“How to Prepare Your House for Sale?” is a thought every home seller should be considering before that sign goes in the yard and the new listing announcement hits Landmark's website. After all, this will likely be one of the largest transactions you will take part in throughout your life. But, where do you start?

How long does it take to prepare your house for sale? How do you know how much to spend preparing your house for sale? In this post, Landmark Realty Group will explore tips on how to prepare your house for sale in order to maximize your profit potential. 

What Should I Do to Prepare My House for Sale?

what should i do to prepare my house for sale

There are so many things you can do to prepare your house for sale. We’ve outlined a prepping your house for sale checklist below to get you started

Some things to keep in mind that potential buyers will notice right away:

  •         The area around the front door. Pay attention to the interior and exterior.
  •         Your roof. Make sure you pressure wash it so it looks fresh and clean.
  •         Make sure your home smells fresh. Bake some cookies if you feel up to it.
  •         Open up those blinds and curtains so buyers can see your home’s natural light
  •         Organize closets and drawers. People may want to look inside.
  •         Depersonalize the exterior and hide your personal photos. 
  •         Walkthrough your home as if you were the buyer and take note of what you notice during the tour

One thing to keep in mind is that things you missed or didn’t realize you need to do will come up. The best thing you can do to give yourself peace of mind is to start early and plan to tackle parts of your house you didn’t think of when you first started the process. It’s a good rule of thumb to do multiple walkthroughs and put yourself in the buyer’s shoes for this very reason. If you’d like to discuss prepping your home for sale with one of our real estate agents to make sure you’ve covered everything, Landmark Realty Group is happy to help!

Preparing Your House For Sale Checklist

After you’ve made the big decision that you are ready to sell your house, what comes next? Or first, to be exact? Surely there are many things that can make your house more appealing to a potential buyer. If you’ve kept up with your home maintenance yearly checklist for every season, you’re on the right track. While you are hoping to maximize your profit margin, you also want to be economical and not overspend. Let’s help you and explore more with our preparing your house for sale checklist.



The first step on the path from for sale to sold, is disassociating from your house. It’s completely understandable to have a personal connection with your home. Afterall, many family and special connections and occasions take place around your home.

“Sellers should depersonalize as much as possible. Buyers need to be able to see themselves living in a home and it's difficult if the house is decorated in a way that is really personal to the current owner like lots of family photos, even artwork,” said Dan Doughty, Mountain Life Properties of Landmark Realty Group. "If you are serious and ready to sell, it would be beneficial to stop thinking of your dwelling as a home and start referring to it as a house."

Cleaning and Decluttering

The next step in how to prepare your house for sale should always be a deep cleaning and decluttering. Though it may seem common-sense, we sometimes can become blind to our own surroundings. Try this exercise; enter your house and room by room, try to imagine that this is the first time you are seeing it. What stands out? What can be removed? What needs tidying? Remember that you, or we should say, your house, only gets one chance to make a good first impression. It is important to decide what that impression should be.

Mountain Life Properties of Landmark Realty Group real estate industry veteran, Doug Treadwell explains: “There are homes you live in to fit your lifestyle and there are homes you are trying to sell. These are not necessarily the same home. This relates to decluttering and staging the home to present the best look to a buyer in order to maximize the selling price for the seller.” Thus, depending on your house and market, it is important to understand what a potential buyer is looking for. Qualified real estate agents will be able to advise you on this matter and how to prepare your house for sale."


Because human beings are moved by all five senses, you must be sensitive to the odors surrounding your house. You may have become desensitized to this, so it would be a good idea to ask a friend or again, your real estate agent for feedback. Some agents will even recommend baking cookies for your open houses to present a welcoming feel. A home that smells nice can give your open house a boost.

Fresh Paint and Paint Colors


One “go-to” home improvement tactic, which is also relatively easy and affordable, is a fresh coat of paint. Now, you may still be in love with your crimson red dining room vibe, but it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. And though you may be tempted to follow the Color Trends 2020 Guide by Benjamin Moore, remember that this new fresh paint is not for you... it’s for your potential buyer. When selecting colors, stick to neutral tones. Whites, beiges and grey’s will allow the buyer to envision their own style, while not being distracted by yours.

