10 Things to Do Before You List Your Home

Thinking of making a move in the Minneapolis area? Before you stick a “For Sale” sign in the yard, you might want to take some time to clean up, fix up, and stage up—it’s the only way to ensure your home sells quickly and for the maximum amount of money. Don’t worry, though; you don’t have to make major renovations to bring new life into a tired home. Here are some easy DIY ways to get your home ready to wow potential buyers.

10 Ways to Get Your Home Ready to Show

Crank up the curb appeal

First impressions are everything in real estate, and a buyer’s first impression starts long before they step through your front door. So take a walk to your curb and see if you can find some areas for improvement. Ensure there are no hanging shutters, cracked or missing shingles, or mossy areas on your roof or siding. A freshly painted front door and new house numbers can add some vibrancy to your home, too.

Mow & trim

Landscaping is part of your curb appeal, so make sure yours looks fantastic! Mow your lawn regularly, and trim back any overhanging branches. Rake the leaves and ensure any and all walkways are clear. Mulch your garden beds and prune your shrubs. If your yard needs some color, it might be time to make a trip to the local gardening store for some flowers.


It’s hard for buyers to admire your home’s best features if they’re buried by clutter! So go through your home to determine what can be thrown away or donated. Odds are, if you’ve been in your home for a while, you’ve been holding on to some things you no longer need. Clearing out some space will give your home some breathing room, and make it seem more bright, open, and spacious. If needed, rent a storage unit to hold on to larger items until after you move.

Make needed repairs

No buyer wants to walk into an unfinished construction project. Too many unattended maintenance issues can easily cost you thousands of dollars in concessions or last-minute repairs—and might even lead to a buyer walking away from the sale. If you know of problems, save yourself the headache and fix them before you list. Not sure what might be lurking in the woodwork? Hire a home inspector to complete a pre-listing inspection.


While major renovations don’t typically pay off, minor updates can make a big difference both in the speed of the sale and its final selling price. Focus on small, aesthetic fixes—like replacing hardware or fixtures in your kitchen and bathrooms. Refinishing or painting cabinets is another fairly easy way to breathe new life into an older space. Resurfacing countertops can be a bit more costly, but might be worth the expense if your kitchen is fairly old. The same goes for new appliances.


Painting is perhaps one of the easiest ways to make your home seem fresh and new; just be sure to invest in quality paint and supplies at your local hardware store. The trick to painting a home to sell is to focus on light, neutral colors. Anything too bold or dark could be dissuading to buyers, and might clash with their furniture (or yours). Instead, concentrate on choosing bright, light, or pastel colors, like greys, creams, beiges, yellows, and light blues.

Deep clean

Cleaning your home to sell goes beyond a normal weekend wipedown; you want to shift your focus to more detailed areas like windows, heating vents, and hard-to-reach places. Work your way through your home, room by room, and give everything a good dusting, scrubbing, or vacuuming from top to bottom. Wipe down all windows, baseboards, and crown molding. Dust shelves. Vacuum and mop all floors. If it seems like a particularly large project, it’s worth investing in a professional cleaning service.


The next step is actually remove some of your existing decor. Anything too personal (like family photos or memorabilia) or too bold should probably be stored until you reach your new home. The idea is to make your home look neutral yet lived-in—you want buyers to be able to envision their own decor, photos, and belongings in your home. To do that, you want to leave out the things that make your home “yours”.


Once you’ve removed any personal items or decor, you might need to replace them with more neutral or simple decorations. You don’t want your home to feel vacant! Tasteful decor, such as flowers, pine cones, or fir branches, can bring some color and texture into a room. You might also consider adding pops of color in the form of pillows or throw blankets.

Light it up

Bring a little light into your home! Open windows, draw the blinds, and turn on the lights. If a home gets a lot of natural light, make sure buyers know it. For rooms that don’t see quite as much sun, consider adding additional task or mood lighting in the way of floor or desk lamps. Increasing the wattage on bulbs can also make rooms seem brighter, which in turn can make them feel larger or more open. A little light goes a long way!

Ready to Sell in Minneapolis?

Are you thinking about selling a home in Minneapolis or one of its surrounding communities? We'd love to help! Contact the David Azbill Group today to learn more about how we can help you get your home sold for top dollar... without all the headache!

Minneapolis Home Sellers' Resources