How to Fix up a House for Selling

Fix up a House for Selling

If you want to sell your house, you will need to get it ready to put on the market. Many homes only need minor adjustments or repairs before they can be sold. Follow these steps to fix up your house for selling.

Step 1

Paint the exterior of your house. If your home is looking a little drab or tired, spruce it up by painting the outside of the house in the same color or one a little brighter. If the house does not need to be painted, then consider pressure-washing it, which will be much cheaper. This is also the time to replace pieces of siding that are breaking or worn through if paint will not make it look better.

Step 2

Closely check out the roof and gutters. Replace any shingles that are missing, torn or broken. Broken shingles can make it seem as if your entire house is in a state of disrepair. Remove the gutters and clean out any debris. Make sure that all of the downspouts are in good condition.

Step 3

Plant seasonal flowers outside. This adds a little color to the outside of the house and is a cheap way to instantly make a home appeared well-cared for. You can add window boxes with flowers, plant flowers in the yard and put large plants on the porch. Make certain that your lawn in always mowed and that any bushes are trimmed back to a reasonable length. This is also the time to have a tree service remove any dead trees.

Step 4

Pay attention to the windows. Clean the windows until they sparkle. Fix any window panes that are broken and replace any shutters that are falling or missing.

Step 5

Fix any fences or gates. Fix any broken parts of the fence and replace any posts that are wobbly. Remove any rusted or unusable parts or toys such as swing sets.

Step 6

Check your floors. Have all of your carpets professionally cleaned and replace any carpet that doesn't come clean. Clean and buff wood floors until they shine. Place rugs down on any trouble spots on wood floors that cannot be repaired. Place carpet runners in the heavily trafficked areas.

Step 7

Add some paint. Paint any rooms that need to be refreshed or that have non-traditional or non-neutral colors. Neutral colors tend to make rooms appear larger. Off-beat colors tend to scare buyers away, because of the work they may have to do to fix a paint job that they do not like.

Step 8

Replace light bulbs. Use higher-wattage light bulbs throughout the house. The brighter a room is lit, the larger it appears. Consider adding lamps or lighting to rooms that are poorly lit. A small investment in lighting can have large returns from buyers.

Step 9

De-personalize the house. Buyers want to be able to visualize themselves living in a house. This is hard to do with pictures of someone else's family, so remove all personal pictures and excessive knickknacks.

Step 10

Clear the clutter. No one wants to see your stacks of mail from the past few weeks or all of the toys that your kids have. Neatly straighten all counter piles and place magazines in a rack. Keep all counters as clear as possible, as this makes your house appear larger.

Step 11

Clean the house. This is something that a lot of people forget to do, but deep cleaning the house is vital to attracting potential buyers. This entails cleaning the baseboards, dusting the entire house from top to bottom, vacuuming/mopping all floors and just generally making everything shine.

Step 12

Stage your dining room. Lay down a tablecloth and set the table for four people. Use glassware, candles and a centerpiece. This sets an alluring scene to potential buyers.

Step 13

Make all of the beds and replace any old linen. Buy throw pillow to create a comfortable-looking bedroom for potential buyers. Bedrooms should have softer lighting and looked lived in or romantic.

Step 14

Pay close attention to the kitchen. Paint the cabinets if needed for a fresh look. Clear excessive appliances off of the counters and store them. Place bowls of fresh fruit and fresh flowers out on the counters. Add cabinet hardware if needed to change the look of outdated cabinets.

Step 15

Replace or clean any bathroom hardware. Thoroughly clean the grout. Buy a white shower curtain to really open up the bathroom and neutralize any other colors. Remove all clutter. Light a scented candle and install a fan if one is not present.

Step 16

Invest in some shelving for the basement. Basements tend to collect junk, and having shelves will give you a place to store everything.

Step 17

Clean any machines such as the air-conditioning unit, hot-water heater and furnace. This will make these items look newer and well-maintained.

Step 18

Stage any basement rooms that look makeshift. If you have a TV and couch in the basement, use curtains to create "walls" and complete the look of a room. Add an end table and coffee table to make it look lived in and more like a room in your home.

Step 19

Clean the garage floor. Consider painting it if regular cleaning doesn't remove all the spots. Make sure that the garage door is clean and spotless. Invest in a garage-door opener if there is not already one present.

Step 20

Add hooks on the walls of your garage to place bikes, toys and sports equipment. Add storage units to the ceiling that can be lowered for easy access if needed.


Try to anticipate any repairs that a potential buyer will ask for and complete the repairs before listing your home for sale. This will save you time and money. Rent a storage cubicle to store any items that need to be taken out of the house, such as furniture and personal effects. Have a yard sale to get rid of all of the items that you no longer need. Consider creating an outdoor living space to add even more functionality to your home. Place a table, chairs and outdoor couch that will look like an extension of your home. Cover any old or outdated pieces of furniture with slipcovers in neutral colors. Be honest and disclose anything that is not working properly or is completely broken.


Don't leave larger pieces of furniture in place; they make rooms look much smaller. Large pieces of furniture can also be hard to move around and really get in the way of potential buyers being able to visualize themselves living there.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint

  • Tools

  • Lightbulbs