Some must-do sale preparation tasks for sellers

Buyers are stretching their budgets more than ever, and they want the best their money can buy. If sellers want to capitalise on their sale they’ll have to put in the work. Here are some seller must-do’s and why they matter to buyers.

1. Paint

Painting is one of the easiest ways to freshen up the look of a home, both inside and out. A fresh, neutral paint color will have broader appeal because buyers will be able to envision themselves in the space.

Having the exterior painted or touched up can also help.

The home will then look good in photos and video. A professional paint job can help clean up the nicks and dents of everyday living, and that freshly painted smell creates an inviting environment for a new homeowner.

2. Landscaping

If people don’t like what they see on the outside, they won’t want to check out the inside — no matter how low inventory is. Because most buyers begin their search online (and exterior pictures are usually first on that online listing) creating strong curb appeal is where it’s at.

3. Appliance refresh

Why should a seller even bother? Well, new appliances can update the look of even the most dated kitchens. If timing permits, having these in place before putting the home up for sale will be well received by buyers.

4. New countertop and sink

If you haven’t done much to your kitchen. Consider updating the counters to what’s on trend right now — like marble-style quartz that will do well to freshen up the space.

A new large rectangular sink will help complete the look. This will also help offset any further updates a buyer may want to make.

5. Air-conditioning 

At the very least, sellers should have their AC serviced and cleaned before putting their home on the market.

If the air-conditioning system is at the end of its life, sellers should strongly consider replacing it before putting their house on the market.

Old air-conditioning systems can cause buyer hesitation, and they can often become a negotiation point.

6. Handyman fix-its

Updating old plumbing fixtures in bathroom sinks and kitchen, along with changing lighting to brighter light bulbs, updating light fixtures in kitchen and dining areas, and replacing old ceiling fans will help give your home a newer, more stylish look.

Consider regrouting tiles if needed.

7. Deep-cleaning, decluttering and organizing  

If you do nothing else, you should invest in a deep-cleaning of your house by a professional cleaning crew. No matter the market, buyers still expect a clean and sparkling home — even if the home doesn’t have a lot of updates.

Now is the time to have every nook and cranny scrubbed, dusted and mopped. Don’t forget to clean dusty vents along with the dryer vent where years of clogged lint may have built up.

This is also a great time to clean furniture like couches and chairs, making sure to vacuum between the cushions and steam-clean to make everything look crisp and well-maintained.

The same goes for any window treatments. Curtains and drapes along with blinds can be professionally cleaned. Steam-cleaning tile floors and professionally cleaning the carpets can help eliminate dirt and odors that have been building up for years.

And don’t forget the outside — pressure-washing the driveway, walkways and pool deck will help give the house a glowing, fresh appearance that says your sellers are serious about selling.

Decluttering and organising never go out of style. Buyers are buying a space to live — not other people’s clutter. Now is the time to get rid of unnecessary stuff in closets, garden and garage.

You will need to deal with it before closing anyway, so it is best to get a head start.


When was the last time you had your windows cleaned — both inside and out? I’m also talking about the tracks that often build up with dirt and dead bugs over the years.

No one likes to lift the blinds or open the curtains to find dirty windows. Having these professionally cleaned will make the house truly shine.

If there are any fogged windowpanes, consider having those replaced before the home hits the market.

Preparing a home for sale instills trust and confidence in buyers. When buyers feel those two things when viewing a home, they are less likely to hesitate about making an offer. 

When they do make an offer, it is more likely to be strong and decisive with less chance of it falling apart due to the condition of the house, which is something that sellers are always in control of. 

Join The Discussion

Compare listings