Getting the House Ready for the Market (Part 4)

Part 4

Call us the masters of understatement, if you like, but deep cleaning isn't fun. It's time consuming and it's hard work, but if you intend on getting maximum dollars for your house, it must be done. If you simply don't have the time or energy to clean your house, hire someone to do it for you.

Since your ultimate goal is to help a buyer picture himself living in your home, remember that nobody wants to live in a dirty home. Unkempt homes also make buyers wonder if the home has received routine maintenance, so your aim in cleaning the house should be nothing short of making it immaculate. Top-to-bottom, detailed cleaning is a must. Since kitchens and bathrooms typically sell homes, pay extra attention to those two rooms.

Tip: If you plan on painting, do so before cleaning.


Think back to the model home tour we suggested in earlier posts. It sure looked like someone lived there, didn't it? It also looked like you could move right in and be comfortable.

These feelings are what sell newly-constructed homes. Interior designers painstakingly plan how to stage model homes to evoke these feelings. Staging works. Study after study has found that staging a home for sale helps it to sell quicker and for more money, so the cost of staging a home is justified.

There are three ways to stage your house:

  • Hire a professional home stager.
  • Do it yourself.
  • Hire a virtual home stager.

If you just don't have the budget to hire a professional home stager, there are inexpensive techniques you can use to get roughly the same mileage for the money. Check online interior decorating sites for inspiration.


One of the most frequent questions home sellers ask us is if they should make repairs before putting the house on the market. The most frequent answer we give is: 'It depends.'

If the repairs remedy a cosmetic defect (holes in window screens, dripping faucets, broken items) then, yes, make them.

Whether to undertake larger repairs also 'depends.' Remember, you are required to disclose all known issues to the buyer. If the defect affects the safety, comfort and enjoyment of the home, the buyer will most likely ask for its repair or replacement during the transaction. Since this could slow down the sale, it's best to make these repairs before placing the home on the market.

This series on preparing your home for the market covers the basics on what it takes to get your home ready for the market. We’re happy to answer any additional questions you may have. Let’s get that for-sale sign in the front yard!

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