Organization and Staging


When considering how to prepare your house for sale, don’t forget to take into consideration the organization and decor of a house. Closets and drawers might not be front of mind, but rest assured that some prospective buyers will be very curious about these areas. You might not want that junk drawer making a starring appearance. Though most people believe they have an eye for style, it is sometimes a prudent decision to hire a professional stager to decorate your house. Most real estate agents will tell you that a completely vacant house leaves little to the imagination. While a nicely staged home with modern décor can instantly entice the inspiration of your prospective buyer.

Curb Appeal

Before a potential buyer enters your house, they will pull up in their car, to explore the possibility of purchasing this house for themselves. The entire experience for them can be win or lose from go. Think about it. How many times have you driven through a neighborhood and a nicely put together home caught your eye? How many times has the opposite happened, leaving you with a less than desirable impression? Curb appeal can be argued as the single most important feature of your house, due to its relevance in making a first impression. Landscaping, exterior paint, front door area, and overall manicured state of your property should be considered and tended to before your house goes on the market.



Nearly all sellers think about the importance of fresh landscaping when considering how to prepare your house for sale. The lawn should always be freshly cut and bushes, pruned. An easy and quick fix is to add some fresh perennials, especially near the front door. It’s amazing what a little bit of effort and color can add to the curb appeal of your house.

3 Ways to Prep Your Home for Sale

As you can tell from our guide about how to prepare your house to sell, there are a lot of ways to prep your home for sale. From the exterior to the interior, there is a lot to cover on this list.

Prep your home’s interior for sale:

  •         Deep clean and declutter everything, including drawers and closets
  •         Depersonalize your home so the buyer can picture living their life in your home
  •         Look for scuff marks and touch them up
  •         Make sure there aren’t any lasting stains or marks from pets and kids
  •         Add some plants and flowers for a homey touch

Prep your home’s exterior for sale:

  •         Does it need a fresh coat of paint?
  •         Does your front door need a new color to standout?
  •         Make sure the landscaping looks fantastic
  •         Do you need to fix the gutters and downspouts?
  •         Pressure wash the roof and make sure it doesn’t need any repairs

Repairs to think about when prepping your home for sale:

  •         Check for damaged window screens
  •         Replace burned-out lightbulbs
  •         Touch up paint
  •         Repair or fix up the grout
  •         Fix leaking toilets and faucets
  •         Check the caulking around sinks, tubs and showers

What Features Sell a Home?

what features sell a home

There are some features specific to a buyer and their individual tastes, but then there are features that sell a home that most buyers look for and even expect.

Some features that help sell a home include:

  •         A laundry room
  •         A spacious patio
  •         Energy-efficient appliances
  •         Garage storage
  •         Storage in general
  •         Open concept
  •         Spacious chef’s kitchen with a walk-in pantry
  •         Master bedroom and the walk-in closet
  •         Home office
  •         Fireplace
  •         Mudroom
  •         Beautiful mountain views help, too!

Sell Your Home with Landmark Realty Group

Our agents are experts in the field of selling homes on the Highlands-Cashiers plateau. Regardless if you are selling a family, vacation or investment home, we can advise you on the best tactics needed to maximize your profit potential and sell your house quickly. Any of our agents can also give you tips on how to list your house for sale. We understand the magnitude, and sometimes, the complexity involved in getting your house ready to sell.

In addition to helping you sell your home, Landmark Realty Group is also a proven real estate leader on the plateau and we are happy to assist home buyers looking for their slice of Western North Carolina paradise. In addition to helping you prepare your home to sell, if you’re also looking to buy, we can show you homes for sale in Cashiers, Highlands, Lake Glenville, Burlingame, and more. Contact us today so we can help you navigate this process successfully and help you prepare your house for sale or help you find our next forever home.

By: Dale Gordon

Posted by Landmark Concierge on


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