When you are selling your home, you want to take full advantage of the market. No matter your home’s location, size, or age, it will bring in significantly more if you are able to optimize its condition before you list it for sale. However, if you are preparing to sell your home and you have realized that it needs extra TLC before it is market ready, today’s guide is for you.

The worst-case scenario for your property is it languishing on the market for months after you list it, only drawing in a smattering of lowball offers. To avoid this disheartening dynamic, rectify the following before listing:


You are no doubt used to your belongings being comfortably strewn throughout your home. Sellers, though, will expect your home’s interior to be neat as a pin, so it’s up to you to bring your home up to nearly model home standards before any prospective buyers take a tour.

Take photos of each room, then compare them to photos of homes listed near you. This may assist you with identifying areas of your home that need to be tidied. Put away objects d’art, clothing, small appliances, toys, pet toys, and personal care products.

Finally, make sure that your closets, cabinets, and storage spaces are organized and as empty as possible. Even if your home has plenty of storage, an overstuffed appearance will be enough to convince buyers that there simply won’t be enough for them to live comfortably.

Show off the storage potential your home contains by emptying out all you can. If necessary, move your belongings to a storage unit for the short term. The extra cash you’ll net on your home’s sale will make it more than worth the effort and modest expense.


You may have rambunctious children, a large pet, or might even be reclaiming your property from careless renters. Whatever the cause, it is essential that you identify and repair all damage before you list your home. Your real estate agent will be able to provide a second set of eyes to suss out damage, so don’t be shy about asking for feedback.

Repair everything, including fixtures, faucets, door hinges, large and small holes in walls, carpet defects, cabinets, countertops, and fencing. Please note that carpet stains, holes, and dirty areas that won’t come clean are all indications that you should entirely replace the carpet. While the cost may seem like a burden right now, you will certainly recoup it entirely in the sale.

Pet Smells

Even the cleanest pet has a distinctive scent. Even if it isn’t offensive to your nose, buyers will detect it and will undoubtedly find it unappealing. Have all carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned, launder pet beds and curtains, and meticulously clean hard surfaces before each showing. To take preventive measures, your pet should be bathed often during the selling process.

If you have a cat, empty the litter box multiple times each day, and completely replace the litter at least every three days. Avoid scented litter, which will contribute to the “pet scent.” Instead, opt for litter that contains activated charcoal or baking soda, which will neutralize smells without giving off its own smell.

A Defensive Pet

Understandably, your dog or cat will likely be upset by visitors tramping through its home. Still, buyers will not enjoy encountering a barking dog or hissing cat when they stop by to take their tour.

If possible, make sure your dog or cat is elsewhere anytime your home is shown. A family member, friend, pet daycare, or boarding facility will be better for both your pet and your bottom line.

Dead Landscaping 

A brown lawn or other dead plants will make your home look more like the Addams Family residence than something out of Home and Gardens. If you are prepared to overhaul your landscaping yourself, consider this your nudge to get moving! Otherwise, it is a good idea to hire professionals to revive your landscaping and plant beautiful new flowers and shrubs.

This will be an investment, but your real estate agent will reassure you that the ROI is sound. Your agent will also be able to advise you on the level of landscaping required to ensure your home competes well on the market.

An Outdated Interior

Your interior does not need to look like the cover of Architectural Digest, but it should not look like Pinterest circa 2010, either. Boldly painted walls, sponge painted areas, aggressively stylized fixtures, and heavy drapes are just a few examples of attributes that are aging your home.

Repaint dark walls with soft eggshell, opt for airy window coverings, and swap gaudy or clunky fixtures out with minimal, modern pieces. You don’t want your home to look like a cheap rental, though, so invest in at least mid-range fixtures that will not drag down the overall look of your home.

The Takeaway

There is no shame in your home having been fully lived in and enjoyed throughout your time there. However, your main objective is providing prospective buyers with a nearly blank slate onto which they can project their unique visions of their future. A clean, bright, airy, lightly scented interior will do just that!

Rely on your agent, your staging advisor, and the professionals you hire to guide your efforts. Trust that your work and financial investment now will be repaid fully when your home is rapidly nabbed from the market once you list it. Your efforts are most definitely going to be worth it!

Posted by Parks Real Estate on


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