Tips for Selling Your Home While You Still Live in it

Posted by Matthew Lahti on Thursday, May 9th, 2013 at 12:05pm

Selling your home in a tough economy is never easy. While getting buyers in the door is difficult enough, getting them to really see the house’s potential can be even harder. It’s important for buyers to be able to see themselves living in the home and to recognize the potential in every nook and cranny. In order to make your home more attractive to potential buyers, you may want to think about small improvements you can make that will make a big difference. Even if you’re living in your home while you sell it, you can take advantage of these simple tips to help potential buyers see your home the way you see it.


While cleaning your home before showing it seems pretty obvious, it’s even more important for sellers living in their homes to keep on top of the maintenance. You may not always have a full day's notice to clean and prepare your home before a showing, so staying on top of daily duties becomes even more important.

Pay special attention to closets, kitchen cabinets and other areas that are out of sight. Buyers often look in hidden areas that your regular company doesn’t go into in order to assess the home’s storage and functionality. Keep these spaces neat, de-cluttered and of course free of dirt.

If the task seems overwhelming, you may want to consider hiring a cleaning company to come in once a week and do the big upkeep, leaving you free to take care of smaller tasks. Your effort in cleaning and attention to detail will tell the buyer that your home is well cared for and that everythin g is in working order.

While you’re cleaning, don’t forget to make sure the air in your home is appealing as well. Avoid using obvious room deodorizers or burning candles before showings as the bold perfumed scent will likely be detected as soon as a visitor walks through the door. Instead, try natural tricks like baking cookies before a showing or sprinkling baking soda on carpets to help remove odors. If you’re selling in the summer, open windows on the back side of the house that will help bring in fresh air without road noise.

Put it Away

Once the house is clean, you need to go through it with a fine-tooth comb. Remove personal mementos such as photos and school art work as well as collectibles or other knick knacks you may have on display. Box these items up and prepare them for your move. The idea is to de-personalize your home so that buyers come in and imagine themselves living there, not the family that’s currently occupying the home.

If you have an abundance of furniture in small spaces like bedrooms or the living room, you may want to consider renting a storage space and putting some of it away for later. Too much furniture can make a space look smaller than it really is, which is an obvious deterrent for buyers.


If you have the budget, consider small redecorating projects to modernize your home and highlight it’s special features. Slipcovers for furniture can lighten up living rooms and create a cohesive look while simple artwork for the walls will add color and interest without creating too much of a personal atmosphere.

Selling your home is also a good time to repaint. Choose neutral colors that will look great with any decor. Be warned that once you repaint the walls you may notice how dingy the trim and ceiling look, turning a simple Saturday project in to a week-long endeavor.

If your furniture is outdated or wrong for the space and you have the budget, you may want to consider heading to your local rental company and choosing new furniture that works better with the room. Small furniture can make rooms seem more spacious. In general, simple, straight lines will give your home a neutral feeling that can be attractive to any buyer.

Making small changes to your home’s appearance before putting it up for sale can make a big difference in the way buyers perceive it. Try these selling techniques today and get your home sold faster and for a better price.

If you're in the market for a realtor to help you sell your home, contact us and get in touch with one of our knowledgeable agents.

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