Skip to main content

Prepare your house to sell fast in 5 steps

If you are looking to get your home on the market quickly because of a relocation, to take advantage of a hot market, or because you found your dream home and don’t want to miss out, there are a few things you can do to get it show-ready in a snap. Obviously, the longer you’ve been in a home, the more you may need to do to get it on the market fast, but it can be done.

The goal is to make your home as appealing as possible to a wide range of buyers. You want people to walk in and be able to picture themselves (and their belongings) living in your space, so do as much as time allows to make each room feel fresh and updated. While you won’t have time for major renovations, find areas you can decorate, declutter, or update to give it a quick facelift that any prospective buyer will appreciate.

Related Videos

Find quick-fix items

When buyers look around your home, they’ll add up what it will take to repair visible items. If you’ve got trim that’s damaged or missing, old light fixtures, missing knobs or drawer pulls, or stained carpet, fix what you can and hire a contractor to do the rest. Experts will be able to take care of a whole host of things in a fraction of the time that’d you’d spend, so give them a to-do list and let them take care of the rest.

Stage your home

What is staging your home? Simply put, home stagers will come in and either rearrange and add/take out furniture to make it look its best and get it ready to show. These experts know how to arrange a room to give it the most usable space and appeal to anyone who walks into it. Home staging is also important if you’ve already moved your items out. According to the National Association of Realtors, 31 percent of buyers increased their offer on a home one-to-five percent because the home was staged.

Consider home staging services, too. A simple web search for “home staging services near me” can be helpful, as can platforms like Thumbtack (which has a dedicated home staging section).

man on computer

Make sure the price is right

Make sure you’ve done your research on what homes of similar size and location are going for and price it to sell. Your realtor should be able to give you an idea of what sells in the area so that you’re not guessing. This will also help take the emotion out of putting a price on a space you’ve invested a lot of time, energy, and love into. You may want to consider pricing your home slightly lower in a hot market to drive a bidding war. This can often cause a home to sell over the asking price (and faster) because people don’t want to miss out.

Clean kitchen countertop with containers
Studio Light and Shade/Shutterstock


Make sure you go through every room and box up anything you won’t be using. This goes especially for kitchens, closets, and bathrooms—all are spaces potential buyers will consider at the top of their list. Decluttering your home will also highlight the storage you do have in these rooms, and buyers won’t have to look at all your stuff while trying to picture their stuff in the home. No one needs to see a pile of books in the corner of your bedroom or a bunch of photos lying around when they are trying to picture their own family in it.

Matilda Wormwood/Pexels

Give it a deep clean

Putting your best foot forward will only help you sell your home quickly. No one wants to walk into a dirty house—even if it’s the home of their dreams. Take a weekend to deep clean your home—this means bathtubs, floorboards, your storage room, and inside your oven and refrigerator. If you don’t have time, hire a cleaning service to do a “move out” clean, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing it will be show-ready the day it hits the market. If you have extra money to invest, hire a carpet cleaning service to make your carpets look like the day you moved in.

You can do many things to your home to get it to sell quickly, but these five steps are easy and relatively cheap ways to get the most for your time and money. The effort you make repairing, cleaning, and staging can pay off big time when your house sells and (hopefully) sells for asking or over.

It also helps to have a realtor experienced in selling homes in your area and price range to bring potential buyers in as early as possible. They can let their networks know that your listing will be coming on the market to generate interest, so you’ll have immediate showings the day it hits the market. Sometimes connections really do make all the difference.

Editors' Recommendations

French country decor that will wow any room
French country is making a comeback. Here's how to make it work for you
Interior country-style kitchen

French country design is one of those classic styles that never goes out of trend. It has so much history and stories behind it, and it stays in favor because it's stylish, comfortable, and also uber luxurious. There's a reason we see French country design in so many high-end hotels and restaurants all over the world! There are so many ways to bring French country decor into 2023 without it feeling too "shabby chic," which has fallen out of favor in recent years. Here's how you can make this style work for you.

Muted tones
French country uses gorgeous fabrics with provincial designs, and those can be achieved in furniture fabrics, curtains, and even on the walls. Muted tones like beige, gray, blue, and sage green can be added to wallpaper, pillows, and when selecting chair fabric. When thinking about the walls, choose softer tones in ivory, beige, or pale yellow to complement the muted tones in the rest of the space. Another option for wallpaper or pillows is toile — a staple in French country design.
Distressed, painted furnishings
Another trademark of the French country style comes with distressing. You can accomplish this with a large distressed couch bought at a vintage store or one made to look vintage (which is a more cost-effective option). Larger pieces of furniture offer a dramatic effect in a living room or kitchen. We love this ivory nailhead chesterfield design from Overstock. If you're not entirely sold on a large piece to invest in, consider decor like lamps, trays, or a small table. Then, once you commit, you can add larger pieces to the room.
Wrought iron
Wrought iron is another trademark of French decor, and there are plenty of options to introduce them into a room. You can find kitchen chairs, bar stools, cabinets, coffee tables, and headboards. You can keep the color in its natural state or paint it with gold or darker colors. In traditional French country, the wrought iron would be curved or designed in an interesting way rather than straight lines more common in industrial design. An ideal use of wrought iron would be with kitchen chairs, where a layer of muted, soft fabric can be added for dramatic effect. You can complement this with soft wood cabinets, wood beams, and muted granite countertops in light ivory.

Read more
Mudroom ideas: 3 things not to forget when making this room a convenient workspace
Consider these ideas for a makeover to your mudroom/laundry room
Laundry room with multifunctional storage unit

We spend more time than we'd like to admit in our laundry room or mudroom. When we get through our pile of dirty clothes, we look, and there's another pile waiting in the wings. Regardless of room size, there are three things every mudroom should have: a place to fold clothes, a place to dry clothes, and ample storage. If you have a small mudroom or laundry closet, there are things you can do to achieve each of these; all you need is a little imagination to make the most out of the space you do have.
Folding space

Having a dedicated spot to fold clothes when they come out of the laundry isn't just a nice-to-have thing, it's a lifesaver if you're doing laundry for an entire family and need to separate clothes into piles by person. If you don't have the space for a countertop or standing table, check out this collapsible folding table that you can put in place when you need to fold and then collapse it back down against the wall when you're done. There are a lot of options for sizes, so if this one is too long, there are options for shorter ones available.
Drying space

Read more
5 tips for renovating your space from an HGTV star
Here's what the experts say you need to consider when starting a DIY home remodel
Happy couple looks at bedroom renovation plans

Recently, homeowners flocked to the annual Indianapolis Home Show featuring designers, brands, contractors, and more. During its final weekend, HGTV’s Good Bones star Mina Starsiak spoke to locals about her TV show, upcoming projects, and tips for renovating a property. For homeowners looking to take on a fixer-upper or DIY home remodel, Starsiak has a few pro tips.

Itemize your renovation with your contractor
One of the most important tips Starsiak and her team stressed to homeowners undergoing a renovation is to itemize the project with your contractor. Starsiak emphasized, "When speaking to a contractor, itemize the project and have them list everything with the price." She said that homeowners can avoid miscommunication with their contractors by listing project specifics.

Read more