Home Maintenance Guide: Your House’s Interior

Want to ensure you get top dollar when selling your house? Maintain your home interior to keep it in tip top shape. Here is your maintenance guide.

The interior of your home is a tricky space to prepare for a potential home sale. Part of the challenge is addressing what potential buyers see immediately — furniture, paint colors, or window treatments. The rest of the inside of the house is what they get into only upon closer inspection. The last thing you want is to turn away someone who loves the look of your home because of a small structural or safety issue. Here are some tips to properly care for what’s on the inside of your home.


How you care for your floors clues people in to how you take care of the rest of your home. Assuming a potential homebuyer will look down pretty soon after coming in, you want your floors in good condition. Not having to rush to restore them before deciding to sell your house means taking consistent care. It’s not as hard as you think.


Hardwood flooring is great because it never goes out of style. If you need a break from it, throw down a stylish rug. Maintaining hardwood floors means remembering to clean them regularly. The combination of vacuuming and mopping works best to bring back that shine. You can use a floor cleaner that does not require a wet mop and dries relatively quickly. Try to vacuum or sweep as often as possible. Mopping once a month should keep floors looking great.

Water can damage hardwood floors. Make sure you clean up any spills immediately so water doesn’t sit on the floor for long periods of time. If you have guests over on a rainy day, ask them to remove their shoes at the door to prevent wet footprints from leaving stains.


Carpets will naturally show wear and tear just from foot traffic. If you have it in busy parts of your home, you may want to replace it before you get ready to sell. Before that, keeping it looking nice means vacuuming at least once a week. Get a deep clean from a professional every year or two as well.

“Hire a pro who uses truck-mounted equipment rather than portable steam cleaning equipment,” says Family Handyman. “Truck-mounted equipment exhausts the dirty air and humidity outside. Its stronger suction leaves carpets drier, too.” Keep water off your carpet and make sure any spills or pet accidents are cleaned up properly and fast.

Walls, framing, and baseboards

The upright parts of your home take almost as much abuse as your floors. People slam doors, bump into walls, and chip paint. It doesn’t take long for an entire home to look dingy because of a lack of general maintenance on our walls, doors, window frames, and baseboards.

Scuff marks

Work out a scuff mark on your walls as soon as you see it. For a painted wall, try a damp cloth with just water to see if it wipes away. This won’t damage the paint. For more stubborn marks, dilute some dishwashing liquid in warm water and wipe again. If you’re still stuck with an unsightly mark, a Magic Eraser is usually gentle enough to get the job done without doing any additional harm.

Chipped paint

Chipped paint is a little more challenging to repair. In order to fully fix the issue, you’ll need to repaint the area. To make sure your new paint matches the old exactly, scrape off a little extra paint and bring it into the hardware store. They can use the paint chip to get the exact color information. After that, you’ll need to scrape away any remaining paint in the area you’re fixing. Apply a thin layer of spackle. Once dry, sand it down smoothly, then prime and paint. You may see a slight variation on the wall once the repair is done, but it won’t be as glaring as the original issue.

Dings, dents, and damage

Most dings and dents require the same repair process as chipped paint. You’ll just have a larger hole to fill first. Small indentations are okay with just a layer of spackle before sanding and painting, but repairing proper holes means a few extra steps . Larger holes require a drywall patch and drywall putty to properly fill in and fix the damage.

Further reading:

Home Maintenance Guide: Your House’s Exterior

Home Maintenance Guide: Kitchens and Bathrooms


The most common damage to ceilings is from water. Often, you know something is leaking because of a water stain on your ceiling (or wall.) The only way to avoid these is to properly maintain your plumbing, but accidents do happen. When water is the culprit, the first thing to do is stop the leak and give your ceiling time to dry out. After that, address the damage. Cracks require mesh tape and joint compound, but larger issues mean cutting out the damaged area and applying a patch.


While you’re up there addressing issues with your ceiling, it’s a good idea to check out the attic. If the source of your water damage is the roof, your attic got hit as well. In addition to staining, water in your attic can lead to mold problems since the space is dark. Make sure there’s proper ventilation in your roof to prevent any water from lingering too long, creating bigger problems.

You also want to watch out for unwanted visitors in your attic. Animals in your attic can cause a lot of damage that you won’t even know is happening. An annual check for chewed on wires, nests, feces, urine stains, or ripped ducts are all good clues you’ve got a pest problem. If you’re not hearing anything running around up there, you may also have a dead rodent problem. This needs immediate attention since dead animals smell and can attract files, giving you an additional pest to battle. If you find evidence of animals in your attic, carefully clean up, repair any damage, and look for how they’re entering your home. If you can’t repair their point-of-entry, they’ll come back.

Send a consistent message throughout your home

Knowing how to care for the structural elements within your home means you’re putting as much care into the house itself as you did when you decorated. You’re completing the interior package of your home, making it a more beautiful place to live and a more attractive place to sell when the time comes. This can also create a lot of work if your home hasn’t been properly maintained.

Should repairs of this type become too costly or time-consuming when you’re ready to list your home, consider working with an off-market buyer. Sundae provides a quick, professional, and painless process to get you a competitive cash offer on your home, and you don’t have to make any repairs to quality.

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Kyle Spearin

Kyle is Sundae's Real Estate Editor. As both an investor and content marketing professional, Kyle combines his passion for real estate investing and educational background with his love of helping others. His experience with real estate tech companies, including contributing to BiggerPockets Pro, gives him insight into markets across the United States.