Prepare to Sell Your House

Prepare to Sell Your House

Prepare to Sell Your House

Exterior

  • Remove peeling and chipped paint; replace with a fresh coat.
  • Clear gutters and downspouts.
  • Make sure good exterior lighting surrounds the house & all walkway lights and front-door lanterns work.
  • Remove any moss or debris from the roof and siding.

Yard

  • Mow and trim grass; re-seed and fertilize where necessary.
  • Prune all overgrown trees and shrubs.
  • Remove or replace dead or diseased plants, shrubs, and trees.
  • Clean grease and oil stains from the driveway.
  • Weed flower beds, plant new flowers.

Decks/Patios

  • Paint or stain worn areas on wood decks.
  • Remove grass growing in concrete cracks; sweep off debris from shrubs and trees.
  • Clean all deck rails and make sure they’re secure; replace missing slats or posts.

Front Door

  • Polish the hardware on the door until it shines.
  • Add a fresh coat of paint and get rid of nicks.
  • Clean the glass on the storm door; make certain the screen is secure.
  • Make sure the doorbell operates properly and there are no squeaks when the door is opened or closed.

Entry

  • Clean entryway floors and area rugs.
  • Downsize clutter in entry closet to give the appearance of spaciousness.
  • Double-check entry lighting to make sure all lights work.

Windows

  • Clean all windows—inside and out.
  • If needed, add a fresh coat of paint to the window trims and sills.
  • Make sure all windows open and close easily.
  • Replace cracked windowpanes and those with broken seals.
  • Make sure window screens are secure; replace any screens with holes or tears.

Living, Dining, & Family Rooms

  • Give the room a fresh coat of paint if necessary (use neutral colors where possible).
  • Repair cracks and holes in ceiling and walls.
  • Make sure all wallpaper is secure or remove it.
  • Repaint any woodwork that is worn or chipped.
  • Clean draperies and blinds; open them to maximize light.
  • Make sure draperies and blinds open and close.
  • Steam-clean carpets. Clean rugs and wood flooring, and remove any stains or odors.
  • Position the furniture to increase the size and space of the room.
  • Put away toys and hobby supplies; remove extra magazines and books from tables.
  • Store away from sight family photos and other personal effects.
  • Leave some lighting on for showings – especially in rooms without a lot of natural light.

Kitchen

  • Make sure countertops and sinks are clean, de-cluttered, and stain-free.
  • Fix dripping faucets.
  • Organize pantry and cupboards so they appear clean, neat, and spacious.
  • Make sure the refrigerator and freezer are defrosted and free of odors.
  • Clean the oven and cook-top thoroughly.
  • Make sure dirty dishes are cleaned and put away every day.

Bathrooms

  • Make sure sinks, tubs, showers, and countertops are clean and free of stains.
  • Repair any leaky faucets.
  • Remove grout and soap stains from tile.
  • Replace any missing or cracked tiles or grout.
  • Make sure all joints are caulked.
  • Make sure all fixtures, including heat lamps and exhaust fans, are operating.
  • Install a new shower curtain.
  • Store all supplies, such as toilet paper, shampoo bottles, and cleansers.
  • Put away prescriptions, jewelry, and any items/valuables that are at risk for theft.

Bedrooms

  • Repair cracks in ceiling and walls.
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint if necessary.
  • Make sure wallpaper is secure.
  • Clean draperies and blinds; open them to maximize light.
  • Put away toys, clothes.
  • Neatly make up the beds.
  • Keep all closets clean and organized; treat any odors.
  • Make bed every day; put away dirty laundry; keep bedside table clear of clutter.

Basement

  • Check for water penetration or dampness; call for professional repairs if necessary.
  • Get rid of musty odors.
  • Clean furnace and drains.
  • Make sure light fixtures work.
  • Arrange storage area in a neat and organized manner.
  • Sweep/vacuum floor.
  • Make sure stairway handrail is secure.

Tidy Extras

  • Plant flowers to brighten a walkway and enrich the entry.
  • Remove any indoor houseplants that are brown or losing their leaves.
  • Remove all “fixer” cars, campers, and boats from the property.
  • Discard the clutter of magazines on the coffee and end tables.
  • Put away any personal effects, such as family photos, children’s artwork, etc.
  • Turn on lamps for ambient lighting; makes rooms feel more inviting.
  • Hide or get rid of worn-out throw pillows.
  • Replace shower curtains and invest in a matching set of towels in the bathroom.
  • At night, turn on porch light and outdoor lighting to keep home illuminated in dark.