Opendoor
  • Sell
  • Buy
  • Buy & Sell
Sign In

Ready to sell your home? Do these 5 things first

Before you list your home for sale, you probably want it to make a great first impression with potential buyers. Here are several things to consider doing before listing your home that may improve your chances of receiving offers.

CV

Cyrus Vanover

10/28/2022 · 3 min read

Curious what your home is worth?

Get an offer in minutes, sell in a matter of days.

Find out

Spotlight

Ready to make a down payment? Do these 4 things first

Chelsea Levinson, JD

Key Takeaways

  • An unclean and cluttered home may turn some buyers away.

  • Making repairs before listing your home for sale may help to prevent closing delays.

  • Small, inexpensive upgrades may help to improve your home’s appearance.

  • Potential buyers may start to form an opinion of your home before they walk through the front door.

1. Deep clean your home

Before you list your home for sale, it’s important to make sure it’s clean and presentable. When potential buyers walk through your home, they may have second thoughts if the carpet is stained, there are pet odors, or if dirty dishes are piled up in the sink.

People will imagine themselves living in your home, and thoroughly cleaning it before listing it may help them do that. It’s also important to maintain a high level of cleanliness until your home sells.

2. Declutter

Removing any clutter you may have can also help. If you have a lot of things taking up space in your closets, attic, basement, and other places, temporarily removing them or organizing them may help your home look more livable.

A simple way to store things until your home sells is to rent a self-storage unit. Some may be rented on a month-to-month basis.

3. Make repairs

After someone makes an offer on your home, the buyer may have a home inspection done. This is why it’s important to consider completing any outstanding repairs you know about before listing your home for sale. 

If anything is discovered during the home inspection, the buyer may request that repairs be made, which could delay the closing.

4. Upgrade

Small upgrades to your home can have a big impact on its appearance and appeal. Older light fixtures, for example, can be replaced with modern units to help rooms look fresh and updated. Other updates that are relatively inexpensive to consider include:

  • Adding crown molding

  • Updating window treatments

  • Installing new cabinet handles

  • Replacing outlet and light switch covers

  • Replacing kitchen and bathroom sink fixtures

Also, consider the condition and appearance of the paint in your rooms. A fresh coat of paint may help a room appear brighter or cleaner.

5. Create curb appeal

First impressions are very important when selling your home. Potential buyers may start to form an impression before they walk through the front door. Because of this, it’s important that the exterior of your home and your yard both look neat and inviting.

A few relatively inexpensive weekend projects that may improve your home’s curb appeal include:

  • Refinishing decks

  • Filling pavement cracks

  • Power washing walkways

  • Installing outdoor lighting

  • Painting window trim, doors, and fencing

Neat landscaping may also help to improve your home’s curb appeal. Hiring a company to improve the appearance of your yard with new bushes, trees, mulch, and other things may be a good investment. It’s also important to make sure your yard doesn’t have anything in it that could make it look cluttered.

This content is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, or insurance advice. Opendoor always encourages you to reach out to an advisor regarding your own situation.

CV

Cyrus VanoverAuthor

Cyrus Vanover is a finance and real estate writer who specializes in making complex topics easy to understand. He is also the author of "Earn a Debt-Free College Degree." Based in the mountains of Virginia, he enjoys hiking the local trails, listening to 80s music, and reading books on military history in his spare time.

JG

Jena GreeneEditor

Jena Greene is the Managing Editor at Opendoor. She covers real estate, personal finance, money management, and market best practices. Jena is passionate about empowering people to find their dream homes and making the home-buying process a delightful one.