Find helpful advice for your move:

Prepare your Home for Sale

Katie Cullen
Written by Katie Cullen
12th January 2017 (Last updated on Thursday 28th June 2018)

Preparing your home for sale is like a form of art. It’s creating an illusion; an illusion designed to entice potential buyers and get the highest possible sale price. You’d be amazed what a difference the right prepping and home staging would make to a) how quickly your home will sell and b) the price you get.

Stick around and we’ll walk you through how to beautify your home to a point where no one will be able to resist her. Your house will be the bricks and mortar version of a seductive temptress, a beacon of allure, a utopian space. We’ll be looking at the lighting, considering home fragrance, staging objects, making the place more spacious and perfecting every little nook and cranny. By the time we’re done – You might want to stay!

The main trick will be your attention to detail and to disassociate yourself with your home to the point of harsh scrutiny. You’re going to want to cast a judgemental eye over the place as if it’s the first time you’re seeing it and considering if you’d want to live there. The overall goal when preparing and staging your house for sale is to make everybody who walks in the door think ‘I can see myself living here’.

This article will cover the following points

Tips to Prepare your Home for Sale Home Staging Tips Scrutinise

Tips to Prepare your Home for Sale

Follow our house selling tips to increase chances of selling:

1. Disassociate and Depersonalise

OK, so let’s delve a little more into the idea of disassociating yourself from your home. You’ve already made the decision to sell so it’s time to start letting go of any emotional attachment you have to the place. Making your home homely is something you have been doing the whole time you’ve lived there and although you will still want others to view the place as ‘homely’, you don’t want them to see it as ‘your’ home. Depersonalising is an important part of this. As harsh as it seems, you need to hide the family photos, the valentine’s teddy bear and the holiday magnets from the fridge. When the potential buyers see photos of you and your friends in Malaga, they are thinking about who lives in this house, rather than imagining where they would hang their family photos if they lived there. You should also move anything that is there due to your own personal interests such as framed posters of your favourite film or band or a picture of the New York Skyline. These are not things that appeal to everyone so they’ve got to go.

2. Declutter and Organise

Decluttering is a huge part of preparing your home for sale. You really should think about having a cut-throat clear out. Check out our decluttering guide for some great tips on getting the job done. Once all the junk has been tossed and some sort of order has been restored in your home, it’s time to organise the place with an obsessive-compulsive attention to detail. We’re talking alphabetising, labelling, laminating and categorising. Get into cupboards and closets, create clear sections for everything. People are nosey and if they come to look around a home they are thinking of buying, they will open cupboards and they will be keen to see how much storage space there is. By making it look as though there’s a place for everything, people will think there is ample storage.

3. Storage Units

You might find that to declutter and depersonalise, you need to shift some of your things that you don’t want to get rid of. It is a great idea to hire a storage unit while you’re in the process of selling. Creating a feeling of space is massively recommended when trying to sell a home so if you can move some of your furniture, personal items and clutter into storage, the house will seem more spacious and therefore more appealing to potential buyers. It’s also important to consider any fixtures or features in your home that you plan on taking with you. If there’s a beautiful fireplace or chandelier that you will be taking then put that into storage and replace with something else because buyers might expect it to come with the house and this could be a sticking point.

4. Cleaning

There is nothing more off-putting when viewing a property than seeing a place that looks as though it needs a right good clean. Now, we don’t mean to suggest that your home is unclean but trust us, when it comes to selling a house, it is never quite clean enough. The place needs to gleam and sparkle. Have a spring clean when you’re done with the decluttering and depersonalising and then it’s just about staying on top of that for the duration of your time there. Think about cleaning the windows, dusting constantly… We don’t want there to be a single cobweb in sight! Corners, skirting boards, mirrors… no smudges now people. Also, keep a close eye on marks on the walls… If you have kids, you’ll have more fingerprints on the walls than you’ll ever care to mention. A great tip is to purchase a magic eraser… they work a treat! It’s also advisable for you to reseal the bath... A nice fresh white seal will do wonders for the appeal. White bathrooms look lovely and clean… So be sure to bleach the heck out of the place. You really need to be thinking about all those finicky little jobs that you don’t often get around to doing… dust the ceiling fans, wipe down blinds, clean the curtains. Scrub the fridge and the microwave. Hop to it.

5. Curb Side Appeal

We are all taught not to judge a book by its cover… but when we are looking for a new home, our first impression of the place can make a huge impact and it can cloud what we later see inside. You need to make sure that the outside of your home is attractive and enticing so that the potential buyers feel welcomed in. If they are hopeful and they expect it to be beautiful inside then they have already started to make their mind up. Think about painting the front door and the window frames so the house looks fresh. Potted flowers are always a nice touch. Consider adding beautiful and happy colours with a flourish of yellow and orange blooms. Pressure washers are a godsend if you are looking to seriously spruce the exterior of your home. You can use it on the front doors, the bricks, any stonework, the sidewalk and the driveway. You’ll be flabbergasted by how clean the house will look. You must also cut the grass and trim back or neaten up any bushes or hedges. Another great tip is to look at your house number, make sure it’s visible and give it a quick polish. If it’s brass, it’ll come up lovely.

