Preparing Your Home to Sell: 7 Essential Tips

Preparing Your Home to Sell: Hi friends! As many of you know, we recently went through the process of selling our home. Since selling a home is such a big decision and a hot topic for so many people this year, I invited our family friend and real estate agent Kelly Aufhammer (she helped us sell our Seattle!) to share some essential tips on how to prepare your home for sale.

Preparing your home for sale: 7 essential tips

PS. The photos in this post are the real estate photos of our house! We will prepare a future article to share more photos and explain the process and the slight modifications we made to “stage” our house for sale while using the furniture and accessories we already had).

Welcome, Kelly and her husband Will to The Inspired Room!

Preparing your home for sale: 7 essential tips
Preparing Your Home to Sell: 7 Essential Tips 10

Thinking about selling your home can be an overwhelming thought, let alone actually doing it! We are Kelly and Will Aufhammer and we regularly work with Seattle area property owners to prepare their property for the market to ensure they get the best price. The Inspired Room is known for a perfect, lived-in yet beautiful and captivating home. With Melissa’s style and our preparation, we achieved an incredible result selling her house in Seattle. Her house had been on the market for only six days, we received several offers and it sold for 25% more than the list price!

Preparing your home for sale: 7 essential tips

There’s a lot involved in a successful sale, but here are 7 tips on how to prepare your home for sale.:

Whether you’re planning to sell in the next few months or years to come, these tips will help you get a great result.

1. Speak with a real estate agent:

Many people are hesitant to talk to a real estate agent because they don’t want to show them their house until it’s spotless! But a good real estate agent (good being the keyword here!) will develop a bespoke strategy and coordinate the preparation from start to finish, no matter what it looks like today. After creating a plan, they will start booking vendors from their preferred list, as many are often booked months in advance.

Preparing your home for sale: 7 essential tips

2. Depersonalize:

Taking personal photos and decorating can be sad, but if you’re living in your home while you’re selling it, you don’t want potential buyers to feel like they’re encroaching on your property when they view your home. You want them to consider creating their own memories and not looking at all of yours. Personal photos are meaningful to you but embarrassing to a potential buyer.

3. Declutter:

The reality is that you’re going to have to pack up all your stuff and move out once the house sells, so might as well start now! Go through cupboards and donate or throw away items you no longer need. Pack things in boxes and store them in the garage until you move. Buyers know you live there and there’s no shame in having a crowded garage…that’s what they’re here for!

Preparing your home for sale: 7 essential tips

4. Deep cleaning:

Something that really puts off a buyer is walking into a home with a stink or seeing dirt build up on the baseboards or countertops. A clean home is one less hurdle a buyer has to overcome when considering making an offer.

5. Update light fixtures:

This is an easy and economical way to update your home. Amazon or Wayfair are great places to find cheap ones. A good real estate agent can provide design ideas to create a cohesive look.

Preparing your home for sale: 7 essential tips

6. Professional photos:

The majority of buyers view homes online first before deciding if they want to see it in person. If the photos are of poor quality, many buyers will simply move on to the next one because it looks unattractive. Ask your real estate agent if he can help you find a professional photographer, it’s a must!

7. Staging:

In the Seattle (our area) real estate market, the majority of homes are vacant and staged, giving a magazine-style look. Houses look better this way and statistically sell for more. Make sure you hire a quality stager and don’t pay for a cheap service, ugly staging can backfire. Again, ask your real estate agent to help you coordinate this.


Melissa is back—thanks Kelly! Such good advice! We were delighted with the results of the sale of our house, it far exceeded our wildest expectations! We have sold many homes over the years. Our homeownership strategy has always been to make our home our sanctuary while we live in it, while investing in the kinds of projects and maintenance that will give us peace of mind but also a good return on our investment one day!

Sometimes, no matter how prepared we have been as landlords, a successful sale involves having a strategic and knowledgeable realtor to guide and coordinate the many moving parts of a real estate transaction.

It can sometimes be difficult to work with buyers and the competition in certain markets and certain seasons of the year can be high, so we have found that having a team of professionals on your side to solve these problems and help you take informed decisions as a salesperson can make all the difference.

Good luck if you plan to sell a house soon!

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