Prepping Your Home for Sale

Your home has just one chance to make a great impression with each potential buyer. And it can! The following “tricks of the trade” will help you keep track of what needs to be done. The whole idea is to present a clean, spacious clutter-free home – the kind of place you’d like to buy. Accomplish a little every day, and before long your home will be ready to make the impression that can make the sale.

Your Home’s Curb Appeal

  • Mow lawn
  • Trim shrubs
  • Edge gardens and walkways
  • Weed and mulch
  • Sweep walkways and driveway, remove branches, trash, or toys
  • Add color and fill in bare spots with plants
  • Remove mildew or moss from walls or walkways
  • Remove stains from driveway if necessary
  • Clean off patio or deck areas
  • Remove any outdoor furniture that is not in good shape
  • Replace old storm doors
  • Repair broken windows and shutters, replace torn screens, make sure frames and seams have solid caulking
  • Hose off exterior wood and trim, replace damaged bricks or wood
  • Repair gutters and eaves
  • Paint the front door and mailbox (if needed)
  • Add a new front door mat and consider a fresh potted plant or two
  • Clean hardware on front door, outside lighting fixtures, etc.
  • Make sure all lightbulbs are working

General Interior Tips

  • Add a fresh coat of interior paint in light, neutral colors if needed
  • Shampoo carpeting, replace if necessary
  • Clean and wax hardwood floors, refinish if necessary
  • Clean and wash kitchen and bathroom floors
  • Wash all windows, vacuum blinds, wash window sills
  • Clean the fireplace
  • Clean out and organize closets, add extra space by packing clothes and items you won’t need again until after you’ve moved
  • Remove extra furniture, worn rugs, and items you don’t use; keep papers, toys, etc. picked up especially on stairways
  • Repair problems such as loose door knobs, cracked molding, leaking taps and toilets, squeaky doors, closets or screen doors which are off their tracks
  • Secure jewelry, cash and other valuables

The Living Room

  • Make it cozy and inviting
  • Remove clutter from coffee tables, bookshelves, etc.
  • Discard chipped or worn furniture, or worn rugs

The Dining Room

  • Polish any visible silver, crystal, or china
  • Set the table for a formal dinner to help viewers imagine entertaining here

The Kitchen

  • Make sure appliances are spotless inside and out
  • Make sure all appliances are in good working order
  • Clean often forgotten spots on top of refrigerator and under sink
  • Wax or sponge floor to brilliant shine
  • Clean baseboards
  • Declutter all counter space, remove countertop appliances
  • Organize items inside cabinets, pre-pack anything you won’t be using before you move

The Bathrooms

  • Remove all rust and mildew
  • Make sure tile, fixtures, shower doors, etc. are clean
  • Make sure all fixtures are in good repair
  • Replace loose caulking or grout
  • Make sure lighting is bright

The Primary Bedroom

  • Organize furnishings to create a spacious look with well-defined sitting, sleeping, and dressing areas
  • Declutter the primary bedroom closet, pick up items off floors and pack items that will not be used before moving

The Garage

  • Sell, give away, or throw out unnecessary items
  • Clean oily cement floor
  • Organize and create more floor space by hanging tools and placing items on shelves
  • Provide strong overhead light
  • Tidy storage or work areas
  • Clean water heater and drain sediment
  • Change furnace filter

The Basement

  • Make inspection access easy
  • Sell, give away, or throw out unnecessary items
  • Tidy storage areas
  • Clean any concrete floor and walls
  • Provide strong overhead light

The Attic

  • Tidy up by discarding or pre-packing
  • Make sure insulation is in good condition
  • Make sure air vent is in working order
  • Provide strong overhead lighting

When It’s Time to Show

  • Open all draperies and shades, turn on all lights
  • Check to make sure beds are made and clothes are put away
  • Pick up toys and other clutter
  • Add some strategically placed fresh flowers
  • Open bathroom windows for fresh air
  • Arrange for pets to be removed from the home
  • Make sure pet areas are clean and odor-free
  • Make sure all trash is disposed of in neatly covered bins

Ready to sell your home?