Home Staging Tips

Now that your house is gleaming, it’s time for the magic. We’re going to tell you how to tart your house up and help her get her glad rags on… There’s life in the old girl yet. Staging your house for sale is about so much more than simply making it look nice. It’s about creating a mood, an atmosphere, it’s about giving a feeling of warmth, space and light. That might sound a little OTT but believe us, this stuff works. Did you know that there is such a thing as professional home stagers? Their job is to dress your home so that it appeals to everyone and plays on the desires, needs and comforts of the buyers. Here we will let you in on some of their secrets to increase chances of selling your house.

1. Lighting

The lighting in your home is a key factor on how it is presented. You want there to be plenty of natural light and for it to seem bright and airy but at the same time, you want there to be warmth and cosiness. Use table and floor lamps, even dimmers if you can to set a calming and soothing scene. Remember to create a relaxing quiet sense in the bedrooms, a homely, warm feeling in the living room, clean and white light in the bathroom and natural light in the kitchen.

2. Use Beautiful Home Accessories

When staging your home, you will have already cleared out a load of your personal clutter but you don’t want the rooms to be left looking sparse. It is a good idea to use beautiful home accessories that are neutral and add allure to your home. Try placing a generous bowl enriched with juicy and luscious fruit on a kitchen island or table, use wax fruit so it’s purely for show but will create a wholesome, organic feeling.

Organic themed or shaped accessories add an element of calm to your home, think about using corals or large shells. Mix textures and tones, keeping all tones neutral and ethereal. The placement of knick-knacks and accessories is key in home staging. Many professional home stagers use a vignette style. Vignette is a word used to describe a method of displaying items in an aesthetically pleasing way. Usually, this would mean three or more items placed in an area on display. Imagine a large marble vase with a textured appeal, next to it, a crisp white coral and a stone coloured candle as well as a delicately placed stack of brown leather bound books. This little touch will add a wonderful element of intrigue to the area but it won’t look cluttered and will have a wider appeal than a school photograph, a pink vanilla scented candle and a couple of coasters. Consider creating these charming displays to showcase areas of the home, a shelf, a cabinet in the corner or a sideboard.

3. Dress your home in luxurious fabrics

Window dressings will play a part in how much natural light enters the home. You’ll want the rooms to feel bright and airy but also offer a sense of privacy or the option of privacy at least. As part of the home staging when selling your house, consider a draped window covering. There is an achievable level of opulence to it, whilst still holding on to a relaxed vibe. Soft and luxurious fabrics cleverly placed around the home will also add texture, warmth and comfort to the overall sense of the house. Use silk (or a cost-effective alternative) and wool, chunky knit or faux fur throws and a delightful plethora of cushions and throw pillows. Remember to keep tones and colours calming and neutral but don’t be afraid to mix shapes, sizes and finishes.

4. Be clever with props

Another great tip - use mirrors to create a sense of space and light. A large mirror in a small room with a shortage of natural light will help to open the room up and carry the light through.

Plants and flower arrangements offer a certain charm to your house. Consider adding a clear vase with short stemmed white flowers to your displays. Plants always look great in the kitchens and bathrooms. They present a feeling of life and longevity so may evoke thoughts of a life to be lived in this lovely home.

If you have a spare bedroom that is missing a bed then a cheap way of giving the buyer an impression of how the room can be used is to buy a full sized inflatable bed. Once there is a duvet and bedspread on it, they’d never know it wasn’t a proper bed. Add a shelf to the room with a small mirror above it and some beautiful scented candles on the shelf… Voila, you have a welcoming, relaxing bedroom.

5. Turn the bathroom into a spa

The bathroom will be a huge selling point. It’s an intimate space and it’s imperative that it is clean and airy. Use plenty of white, make sure the bathroom suite is gleaming, the tiles are spotless and the seal is new and bright white. Place wicker baskets in the room with luxurious looking toiletries and spa treatments in them. Have a plant and a few candles dotted around but don’t clutter the place. Crisp, white towels are a must and make sure they are perfectly folded or draped with stylish symmetry. Think about using gorgeous scented soaps and lotions so that the room smells fresh and like a place to be pampered.

6. Home Fragrance

Part of preparing your home for sale means cleaning it, but the home must smell as clean and fresh as it looks. It is a good idea to use fragrance plugins where they are out of sight but the fresh, clean scents will permeate. Don’t go for musky smells or anything too sweet. Opt for floral, lush green and clean linen scents.

7. Lay the table

Ever been to view a show home? You’ll notice that the dining table is always laid. Get some neutral table mats and plates, go for a tone on tone look and put a mat and plate out for every seat of the table. This should trigger thoughts of mealtimes for the buyer if they lived there. If you are selling your home during the spring or summer then you could put some brightly coloured plastic cups and a jug of juice on the garden table. There will be a huge appeal for the buyer as he/she imagines sunny days sitting out the new garden.


Now for the final test. It’s time to really, truly scrutinise. Go outside and look at your house. The fresh paint on the door, the clean drive and the flowers, the freshly cut grass… Does it make you want to go inside? As you get to the doorway, is it welcoming, does it seem clean, smell fresh? Walk around every single room asking yourself if you would live there. Ask friends to do the same. If you find yourself wondering if you should stay then you know you’ve done a good job and people will struggle to resist the allure of this house!

Good luck... And when the time comes to move house, don’t forget to compare local removal companies with Compare my Move.