Southlake Real Estate
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Cindy Ruppert Team

Fixing the Interior of Your Home for Sale

Save Money - Call Me Before You Remodel!

When preparing your home for the market, try not to do anything overly expensive, such as major remodeling. I have seen too many sellers spend money unwisely.

Please call me so I can help you spend your money as effectively as possible.

The Essentials - Clean, Paint, Carpet

The most important preparation is to have your home professionally cleaned and detailed, including the windows and exterior. Then, apply new paint and carpet if needed.

The improvement in any home is stunning, and highly cost effective.


Painting is a great investment when selling your home. It need not cost much and many times you can do it yourself. Choose off-white or cream colors as these will work with anyone's furniture and will also make your home look spacious and bright.

Look carefully at your walls and ceilings. Are there old stains on the ceiling caused by a leak long since repaired? Are the walls smudged, dirty or just tired looking? Do you have an outdated color scheme? The colors you chose to accent your decor will almost never work for a potential buyer.

Carpet and Flooring

A professional cleaning may be all your carpet needs. But if it is really worn, badly stained or an outdated color, replace it with something fairly inexpensive. Once again, choose a neutral tone. (They don't call it "REALTOR® Beige" for nothing!)

Replace any broken floor tiles and clean any badly stained grout. This can be done fairly inexpensively.

Wallpaper and Paneling

If your wallpaper is old, consider removing it and replacing it with texturing and new paint. Polish woodwork and paneling.

Doors and Windows

Make sure all your windows open and shut easily. If they don't, try some WD40; this often corrects the problem. If you have broken or cracked windowpanes, you should replace them.

In Texas, many homes have thermal windows. As they age, these windows lose their vacuum seals, and condensation forms between the layers of glass. In the early stages, this is often not particularly noticeable. Later on however, these windows become unsightly and sometimes even opaque. If you have visibly fogged windows, you should seriously consider replacing the glass. It will be an issue for your buyers!

Invest in having a professional wash the windows inside and out. This is a subtle but important element when it comes to making your home sparkle.

All doors should open and shut easily also. If they squeak, try the WD40 on the hinges; this normally fixes the problem. Make sure all the knobs are clean and polished; remove any smudges on the doors.

Be sure to clean your light switches. I'm surprised at how ofen this little detail gets missed, even in very clean homes. I think they become invisible to the owner, but seem to jump out at the buyer.


All of your appliances should be in working order. Likewise, they should be clean. Yes, buyers will look inside the ovens! If something doesn't work either replace it (not with a top of the line model) or have it repaired.

Have your air conditioners and furnaces serviced and any repairs or adjustments made. Remember all these items will be checked by your Buyers during their inspection.

Odor Control

Smells are important and bad ones can be an immediate turnoff to your potential buyers.

If you smoke, you need to consider consulting a professional about removing the smoke odor from your house. After that is done, smoke only outside. Most buyers will have a strong negative reaction to the smell of cigarettes or cigars. This is a smell that cannot be hidden by candles or deodorizers.

If you're a pet lover you will have become used to the odors from pets. Your buyers, however, will notice it immediately. For those with cats, make sure the kitty litter is cleaned at least daily. If your kitty has confused the carpet with the litter box, use an enzyme odor remover where the accident happened. Sometimes this works. If it doesn't, you really need to consider replacing the carpet. Consider using a carpet deodorant each time you vacuum; this helps remove any doggy odor.

Strong cooking odors are also a potential problem. Make sure that you use proper ventilation in the kitchen.

Plumbing and Fixtures

Check out all your sink fixtures. Do they look new? Do they sparkle? A good cleaning and polishing will probably bring them to life. If not, consider purchasing some inexpensive replacements.

Make sure that your faucets turn easily and do not leak. If they leak, replace the washers. This is not difficult.

Remove all stains from porcelain fixtures. If you run into a particularly tough stain, consider consulting a professional.

Replace any broken tiles in the shower or bath and re-caulk as needed.