5 Tips On How Much to Spend Preparing Your House for Sale

Yellow wooden front door

Preparing Your Home For Market

Are you thinking of selling your home? Deciding it is time to move is the first step in getting ready. How much to spend preparing your house for sale is the next step. Once you have made up your mind, the real work begins.

In order to protect your largest asset, make the selling process as smooth and quick as possible, and get the best price for your property, it is important to take some time and prep that baby the right way!

The way a house presents itself to prospective buyers makes all the difference in the real estate market. It controls the days on market and most importantly, dictates your chances of receiving a stellar offer.

The first step in getting ready is to shift your mindset. You have made the decision to sell, so we need to shift your perspective from, this is my home to this is a house that I am selling.     

Leave Your Emotions At The Door

Both sides of the real estate process are an emotional roller coaster. It’s important as a seller to be open minded to the onslaught of feedback, but at the same time strike the fancy of prospective buyers.

A good way of getting into the mindset of buyers is to visit a local open house or two. Take it from someone who has hosted her share of open houses, visitors do not hold back, especially neighbors. Visiting open houses is a great opportunity to see what buyers are looking for in real time and most importantly what they connect to. So take copious notes!

There Are Dollars In The Detail!

Beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder, so let’s discuss some tried and true strategies to get your home the best bang for its buck!

Now that you’ve done some reconnaissance it’s time to walk – thru your home, buyer cap on, and implement the following 5 strategies.  

1. Deep Clean 

We all know the old adage about cleanliness and the importance of making a great first impression. So before listing your home (and throughout the selling cycle ) give her a deep clean. Our senses are in tune to sight, sounds and smells so scrub those bathrooms, wipe those windows, dust those baseboards, and change those batteries!    

I even recommend to my sellers to have a good friend who isn’t afraid to tell the truth walk through the house and give honest and brutal feedback. A friend with fresh eyes will notice all the little details that you are so used to seeing that you don’t even notice anymore.

2. Declutter

The goal is to have prospective buyers focus on the actual home and not the clutter that may have accumulated over time. Purge is the word here and you will thank me later. Explore every nook and cranny of your home and start prioritizing into categories – donate, sell, dispose.

Source local charities, or local theater groups to donate to. Reach out to family, friends and co-workers to spread the wealth, what’s outdated to you is new to someone else. 

Research social platforms for selling items that friends, family or co-workers have had luck with eg: Facebook Marketplace, Instagram, Letgo etc. You can also host a sidewalk sale. Make it fun! Recruit friends and neighbors to sell their wares and make it a party to entice more interest. 

And the thank you later, is that you’ve started getting organized for your eventual move!

3. Staging

To stage or not to stage? Let’s be honest not everyone’s aesthetic is the same and in order to sell your home, prospective buyers need to imagine themselves living there. Staging helps  buyers better imagine how they can use livable space, and picture their furniture within that space.

A staged home illustrates what a property can offer without requiring a complete overhaul, and staged homes are proven to spend less time on the market than their un-staged counterparts.

The money you spend on a stager is one of the best investments you can make when selling your home. Talk to your agent about staging options for your home.

4. Curb Appeal

A prospective buyer’s first encounter with a home is from the outside, so curb appeal is well worth the extra consideration.  

Front Door Color

Yellow Wooden front door

A quick and affordable way to show some personality, is to paint your front door a fun pop color.

I mean it is the very thing that greets guests! 

House Numbers

mailbox with old ugly house numbers

Update your house numbers. It’s a back of mind detail often viewed as a matter of function over form. But choosing fun, bold options, there are some great ones out there, is a great and affordable way to capture attention.  

This mailbox with numbers cost a mere $149 and we got to choose the color. You can check out all of the options here.

Other items to focus on to enhance your curb appeal are sprucing up your landscaping and  power washing that literal curb and driveway. Price these out when deciding how much to spend preparing your house for sale and you will see that your investment in these small items go a long way.

5. Repairs and Upgrades That Pay Off 

Even though many buyers are willing to add their personal touch to a home or add some upgrades, most buyers are looking for move in ready. As you are deciding how much to spend preparing your house for sale, you want to focus your efforts on the latter and what will make you money.


Kitchens are the heart of a home, what peeps zero in on and quite frankly, what sells a home .  

To get the best bang for your buck, below are a few items to focus on.

Kitchen Cabinets

Look at the difference a can of paint made on this kitchen. We also changed out the countertop to white quartz, then added new hardware. Total cost was under $3500.

Kitchen cabinets are one of the first things a buyer notices about your kitchen. If yours are a tad outdated, painting them is an economical way to give them a modern appeal. Buyers are looking for light and open spaces so focus to white a classic, or neutral shades for broader appeal. 

Update your kitchen hardware. It is a simple and cost effective way to boost your kitchen’s appeal. The right hardware can give a whole new look to your cabinets and boost the overall appeal of your kitchen.  

The Best Paint Colors To Sell A Home  

Paint color packs a serious punch in the real estate game. That eclectic living room color may bring you joy but will have prospective buyers walking out the front door. Warm and inviting has a broader appeal to buyers. Neutral colors win the real estate game and will get those buyers seeing themselves settling in your home! 

Enhance Lighting

A bright way to increase the value of your home is to update lighting. It’s an often overlooked detail that could sabotage the sale of your home. Proper lighting is the difference between your home feeling warm and inviting, from dark and dirty.  Here are some basic tips to help make a bright, energizing impression.

Start with the basics and simply update your lightbulbs. Use soft white or warm bulbs 3000K-4000K – 800 Lumen (60 Watts) .They are the best color temperature to have your home feel warm and inviting, offering the best buyer experience and best looking photographs. Ensure there is a consistency in bulbs throughout the house and for efficiency’s sake, choose LED bulbs!   

Updating or adding light fixtures, especially to prominent areas of the home, can add a modernized feel while incurring very little cost.

Sunny rooms feel larger and more open, so replace heavy drapes with blinds or shutters that let light in.

Turn Your Home into a House

Designing and updating your home is a personal endeavor, and you should surround yourself with color and style that you love. Especially these days, when your home is much more than a place to hang your hat, it’s the perfect chance to make it comfortable and full of what matters most to you.

When life changes and it’s time to move on, the objective changes. It can be difficult to look at your house through a buyer’s eyes. When deciding how much to spend preparing your house for sale, use these DIY  tips to help you turn your house into a buyer’s dream.  

If you are feeling stuck and are looking for help getting your home buyer ready, let me know. I am here to walk you through the process step by step to get your home ready for market and sold for maximum value.

Danielle Vance headshot

Danielle Vance

Love Where You Settle Down.

Danielle can trace her family roots back to the same South Philly neighborhood for five generations (yes, five!). She knows Philadelphia neighborhoods, from the best pizza joint to the hippest jazz club. She combines her love of the city and her passion for real estate to help her clients achieve financial freedom through House Hacking. Curious? Attend her next info session here or send her an email here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *