Get The Most Money Selling Your House

Print Friendly

Get The Most Money Selling Your House

By Tawra Kellam

A clean neat house can add an additional $5,000- $10,000 to your asking price. Using this method we sold our house in 10 days.

As soon as you find out that you are moving, start getting rid of things you don’t need or use any more. It is ridiculous to move things that are never used to another house. They will merely clutter your space as they did before. Get rid of all of it!!!

To begin de-cluttering, start with one room or one cabinet at a time. Packing while carrying out your usual routine may make it easier. For example, pack the bathroom cabinet while the kids are in the tub or de-clutter a kitchen drawer while you are waiting for something to boil. You will be amazed how fast this method goes.

Get rid of anything that is broken, old or that you just don’t like. Hold a garage sale, it not only eliminates things but can also provide a little cash. The goal is to eliminate clutter so don’t price your items to high! A good rule of thumb is 10%-25% of retail.

As you go from room to room de-cluttering, organize using three boxes: one for garage sale items, one for things to give away and one for trash. When you take a break from organizing, keep the three boxes set up in the utility room or garage so that when you find something laying around you can toss it in the appropriate box.

Keep an extra large trash can set up in the house. You won’t have to empty the trash as often.



Clutter is visually disturbing to potential buyers. One of the biggest reasons houses don’t sell is they are cluttered and/or dirty.

When you are trying to sell your house and you will be showing it to potential buyers, pack up things that you only use occasionally. Stack all your packed boxes in the garage or the corner of a room. This NOT the time to make your house comfortable for you, but attractive to sell.

After you have de-cluttered, it is time to DEEP CLEAN.

KITCHEN – Clean the sink, stove and refrigerator. Don’t forget to clean the fronts of your cabinets. Wipe fingerprints off of everything, including walls and light switch plates. Remove as much as you can from the counter tops. Make sure that the space under your kitchen sink is clean because everyone always checks the plumbing under the sink. Sweep, mop the floor and empty the trash.

BEDROOMS – Make beds, pick up clothes, clear off dressers, end tables and other furniture. Dust, vacuum and make sure closets are uncluttered, neat and clean.

BATHROOM – Put away (meaning in a box or drawer out of site) all bathroom items including makeup, shampoos, baby toys and toiletries. Clean the sink, tub and toilet. One trick I learned while cleaning houses professionally was to take a soft cloth and dry everything well, to prevent water spots. It is especially important to shine the metal fixtures. Clean under the sink, empty the trash and wipe off light switch plates. Mop the floor. As in the kitchen, the less clutter you have, the better. Keep one nice set of towels handy that you can put out when you are showing the house.

LIVING ROOM – Remove all unnecessary items that are laying around on the furniture including toys, magazines and newspapers. Remove all pictures and accessories that are not adding to the decor of the room, either pack them or garage sale them. Dust (don’t forget to dust the pictures on the walls) and vacuum.

GARAGE – Don’t overlook the garage! Make sure things are neatly placed and sweep the floor. Place all items in boxes if you can. Neatly stacked boxes give a better impression than piles of stuff.

Continue going through each room using the same basic ideas.

If your carpets are dirty be sure to either rent a carpet cleaner or have them professionally cleaned. Seeing all kinds of carpet stains from kids is a big turn off to potential buyers.



Keep a basket in each room so that you can quickly throw things in it when you have to show your home. This is particularly useful if you have children and you usually have toys on the floor. Hide the basket with a nice blanket.

Don’t leave open trash cans sitting around.

Turn lights on in every room including the garage. This will make the house show better.

In a potpourri pot or pan, simmer some cinnamon with either or all of the following: ginger, nutmeg, or cloves. It is best to stay away from strong scented candles with berry, apple, peach or other similar smells because some people find these scents overpowering and unpleasant. Most people do however like the smell of cinnamon.



If you are leaving your home and it will be shown vacant, here are a couple of ideas to help make it show better.

Take a few small terra cotta pots and fill with 2 or 3 stems of silk geraniums. (Geraniums aren’t necessarily my favorite flower but the bright red color works great for this purpose). Place them in several different corners of the house. A couple on the kitchen counter, one on the back of the toilet, or counter in the bathroom, a corner of the living room or on the mantle of the fireplace.

Place a bouquet of real looking silk flowers and small bowl of potpourri in your entryway for people to see when they first walk in. First impressions are very important.

Don’t get carried away by making the house look like a florist shop. It takes just a couple of splashes of color here and there to really warm up an empty house.

From Dig Out Of Debt


photo by: the truth about


  1. Barb Nauman says

    Be sure to remove all personal items-family pictures, kids drawings, trophies, anything that has your name on it, etc. You want potential buyers to imagine themselves in your space.

    Paint all rooms a neutral color. You may love your red dining room, but a buyer may not! A neutral light taupe or beige will appeal to all. Paint is the least expensive way to freshen up your home.

    Replace old, dated light fixtures if possible. If you can’t afford to replace them, spray paint them. There are great paints for metal now-check out local stores to see what colors and finshes are popular now.

    These simple tips will allow you to price your home much higher and compete with newer homes on the market.

    • says

      One thing to do to is when you get your house staged, have a friend or extended family member come over a do a walk through. Sometimes we get so use to our own things we don’t notice that hand print on the wall or something out of place or looks awkward.

  2. Barb Nauman says

    As a Decorator I can tell when I drive up whether I’m entering a “house” or a “home.” A home will have the extras- lovely flower pots, a bench or swing, well trimmed landscaping, mowed lawn, etc. A home can exude warmth even from the street, and this is certainly what a seller would want to convey to potential buyers. Buyers will often drive by right a home if that first impression isn’t enticing!

    Be sure to replace the house numbers if the are old, dirty, chipped, etc. Also buy a new porch light fixture. Sweeping off the porch, sidewalk, etc. and purchasing a new Welcome mat will pay big dividends in the initial curb appeal and first impression.

    It is also best to remove ALL evidence of pets, if possible. Take Fluffy or Fido to a friend or relative for all showings.

    When putting your home on the market, drive around in other neighborhoods and note what attracts your attention and what you like. This will help guide your own decision process and get you top dollar in the end!

  3. Stefanie says

    We have just excepted a transfer to another state. We have focused for several years getting out of debt and neglected our home. Our home needs updating badly and central heat and air. We will not be doing the central heat and air. Do you have any suggestions as how to market this?

    • says

      I would ask your realtor what they think but unless they say you will get 100% of your money back I wouldn’t do anything and just make sure the price is low enough for a fixer upper house.

      A lot of times people will fix major things like A/C and heat or remodel a kitchen in hopes that it will sell. What happens is they will spend say $7,000 doing this but it only raises the price of their house $4500. That’s just losing more money so I wouldn’t do anything that you wouldn’t get 100% of your money back. Of course I would clean and declutter it a lot and that always helps!

    • says

      Stefanie also besides what Tawra said be careful if your real estate agent tells you to pay for an inspection before you put your house on the market. I understand all there reasoning behind that but what we have found if we start fixing this usually it was something the buyer wasn’t bothered by. Different inspectors finds different things and different buyers want different things fixed.

      For example you may have a pipe which may need something small done to it. One inspector will say you have to get it fixed or no one will will buy it. Another inspector doesn’t even think a thing is wrong with it or notices it. I show the pipe to the buyer and they say no worry I’m a plumber and it is an easy fix. Where that same buyer might want you to fix an electrical outlet instead.

      Besides you are the one who has to fork over $500 plus for the inspection in that case where if you just leave it the buyer pays for the inspection. One thing I would suggest and that is to have the agent put a home warranty on your home. It gives you and the buyer a sense of security. The home warranty covers anything major that can go wrong with your house while you are trying to sell it and for a certain period after it is sold.

      • Laura says


        As a Realtor, there are more reasons as to why getting an inspection can help you other than fixing all the repairs. It can also prepare you for your negotiations when the buyers come back with a list of repairs to be fixed/money for the repairs. You could be prepared and know your numbers, and would not be negotiation blindly. As a realtor, the best thing I can do to help you is to get you informed on the true value of your home, otherwise you may lose money or lose a sell because you really did not know how much these issue may cost. Its better to know now than to be under pressure with limited time.

        I hope this helps you and also others who read this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

four + 6 =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>