Prepping an Old Home to Sell

Dated: May 5 2020

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Chapter 10

Prepping an Old Home to Sell

Prepping an Old Home, Getting the Smell Out

            You need to check for any odors. Ask a friend or neighbor to help you because they will be able to smell odors you are used to and therefore do not notice any more. Obviously you want the home you inherited to look and smell as new, clean and fresh as it possibly can.

            More often than not, the bad smell is caused by mold, mildew, and the releasing of foul gasses inside the house. Lack of air circulation further enhances these problems. If the house is not lit properly, more complications can be expected.

            First and foremost, try finding out the source of the moisture and take actions to remove the problem. You may also need to call a professional if there is a cracked foundation, water leak or roof leakage. It becomes really easy to fix the problem once you have found the source.

            Using a dehumidifier to keep the moisture level down in a place that stays damp and dark is also a good idea. If you can dry the area, it would be beneficial.

            Scrubbing the smelly areas of the house by using boric acid, white vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide etc. is a good way to get rid of the smell. Once done, don’t forget to ventilate the rooms with fans, open windows or keeping the air conditioning on.

            Opening the windows and letting the sun shine in will also help in reducing the smell of these musty areas.

            Using Zeolite powder is also an effective way some people use to deodorize the smells in the house. It is reusable and lasts a long time. Charcoal is another substance that can be used to deodorize.




            Baking soda is yet another safe and effective way to combat musty odors in the house. You can do it by spraying baking soda over the problem area, which will help in soaking up any moisture and defuse the smell. It is preferable to leave in overnight and then vacuum up in the morning.

Repairs to Consider

            When selling a home that you have inherited, your rooms will look larger if the walls are light colored and the lighting is bright. If any walls are painted in dark color, you might want to think about painting them white or off-white.

            If the walls are a light color, but dirty, another coat should freshen them up. Increasing the wattage of the light bulbs in the house can really brighten it up, too. If your house is carpeted, you should replace any overly stained or odorous areas.

            If you don’t want to replace the carpet, a good shampooing should take out the worst of the dirt and make it smell better. Clean and polish all the mirrors and windows.

            You should also thoroughly clean your oven and stove. Clean the drip pans under each burner and the oven. Ensure all the dirt build-up and grease are removed.

            Polish the exterior of the oven and stove until it shines. You also need to clean the other appliances, such as the dishwasher and refrigerator. Clean all the kitchen countertops and try to have them uncluttered. Try to reduce the number of items in all the cabinets in the house, including the kitchen cabinets.

            Clean the window treatments, including blinds, and get rid of all the fingerprints around the light switches and doorknobs. Be sure the areas around the trashcans are cleaned, especially the one in the kitchen.

            Make sure the clothes in your closets are hanging neatly, rather than being overcrowded. Remove some of the items on the floor andshelves, so the room looks clear and more spacious. Your basement, garage and attic space should also be cleaned and tidied up.





If the home you inherited has any squeaks, leaks or rattles, do everything you can to eliminate them. These noises and sounds can give the impression there is a lot of work which needs to be done. Tighten any loose screws, bolts or nuts on doorknobs, light switches and cabinet hinges.

            Tack down any loose moldings. You might want to clean and replace the caulking in the house. If your steps, stairs or banister are loose, tighten them up. Repair any water leaks and get rid of any signs of water damage. You can paint over the water stains or replace damaged wallpaper. Fix any doors or windows that do not open and close smoothly.

            Selling your home requires you to pay attention to a bunch of different things. In addition to talking about the financial details to agents, you need to keep your house in the best condition possible for selling.

            Every buyer who tours your house is going to be looking for something a little bit different, but you can do a few things to help make your house as appealing as possible to everybody. Every home takes on the personality of the person who owns the house. This is going to happen normally.

            However, if you are ready to put your house up for sale, you need to hide as many of your personal items as you possibly can.

            This means that you need to put all of your family photos out of sight. It also includes other personal items that may be on the walls or counters, such as certificates, posters, trophies and so forth.

            The reason that you do this is because you want all of your potential buyers to see your home as their next home.

            If you have items from your personal life all over the place, this is difficult for buyers to do. So even though you lover your memories, yourdecorations and your photos, it is better to keep them hidden when you have people coming to look at your house.





Painting the outside of your home might be a little expensive, but it may be an excellent way to convince potential buyers to pick your house. It may be worthwhile to have this done, especially if the house is overdue for a paint job. If your whole house does not need to be painted, a touch up might be all that is necessary.

            You should paint the exterior of your home and your door while you’re at it. This is what visitors will see when they initially come in. Another thing you should paint is your mailbox, especially if it badly needs to be painted.

            Other exterior features like your fence or garage door should be painted as well.

            Before someone buys a house, they usually get it professionally inspected. You might want to do this yourself, get your home inspected, if you want to sell it. You may not be aware of certain problems that only and inspector can locate.

            The inspector is useful in that they can tell you what repairs should be done prior to the sale. Before the sale of the house, the inspector can tell you if there is roof damage, or perhaps if you have termites that need to be taking care of. It is in your best interest to fix any repairs that must be done prior to the sale, instead of being surprised at a point in the future.

            You need to take an honest look at your entire home when preparing it for sale. Fixing anything that is broken, and cleaning up your home inside and out, is absolutely necessary.

            Using strategies and tips listed here, you should be able to get your home looking its best in no time at all. From to bottom, your home needs to be cleaned and repaired.

            Just use our recommendations, and any others you can think of, to make it sell as quickly as possible.






