Preparing Your Home To Sell

General Tips

Preparing your home to show to prospective buyers can be a lot of work. After all, the goal is to sell it for top dollar, and buyers have high expectations. A great first impression is a key to selling your house or condo. Prospective buyers want to see your home in “showplace” condition. Here is a check list to help you prepare. Most buyers select their home based on emotion and then justify the decision with facts, so it’s important to make the house look great. Remember, you have just a few seconds to create a winning first impression.

  • Thoroughly clean whole house (vacuum carpet, mop hard floors, clean counter tops, clean windows)

  • Turn all overhead lights and lamps ON

  • Replace all burned out light bulbs

  • Use bulbs of the same temperature (ALL incandescent or ALL compact fluorescent)

  • Turn all ceiling fans OFF

  • Turn all TVs OFF

  • Turn all computer screens OFF

  • Open blinds/window treatments to let in outside light

  • Remove personal photographs (or replace with general landscape/object photographs)

  • Make all beds

  • Remove small floor rugs to reveal actual flooring

  • Place all shoes/jackets in closets

Exteriors

  • Close garage doors

  • Remove cars from driveway and front of home

  • Clean up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves)

  • Remove empty planters

  • Use broom to remove cobwebs from eaves and door frames

  • Remove visible water hoses

  • Remove toys, sports balls, basketball goals, soccer goals, etc.

Back Yards

  • Clean porch, tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions

  • Pillows/cushions should be fresh, not faded

  • Clear out kid's toys, balls, frisbees, etc.

  • Clean pool

  • Remove pool vacuum/cleaner hose

  • Hide pool cleaning supplies

  • Turn on pool fountains/water features

  • Remove visible water hoses

  • Remove trash cans

Kitchens

  • Clear countertops completely. NO knife blocks, baking supplies, mail, etc.

  • Leave out max of one small appliance (ex. coffee maker)

  • Clear outside of refrigerator of magnets, papers, photos, etc.

  • Hide garbage cans in pantry or closet

  • Remove dishes from sink, place in dishwasher

  • Clear table, dust and polish the table top

  • Use decorative place setting if available

  • Feature one center piece such as a bouquet of flowers

  • Straighten all chairs and space them evenly

  • Remove child seats/booster chairs

Living Room

  • Remove stacks of magazines, papers, mail, etc.

  • De-clutter fireplace mantel/hearth (no more than 5 items, including art)

  • Clean interior of fireplace and re-paint if needed

  • Fluff and arrange furniture pillows

  • Remove kid's toys

Bedroom

  • Make bed, including decorative pillows/shams if available

  • Press bed linens and bed skirts

  • Clear nightstands of all personal items

  • Store away phone/tablet charging cables

  • Remove all clutter from top of dressers

  • Remove family photos from walls

  • Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos

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Bathroom

  • Clear counter tops completely. NO soap, toothbrushes, medications, deodorant, etc.

  • Put toilet seats down

  • Close closet doors

  • Remove shampoo, soap, loofahs, etc. from showers and tubs

  • Remove dirty towels - leave out only new, unused towels

  • Remove floor mats

Pets

  • Place food and water bowls in pantry or closet

  • Place pet beds/toys in pantry or closet

  • Use lint roller on furniture to remove pet hair

  • Contain pets in hidden crate or outside

  • Clear back yard of pet waste/toys

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