Man sitting with dog on dock

Getting a Home Ready to Rent or Sell

Getting a Home Ready to Rent or Sell


If we were to get orders today, I can assure you, I would cry. I look around and see so much that needs to be done before we could rent or sell our home. I really need to do some of it now. I don’t want to do cool stuff to my house just so someone else can live in it, do you?

The kind of things I can see are the molding around the bathroom door that needs to be repaired. We thought it was a good idea to leave Luke, our family lab, in the bathroom while we “ran” to the store. Not so much. How one little puppy could take such big bites out of door molding is beyond me. I also noticed some screens missing off some of the windows. That will require a replacement screen and interrogation of the child occupying said room.

There are lots of great websites out there to help you get ready to sell, but I have a few tips of my own.

I want need, to go shopping. You absolutely need to be prudent about what you choose to spend your money on sprucing up the place. The idea is to get the most bang for your buck and unload, I mean sell, that piece of property. The idea is to polish and touch up your home, not overhaul it from stem to stern.

First impressions are important. My husband does not enjoy house hunting with me. He looks at it as an abode, a shelter, a place to stick his queen and subjects while he is jaunting around the world. He looks at structure, logistics of the lay out, the neighborhood. I do too; only I talk about my “feelings” as we drive up and walk through. Nothing starts a fight faster than a comment along the lines of “I don’t know honey, this just feels wonky.” That gets me a disgusted look and, on a good day, only an eyebrow raise. A bad day might get me a lecture,“Wonky? Really, what exactly does WONKY feel like?”

Curb appeal is not a myth. Mostly, curb appeal is the investment of time and energy. Trimmed bushes and an edged lawn will make a man’s heart skip a beat. Cleaning the yard up, getting rid of junk and clutter, and cleaning flowerbeds makes the home welcoming and look well cared for. If its spring or summer, a little money spent on pretty flowers in pots is a quick and inexpensive way to liven up any home, especially those that are “curb appeal” challenged.  I often plant scarlet and gold flowers… Add the American and USMC flag and who wouldn’t want to buy my house? It’s serious Norman Rockwell time!

Beyond the yard. The exterior of a home is going to be scrutinized. Check foundations, gutters, siding, and windows for needed repairs, cracks, or anything that would raise a red flag to a buyer.If you routinely inspect your home twice a year there shouldn’t be any nasty surprises. Better to discover any major repairs and fix them before your home is on the market. A major exterior issue is a huge negotiating point for the buyers, if it hasn’t scared them away.

Inside the castle. If you are still in your home when trying to sell or rent, do a deep clean and a de-clutter.  You have to de-clutter anyway so your husband doesn’t mutter under his breath about “weight limits” the whole time you are moving. Once you’ve gone through and gotten rid of everything you don’t want to move to the new location, take another hard look. This includes closets, cabinets, drawers, and living spaces. Bring in some second and third opinions, and then consider renting a short-term storage space for non-essential items. Cleaning and getting rid of those extra items will make your home look bigger, brighter, and more appealing to all kinds of people especially those with earnest money.

Depersonalize what you leave out as décor. People need to picture their own stuff and family in your home, not yours.

You also need to do a thorough inspection of the structure inside your home, like walls, baseboards, caulking etc.

Now for the fun stuff… a brand new kitchen! Well, in my dreams it’s a brand new kitchen now, not when we sell. So instead, go buy new cabinet knobs or even fixtures if your home is really dated. You’d be surprised at what paint, new faucets, and knobs do for a kitchen. It feels good, that’s all I’m saying. You can do the same for the bathrooms if necessary.

Flooring can be a big turn off. A good carpet cleaning might be all you need, especially if you have dogs like we do. Bring folks in specifically to sniff test your home. Make sure you can’t tell dogs live there.

Bottom line – Stay on top of home repairs, maintenance, and upgrades.  Those small efforts can also make your home a nicer place for you to live in before the next set of orders come through.

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1 Comment

  • vicki says:

    ABSOLUTELY ON TARGET!! One home in San Antonio had been on the market several months. A friend said if you really want to sell your home I can de-clutter and de-personalize it for you. It tookk half a day. That afternoon, not even having cleaned up from her efforts, I sold the house.