Preparing Your Home for the Market

March 03, 2019

Kitchens sell houses- update yours before trying to sell.

1. Kitchen cabinets are expensive to replace, so if yours are solid wood but look a bit battered or just dated, consider painting them. Like any good paint job, the right prep is essential and that means taking the time to remove all doors and hardware. Next, clean them with a good degreaser detergent, and rinse well. Most cabinets have a gloss or semi-gloss finish that needs to be sanded and it's better to do that kind of work outside or in a workshop where dust is less of an issue. If there are dings or cracks or holes left by hardware, now is the time to fill them. A sandable putty or filler like Elmer's Carpenters Wood Filler will work well for this. Apply a latex primer, going with the wood grain (low-odor/low-VOC products, are good choices) for previously painted cabinets--they're easy to use and clean up with water. Now, apply an oil-based alkyd enamel, which is the traditional choice for cabinetry and wood trim.







2. Dishwashers can be made to look new by removing the front panel(s) and cleaning it/them. Now apply a stainless steel stick-on covering cut to size. This costs about $20 and can take your dishwasher from old to... updated!


3. Replacing hardware on cabinets can renew their look. Try to find fixtures that fit the size of the current holes, but if you don’t find the same size, using a sandable putty or filler like Elmer's Carpenters Wood Filler will work well for this.

Bathrooms are the other big sellers when they are clean and up-to-date:  

4. Get rid of surface mold by using a spray bottle of 1 part water to 1 part bleach- and wipe dry. Paint the wall or ceiling with a fresh coat of satin finish latex paint (not flat or eggshell unless there’s been water damage.)

5. Clean the grime from your tub, shower, and shower door with a strong cleaner using steel wool, a mask, and rubber gloves.


6. Repair porcelain sink and tub chips with Porc-a-Fix. Get more info at

7. Painting out-of-date ceramic tile is possible. Get more info at

Tips for the Remainder of the Home include:

8. Create a nice flow within the house. One way to do this is to maintain the same flooring throughout. The eye tends to start at the floor and then move up, so this will make the first impression whether or not you want that to happen. If you’re really short on funds, consider using the most cost-efficient material around: vinyl tile. First, use a snap-line to create a center point between the two rooms. Next, peel and stick the new vinyl tile down, and watch your kitchen and family room grow! Another idea is to paint two adjoining rooms the same neutral color. Lastly, think in terms of gentle curves rather than 90˚ angles and straight lines: a round or oval dining room table creates the sense of more space in a room than a square or rectangular one, for example.

While great for a family, this is too much furniture in the space to sell this home.


9. Place fewer pieces of furniture in each room, rather than more. A room packed with furniture is a warning sign to potential buyers that your home lacks storage space. Pack up any items and furniture that aren’t essential, and move items to a relative’s garage, a nearby storage facility or (if absolutely the only option) to your garage. You want potential buyers to see your spacious home, not your personal belongings.

10. Stage each room with a single purpose so that its use is obvious to a prospective buyer. Rooms with a multiple purpose give a prospective buyer the idea that the whole space is too cramped. If you have an exercise/guest room/office, then decide upon its single purpose and stage it accordingly. A bedroom is usually a bigger seller than an office or exercise room, unless you already have four or more bedrooms. If you aren’t using the dining room to serve and eat meals, but you have a chandelier hanging in the center of the room and it’s next to the kitchen, then consider staging the room in its original purpose.  

This media room is all about that flatscreen!

11. Create or feature storage space, as it sells homes. Look around each room and see if there is space that could benefit from shelving. Go floor to ceiling whenever possible.


“Floating” shelves are often the best solution- simple & uncluttered with baskets or bins (covered ones for lower shelves one can see in) artfully placed on shelves are big sellers. It’s a great idea to unclutter your closets and organize your shelves to show off how much storage space the buyer is going to get. Purchase matching baskets or bins for your “must have” accessories in these areas as well. This will give you a chance to start packing, too and you’ll appreciate your efforts in this regard when you’re preparing to move to your next abode.

In conclusion:

Need help with all of these fixes? Contact us through this website and we can come take a look and assist you as much as you need. We can make it as painless as possible to sell your home quickly. Research tells us that staged homes sell five times faster than unstaged/empty homes, and provide between 172-872 times the return on the seller's investment. Questions? More ideas? We would love to hear from you!

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