Thinking of selling your home in the greater Triangle area? It's important to understand that if you expect to make money on your home, you've got to give yourself plenty of time to prepare, and that can mean starting to plan months ahead of the date you'd actually like to move out of your home. Here's what to expect when you list your home in the Triangle.

Preparing Your Home for Sale with Brian Pate


It Starts At The Mailbox!

When it comes to selling your home, curb appeal is everything. Take a long look at your mailbox: does it need a paint job? Are the house numbers bright and shiny? Spend some time sprucing it up — you want potential buyers to see it as an extension of their new home.


The Yard: Front AND Back

The first thing a potential buyer sees when they come to tour your home is the exterior. That's why it's so important to make sure it is inviting, well-maintained, and attractive to the eye. First, make sure you're mowing it properly (in North Carolina, this means once a week from April to October and as needed during the winter months). Trim any shrubs, thoroughly weed your garden or flower beds, and do everything you can to make your yard stand out (in a good way!)

If you have bird houses, make sure they're clean and bright. Don't clutter up the yard too much with things like garden gnomes or other lawn ornaments. Clean up any debris, fallen tree branches, leaves, piles of wood, or anything else that adds clutter.


The Driveway

Is your driveway asphalt or gravel? If the asphalt has any cracks, fill them with with a compound. If the gravel is sparse at some parts, be sure to fill it in with fresh gravel. For driveways surrounded by trees, be sure to prune any branches that scrape your car as you drive by.

Tidy up any bordering flower beds, and touch up any other accessories like a basketball hoop. Every detail of your home and yard needs to be clean and attractive for potential buyers.

lot and yard

The Fence

Paint your fence where needed, apply WD-40 to any squeaky spots on the gate or latch, and repair anything that looks less than pristine! Make sure any lighting works properly, and take some time to spruce up the flower beds nearby.


The Outside of Your Home

Make sure the exterior of your home is inviting! This goes far beyond re-painting the exterior. Download our PDF for the full guide on how to make your home's exterior shine, but for now here are the most important things to keep in mind:

  • Repair any broken fixtures
  • Replace the doorknob if it's tarnished or dingy
  • Remove rust from iron work
  • Remove any wasps nests or anything like that
  • Paint the door a compatible color
  • Wash the windows

There are plenty of little things you can do to improve the overall exterior of your home. Be sure to download our PDF guide to learn more!


Interior of the Home

Begin by taking a walk through your home as though you were a potential buyer. What do you notice? Is the carpet off-color? Are there any nicks or dings in the walls? Use this as your starting point.

Next, have your home professionally cleaned. A professional cleaning is worth the price because it will transform your home in the eyes of buyers. Let us know if you would like a local professional recommended, we have an amazing team in mind who will give you a reasonable price. In addition, make sure all the fixtures of your home are cleaned. Replace any old or broken light fixtures, switches, faucets, and door handles.

You want your home to be a blank slate, so take down any personal family pictures or art work to accomplish this. Consider renting a storage unit to store any extra large furniture in. Potential buyers should be able to picture themselves living in your home, which is why it's so important to present them with the perfect blank slate: just enough furniture to show the potential of the room without overcrowding it.


The Foyer, Front Hall or Entry Way

The minute you open your front door and step in, what's the first thing you experience? 

Keep furniture to a minimum, if there is a staircase make sure it looks inviting and perfect, and fix any squeaky spots. Clean your windows so they shine through with light. Make sure it smells good.


The Living Room

When showing your home to potential buyers, make sure it is flooded with natural sunlight. Throw back all the curtains and turn on the lights when necessary. Put out a lightly scented candle or a bowl of potpourri so that everything smells fresh and inviting.


The Dining Room

Again, you want everything in your home to be free of clutter! Turn on all the lights in your dining room, wipe down the dining room table, and take inventory of any peeling wallpaper or dings in the flooring. Get these fixed before showing it to buyers.


The Library or Study

Paint the perfect picture of coziness. Turn on a lamp by a comfortable chair and put an open book on the arm rest. Point out any special features in the room and be sure the desk area is completely free of clutter.

cutting board

The Kitchen

Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. That's why it is crucial to make sure these two areas stand out and look their absolute best. Your kitchen should be spotless, organized, free of clutter, and devoid of any personal effects or pictures.

Consider replacing faucets or light fixtures if they look old. When showing the kitchen, open all the blinds and curtains so that as much light flows in as possible. Point out any extra storage space or custom features so your agent knows to highlight these.


The Bathroom

Just like the kitchen, this room should be absolutely spotless. Fix or replace any leaking faucets, broken drain plugs, or anything else that doesn't work properly. Consider re-caulking your tub if appropriate. 

Make sure towel racks and toilet paper dispensers are firmly attached to the wall. Tidy up linen closets and cabinets because buyers will be taking a peek.


The Bedrooms

Get rid of any extra furniture and be thorough with removing any personal effects. Pick up dirty clothing and make the beds every day!


The Basement

Make sure the basement is tidy and neat. If your hot-water heater looks old, give it a coat of spray paint to make it look newer.

Raleigh Home Selling Resources