Mistakes to Avoid in Getting Your House Ready for Sale

Are you thinking about putting your house on the market? If you are, what do you need to do to get your house ready for an interested buyer?

Maybe you’re not seriously considering selling your house in the foreseeable future, but you can avoid common mistakes many make by paying attention to these tips.

Don’t put off necessary repairs

Things just have a tendency to wear out or break down over time. Your house is no different. The thing is, failing to make minor repairs along the way will result in major-and far more costly-repairs in the future.

Some examples of regular repairs would be replacing cracked or missing caulking around doors and windows, fixing leaky faucets, replacing dried out, cracked, or missing caulking in tubs and showers, and repainting surfaces that have peeling or faded paint. Also, be mindful to repair guttering that has a leak or that may be pulling away from the house.

A great idea is to create a checklist of typical home upkeep items, and follow it to stay up on repairs.

Don’t put off necessary updates

Many people shopping for a house are looking for a house with big updates. They want the high end countertops, the latest flooring trend, new appliances, and the bells and whistles they’ve seen on HGTV.

Don’t sweat it if your house is not filled with the latest and greatest. However, some updates are just really necessary, and you’ll enjoy your home while you’re living there so much more if you’ll do them.

If your house was built in the 70’s or 80’s, you probably have some details that were all the rage in those decades, but are seriously out of touch today. Wallpaper with big patterns is one example. If the wallpaper was applied properly and there is no peeling, you can easily paint over it. Seriously, you can.

Speaking of painting, just changing the wall color is a simple update, but one that can really make an impact. Stick with neutral colors throughout. Creams, light grays, and off-whites are your best bets.

Changing out your kitchen appliances is always an awesome update. They wear out and have to replaced, so go ahead and upgrade. They’ll look stylish and you’ll enjoy using them.

Don’t overlook upgrading small details

Sometimes the smallest thing can make a big difference. Just changing out a detail here and there can pay off.

One example is changing out your kitchen cabinet/drawer pulls and adding some under cabinet lighting. Bam, what a difference!

Another example is changing out your light switches, outlets, and covers. It definitely gives a clean and fresh look.

Painting cabinets is another quick and relatively inexpensive upgrade. It sure beats changing out older cabinets for completely new ones.

Don’t forget curb appeal

Having an attractive front lawn and view of the front of the house is important. Many take their first impression from what they see from the curb. That may be unfair, because you could have the most incredible interior, but if there’s not some minimal attraction out front, some won’t even give you a chance.

You don’t have to go overboard with the landscaping. Just some routine care of the yard and a few details here and there will do the trick. Add some potted plants out front to give a pop of color. Put seasonal flowers and plants near the front door.

Don’t skimp on making improvements

People who flip houses have all sorts of money-saving tricks to make things appear really great. But these little tricks will not fool everyone.

Using third-rate materials, paint, etc. will eventually show up. Invest a little more and go with quality in getting a house show-ready.

One trick I’ve seen is to simply spray paint the old cabinet hardware. It may have in updated finish, but it’s still the same old pattern from decades back. Another trick is to simply paint everything. They seem to believe paint covers a multitude of sins. At some point the failure to change out some things or make the needed repairs will come back to bite somebody.

Do yourself and potential buyers a favor–do the right thing–and make quality improvements from the start.

Pay attention to these little tips and you can avoid some common mistakes made by many in getting a house market-ready.


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