Preparing Your Home For Sale

Prepare Your Home For Sale

Significantly influence the selling price of your house by preparing it and your property before putting it on the market.

Here are suggestions to improve a buyer's first impression of your home. Review the checklist with your REALTOR® . Your REALTOR® should be able to help you in more detail. Before taking pictures, check to see exactly what the camera will "see". By all means, look carefully at walls, floors and ceilings for signs of wear, marks or need for repainting. It may pay to have a professional cleaning service come and perform a thorough cleaning.

Remember that if a potential buyer sees you bursting at the seams (like bulging closets & cluttered surfaces), they will think their possessions won't fit either.  If you must, put items in storage.

General areas that need to be looked at include:


  • Healthy, trimmed lawn
  • Shrubs trimmed neatly
  • Weed and mulch beds
  • Trees, shrubs trimmed to not touch the house
  • Fix broken driveway asphalt
  • Edge all walkways and driveway
  • Remove any loose items/clutter from grounds


  • Clean siding
  • Touch up all exterior trim
  • Repair any gates or fences
  • Clean and align gutters and downspouts
  • Wash shutters
  • Wash all windows, storms and screens


  • Clean front steps, porch as needed
  • Clean exterior light fixtures
  • Put a fresh welcome mat at the entrance
  • Paint or wash storm door
  • Clean and wash front door


  • Clear interior entry area of all clutter
  • Wash, polish and replace bulbs in light fixtures
  • Paint to lighten and refresh entrance area
  • Reduce volume & clutter in the front hall closet
  • Clean and polish the front entry floor
  • Remove fingerprints, scuff marks on trim, walls


  • Repaint or touch up walls, ceiling and trim
  • Repair or replace damaged molding and trim
  • Shampoo carpeting
  • Refinish, clean, wax floor
  • Get rid of clutter and extra knick knacks


  • Repaint, re-paper, touch up walls, trim, ceiling
  • Replace or clean drapes
  • Shampoo carpet or clean, polish floors
  • Organize and neaten all closets
  • Clear off top surfaces of all bedroom furniture
  • Put all clothing away
  • Clean out closets


  • Paint walls, ceiling, trim white or light color
  • Remove wax, scrub, re-polish floors
  • Wash, wipe down, wax cabinets/appliances
  • Thoroughly clean range, ovens
  • Clean out refrigerator and wash interior
  • Empty dishwasher, clean around controls
  • Check operation of all appliances
  • Reorganize and clean out cabinets and drawers
  • Neatly arrange and display dishes in cabinets
  • Clear all clutter from counter tops
  • Check to see that drawers/doors open easily
  • Wash or replace curtains
  • Clean or put away pet feeding, watering dishes


  • Paint using light colors
  • Scrub tile, bleach, repair grout
  • Check to see that drawers/doors open easily
  • Clean, polish floor as appropriate
  • Clean out medicine cabinet, wash inside and out
  • Seal around tubs and showers
  • Check for evidence of water at toilet base
  • Replace old toilet seats
  • Replace shower window curtains
  • Buy a set of new, color coordinated bath linens in pleasing neutral colors


  • Check operation of appliances and clean them
  • Clean and clear clutter
  • Provide adequate (bright) light to area


  • Remove clutter, papers, unnecessary items & knick knacks
  • Replace burned-out bulbs throughout the house
  • Clean out, sweep, organize garage
  • Organize basement and attic storage
  • Remove cobwebs from ceilings, corners
  • Replace switches and outlets that don't work
  • Place colorful plants around the house
  • Remove paint splash on tile, floor, cabinets
  • Wash, polish all door hardware, handrails
  • Reorganize, clean-out all closets
  • Remove or reduce the amount personalized items around like family photos.