How to Prepare Your Home for Sale in the Current Market


In today’s ever-evolving real estate market, knowing how to prepare your home for sale in the current market is more critical than ever. The JudyMac Team understands the unique challenges and opportunities that come with selling your property in the greater Memphis area. Here is all you need to know about attracting homebuyers to your home.

Declutter & Depersonalize

Your home needs to look like no one lives there, but it still needs to look good (see Set The Stage section below). Potential homebuyers should be able to visualize themselves in the house. Daydreaming about the future might be hard to do if they see photos of your family, signed jerseys, or record collections. Here are some decluttering and depersonalization tips from the real estate experts at JudyMac:

How To Declutter Your Home

  • One room at a time: Tackle decluttering one room at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed. This focused approach helps you see progress and keeps you motivated.
  • Organize as you go: For each room, bring boxes labeled “Keep,” “Donate,” “Sell,” “Trash,” and “Pack.” This method forces you to decide about each item, streamlining the decluttering process. It might even help you get a headstart on packing for your new home!
  • Clear off counters: Keep kitchen and bathroom counters as clear as possible. A minimalistic approach makes these spaces appear larger and cleaner. Put away coffee machines, juicers, cords, sponges, paper, water flossers, et cetera that will make a space seem crowded or dirty.
  • Optimize closet space: Organize and partially empty closets to showcase their size and capacity. Homebuyers love ample storage space that’s not overflowing with belongings.
  • Digitize: Tackle stacks of papers, magazines, and mail by recycling what you can and digitizing important documents. This reduces physical clutter and makes your space look tidier.
  • Rent a storage unit: Don’t have a new home yet? Moving somewhere too far to easily carry away your essential “clutter,” clothes, or collectibles? Rent a storage area! You don’t want to move the stuff from your home to the garage or shed. Off-site storage keeps your space clean without feeling the need to donate your essentials.

Still trying to figure out what needs to go when decluttering your home? Some examples include fans, heaters, baseball bats next to the bed, earplugs, ashtrays, and potentially offensive artwork.

How To Depersonalize Your Home

Pack away personal photographs, keepsakes, degrees, and other highly personal items that might distract homebuyers from envisioning themselves in the space. Examples of items to hide from view include:

  • Any political things, such as flags, slogans, signs, images, and hats
  • Sports memorabilia
  • Mail, especially mail with your name
  • Pets (remove from home or put in a kennel when potential homebuyers come by)

Removing things like this can prevent you from alienating possible buyers or keep them from being a little snoopy about you.

Refresh The Paint & Neutralize The Colors

A fresh coat of paint is one of the simplest yet most impactful ways to refresh your home before listing it for sale. Over time, walls can become scuffed, colors may fade, and personal color choices might not appeal to the broad market or fit the space. By repainting with neutral colors, you create a blank canvas that allows homebuyers to envision their own lives and decor in the space. Neutral tones such as beige, gray, and soft whites can make rooms appear larger, brighter, and more inviting. 

And don’t forget the outside walls! Addressing exterior paint can drastically enhance curb appeal, making a solid first impression as homebuyers approach your home. Investing in a professional paint job or tackling it as a DIY project can be a cost-effective way to increase your home’s attractiveness and potentially boost its sale price.

Deep Clean Everything

A sparkling clean home boosts its appeal and signals potential buyers that the property has been well-maintained. 

Start with a deep clean that goes beyond the regular cleaning routine. Focus on areas often overlooked, such as baseboards, window sills, light fixtures, and behind appliances. Pay special attention to bathrooms and the kitchen, where cleanliness is crucial. These areas should be spotless, with grout, appliances, and fixtures gleaming. 

To revive their appearance, consider steam cleaning carpets and treating any stains on upholstery or flooring. Don’t forget the windows—spotless, streak-free glass lets in more light and makes spaces feel brighter and more inviting. 

Hiring professional cleaners can be a worthwhile investment if the task seems daunting, ensuring every nook and cranny shines.

Bonus Tip: If you have pets, try to keep the home as clean of hair, litter, and other pet-related messes as possible. If your pets have already moved into your new space, we suggest doing everything possible to rid the home of anything that could cause allergy flare-ups in potential homebuyers.

Make Minor Fixes

Repairing minor issues before listing your home can affect how potential buyers perceive its value and condition. Small problems, like a leaky faucet, a squeaky door hinge, or a loose floorboard, might seem trivial, but they can signal neglect to homebuyers or detract from your home’s appeal. 

Take a thorough walkthrough of your property and make a list of all the minor fixes needed. Prioritize repairs that are most visible to visitors, such as patching holes and cracks in walls, fixing broken tiles, replacing burnt-out light bulbs, and ensuring all doors and windows open smoothly. We also suggest updating outdated hardware on cabinets and doors for a fresh, modern look. 

These minor home repairs can improve the overall impression of your home so that it’s more inviting and move-in-ready for prospective homebuyers, ultimately aiding in a smoother sale process.

Set The Stage

Home staging is more than just a good cleaning and decluttering; it’s a strategic marketing tool that can impact your home’s sale price and time on the market. By carefully curating your space, you can appeal to the broadest range of potential buyers, allowing them to see themselves living in your home by seeing the house at its best.

  • Maximize Space and Flow: Arrange furniture to create open, inviting spaces that allow easy movement throughout the home. Layouts should optimize the space and make the room feel big.
  • Neutral Decor: When you change the paint and declutter, you should also use neutral colors in your decor to appeal to a wide audience, making it easier for homebuyers to imagine their belongings in the space.
  • Strategic Lighting: Updating the lighting in each room to make your home feel warm and welcoming. Open curtains to let in natural light and add lamps to brighten darker areas.
  • Highlight Outdoor Living: Don’t neglect the backyard and porches. These areas can significantly influence buyers’ decisions. Stage outdoor spaces with comfortable seating, potted plants, and subtle lighting showcase them as extensions of the living space, perfect for relaxation and entertainment.
  • New Hardwear: Upgrade the handles or knobs on cabinetry in the kitchen and bathrooms. Pay special attention to hardware that is worn, particularly unique, or that doesn’t match the space. These little details can pull rooms together nicely and give buyers one less thing to worry about when they move in. It also adds to the impression that the home was well-loved.

Home staging can make a world of difference in how your property is perceived by potential buyers. Well-staged, decluttered homes often sell faster and for higher prices as they stand out in listings and showings. Remember, you’re not just selling a house; you’re selling the dream of a home and the feeling it offers. One of our valued team members is the best and most professional stager we know. We bring her to our listings at our expense to make sure the stage is set when showings begin.

Sell Your Home with JudyMac Today!

Preparing your home for sale in today’s market requires attention to detail and a strategic approach. Let our team guide you through this process, ensuring your home stands out in the Memphis real estate market. We’ll help you quickly sell your home with maximum profit.

Contact Judy today at 901-277-5839 or email her at [email protected] today and formulate your homebuying plan with a local agent!

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