Tips to Those Who Want to Sell an Inherited Home

Tip #1:

            The price of the property is very important for both the owners of the property and the buyers. If it is priced at a higher price than the market value, then it can be difficult to sell fast. If it is priced at a lower price than the market value, the owner will not profit from the deal.

Three tips to determine an ideal price of the property are listed as below:

a)       An easy way to find the correct price of the home for sale is to pretend as if you want to buy a home in your area and inquire about its pricing. 


To be more precise, try and visit a property for sale that is very similar to your property for sale.


b)      Alternatively, you can visit a local real estate office.


They have a list of similar properties in the area and can tell you the most appropriate price of you property.


In some cases, they can also help sell the home for you.


c)       An effective way to quickly sell in the economic down-market is to offer a partial financing option.


There are a thousands of buyers in the market to have the ability to pay loan installments, but are considered ineligible by the banks.








            The concept of prepping the home for sale is a concept based on the very famous marketing concept which is. “That what looks good sells really fast.”

            For staging a home in the best way, it is important that you put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and imagine how they will respond to your property. Three tips related to preparing the home for sale at the least price are listed as below:

a)       Clean the Outside of the House: The outside of the house is the first thing that the prospective buyer will notice about the property.


You can clean it by picking up all the garbage thrown, mow the grass, remove dry leaves and grass and use a wooden broom to sweep it.


b)      Consider Minor Repairs: Have a thorough look at the home for sale and check which parts of it need repairs.


Pay close attention to the taps, showers, toilet seats, kitchen sink, washing machine connections, electric boards, and switches.


Although these are very minor things, they may signal issue for the prospective buyer if not in good condition.


Therefore, consider repairing them.


c)       Empty the Home for Sale as Much a Possible: An empty home looks more spacious and much bigger.


While doing this, ensure that your personal belongings are not out in the open inside the home for sale.










Be aware of the Three Major Causes of Seller’s Stress:

            Selling your home is never easy. You are emotionally attached. Not necessarily to the home itself, but to the memories that took place in it.

            To minimize stress, it is best to work with an experienced seller’s agent. A real estate agent that is used to working with homeowners looking to sell has experience in the process and understands the needs of the seller.

            This all benefits you as the seller. The three highest areas of stress when selling your home includes: the appraisal process, home inspections, and showing and open houses.

Be Prepared to Repair

            Instead of waiting until you home is days away from being listed for sale, take time to repair the things in your home that are not suitable to buyers. This process can take anywhere from six to nine months.

            Preparing ahead of time allows you to hire a reputable handyman to come in an service the areas within the home that need to be fixed before you home goes on the market. Waiting until the last minute only causes more stress and tension between you and the person making the repairs.

            Compile a list of things that need to be done and within what time frame in order to minimize down time.

            Make note of all the recent updates for home buyers to access when looking into purchasing your home. You can even go ahead and take an estimate of the costs that are involved in the repairs and plan accordingly.

Prepaid to Be Fair

            Having your home appraised is one of the most difficult events in selling a home. Not every repair that was done on the home will recoupits value in the asking price of your home. Some repairs or upgrades done to the home will only be for you and will not cause an increase in asking price.



Being prepared for the appraisal process will alleviate a great deal of stress for you as the seller. The memories you made in the home are not valuable to anyone else. The home is being valued on what it is in comparison to other homes available on the market with similar offerings.

            That is it. The process should not be taken personally as that will only add stress.

Prepare Your Home

            Preparing your home for sale is one of the most cleansing experiences and should be thought of as just that. Take the stress out of preparing by organizing and eliminating unnecessary furniture and clutter.

            Create a routing that allows you to prepare you home for showings without really doing anything out of the ordinary new normal routine. In the morning before you leave for the day, take time to make beds, put dishes in the dishwasher and do one complete load of laundry.

            Then you will be prepared in the evening when the agent schedules a viewing of if someone wants to see you house during the day. Minor preparations, spending ten to fifteen minutes in the morning and at night can keep you from being stressed during unexpected showings.

Keep All Things in Perspective

            Don’t worry if the house doesn’t smell like freshly baked goods or if pillows aren’t all perfectly fluffed.

            Buyers that are really interested in buying you home are not going to take those things into account as much as they will that the house looks well-kept and is clutter-free.







Preventing Theft and Vandalism

            Theft and vandalism are quite common things for unoccupied properties. If not properly taken care of, it could be a real turn off during the selling process, and more so that it can be a cause of good amount of money.

            There are a few things that you need to keep in mind to minimize the chances. The key point is that you should not make it obvious and glaring that the house is unoccupied and that it does not have any kind of monitoring.

            This will encourage criminals to damage or rob the property. You can use various methods in order to make sure that you have a proper monitoring system on the house.

·         To avoid theft and vandalism, it is very important that you keep the property properly lit. Keeping the exterior lights on in the front, back, and sides of the house is considered a good strategy.


This will help ward off vandalism and theft quite effectively.


·         Try covering the windows properly.


Don’t use newspapers as it clearly shows that the house is actually vacant.


·         If you can, parking a spare car in the drive-way will be a huge indicator that the house is occupied.


·         Try keeping the landscape in a good shape.


Use lawnmowers and if you can maintain flower beds, it would be nice.


·         Know to your neighbors.





You may even consider exchanging your phone number and encourage them to call you if they see something suspicious.


·         Using an alarm system on the property is also a good way of minimizing theft and vandalism.

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Oscar Vasquez

For the majority of people, the purchase or sale of a home is their largest single investment. My goal is to guide you successfully and easily through the contractual, investment and emotional decisio....

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