agent? Rocket HomesSM can connect you with local agents in your area. Agents who work with Rocket HomesSM have proven success in their local market and can help you decide the next best steps in the selling process.

Depersonalize And Declutter Your Space

Sure, you may love that pink bedroom, but will your buyer? Removing distinctive personal touches like bright paint and mementos allows buyers to envision themselves in your home. This often leads to a higher selling price and less time spent on the market.

Make your design aesthetic as neutral as possible. Remove unusual paint and wallpaper colors, and pack up family photos. Ask a friend to point out any taste-specific decorations so you can remove them. Redecorate with as much generic appeal as possible – think neutral wall colors and modern furniture.

This process should also include a thorough decluttering. Remove unnecessary appliances, furniture and toys from view when buyers are touring your property. Before a showing, clear the kitchen counters and tidy up common areas and bedrooms. Open your curtains or shades to allow light in. Keep your kids’ toys hidden or in a playroom until potential buyers leave.

Decide Which Repairs And Updates To Make

A home that’s in great condition will help you get a higher offer. Though repairs might not be required, they’ll give you better negotiating power and help you avoid the headache of having to quickly fix something to close the sale.  

Here are some repairs and updates you should consider when you’re getting ready to sell.


Touching up paint is one of the cheapest and easiest home repairs you can make. Take a look around your home for paint that needs to be updated or retouched.

Kitchen Appliances

Buyers will expect your major appliances to work. If your oven, stove or dishwasher doesn’t work or isn’t in good shape, repair it before you show your home.

Bathroom Fixtures

Bathrooms and kitchens are some of the most important rooms in the home. Clean, updated bathrooms are an absolute must. If any of the plumbing is leaky, schedule repairs immediately.


Lighting can be a powerful asset when you sell your home because it can change how a room looks. If lighting isn’t updated, it can make your home look older and smaller.

Soft white LED light bulbs are more affordable than ever before and make your home feel cozier than fluorescent lights.


Roofing issues can be expensive to repair. A roof with leaks or missing shingles is likely to scare away many buyers.

If you have the money to repair the roof, do so before you list your home. If you don’t have the money, you can still list your home, but make sure you disclose your roof’s condition to the buyer well before closing.

Touch Up Your Home’s Exterior

Your home’s exterior is the first thing buyers see, so take some time to make sure you’re up to date on exterior maintenance. Clean your gutters out and wash your home’s siding. Mow your lawn, remove weeds and prune bushes. If your home has a fence, inspect it for missing panels and peeling paint.

If you have a pool, fish out leaves, toys and branches before buyers visit. Pressure wash your sidewalk and any other paths on your property. If your front door has peeling paint, a fresh coat will instantly update and modernize it.

Finally, consider adding curb appeal. This could be as simple as putting planters on either side of your front door. A new, clean welcome mat can make buyers feel at home. Small details can make all the difference.

Get Rid Of Offensive Odors

You might not notice the pet smells in your home because you’ve gotten used to them. Even though these issues are easily fixable, they can be a turn-off for buyers.

Hide litter boxes and use an air freshener before open houses and showings. Wash pet beds and toys to fight bad odors. Set up a cleaning schedule to keep pet hair at bay.

If you have an open house or showing coming up, ask a friend or family member to watch your pet while buyers are in your home. If that’s not possible, make sure your pet is in their crate, your backyard or otherwise out of the way when you show your home.

Even if you don’t have pets, there are odors to watch out for. A musty smell could make buyers leery of mold or mildew. Odors from your sink or garbage disposal may indicate a problem with under-the-sink plumbing. If you smell rotten eggs or sulfur in your kitchen, you may lack required traps or vents; this problem can be fixed with the help of a plumber.

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Getting the highest offer for your home isn’t a matter of luck. You’ll need to follow certain steps to get your house ready to sell. Understand how much your home is worth, find the right listing agent, depersonalize and declutter your space and decide which home repairs to make. Finally, give special attention to your home’s exterior – it’s the first thing people see when they view your home.

With a little hard work, some strategic decorating and help from a local listing agent, you’ll sell your home in no time.

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