Tips and tricks to prepare your home for sale, from an expert who does it for a living

If you are planning to sell your home this year, Marie-Louise Keeley, interior designer at House & Garden Furnishings, offers up her best tips to prepare your house for the property marketplace.


When putting your home up for sale, it can be hard to know how best to present it to prospective buyers and make it stand out from the crowd. You want to get a good price for it, but deciding where to focus your efforts can be confusing.

Marie-Louise Keeley leads the Staging team in House & Garden. With experience fitting out entire properties for sale on behalf of estate agents, international funds, and investors, she shares with us her top tips to make your home more appealing than the next.

From the outside in 

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It is of the utmost importance that your property looks the part from the outside. According to research undertaken by the UK’s Strutt & Parker, 76% of property purchasers agree that first impressions are everything when they visit a home.

Giving the front door a fresh coat of paint is the first step to take. Spend some time tidying up the lawn and front garden. Small preparations such as cutting the grass and planting some flowers will bring colour and vibrancy to the garden and appeal to the eye. For final exterior touches, clean the windows and make sure the curtains are spotless.

how to prepare your home for sale

Clear away clutter 

Allow the buyer to imagine their own life in your property by putting away your bits and bobs. Objects such as ornaments, souvenirs, family snaps, and toys should be cleared away out of sight. Clearing clutter from all areas enables the potential buyer to see how much scope there is in each room.

Remove also any excess pieces of furniture to create more clear space. Try to see your property through the eyes of the buyer. While making your home look lived in is often desired, providing the buyer with the opportunity to envision the space as their own, is preferable.

how to prepare your home for sale

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Walls and floors 

If the walls inside your property are looking at all rundown or tired, consider repainting them prior to putting it up for sale. Neutral colours are generally safe and effective. Colour choices such as warm grey or taupe are suitable.

Prior to selling your home, ensure all of your carpets have been steam cleaned, and polish wooden floors. This makes them look shiny and presentable, which is desired when selling your property. The aim is to show your buyer how little work is required when they purchase your home.

how to prepare your home for sale

Cleanliness 

Giving your home a thorough, deep clean before showing it is always essential. Pay particular attention to the kitchen and bathrooms as they are most prone to gathering dirt. Make sure the inside of all cabinets are spotless, all appliances are sparkling, sanitary fittings are glistening, and grout is fresh. Steam cleaning your bathrooms can work miracles and is a safe, healthy and eco-friendly way to do so.

If you are interested in more help as you prepare your home for sale, House & Garden’s team of experts can organise to visit your property for a two-hour consultation on how best to dress your house for sale based on your target market. Consultations start from €300.

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