Tips to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

Tips to Get Your Home Ready to Show

You’ve just listed your home, one of the biggest investments of your life. You want it to sell fast and for top dollar. The listing contracts are signed and your Realtor has begun to market your home. Now what?

The moment you decide to put your home on the market is when you should stop thinking of the property as yours. Begin to think of it as some future buyer’s home. You are living in someone else’s house! Your agent will get people in the door, but you need to do everything you can to convince that future owner to make an offer! Once your home is on the market, it needs to WOW buyers.

Read through these tips and see how you can make your home more appealing in your listing photographs and when potential buyers walk through the door.

Throughout the House:

      1. Open the draperies, pull up the shades, and let in the sunlight
      2. Create a positive mood. Turn on all lights, day or night, and install higher wattage light bulbs to show your home brightly.
      3. Remove clutter from each room to visually enlarge them.
      4. If you have a fireplace, highlight it in your decorating.
      5. Keep your home dusted and vacuumed at all times.
      6. Replace the carpet if it does not clean up well.
      7. Have a family “game plan” to get the home in order quickly if necessary.
      8. Remove all pets, pet beds, and pet toys before showings.
      9. Air out your home for one-half hour before showings, if possible.
      10. Lightly spray the house with air freshener so that it has a chance to diffuse before the buyer arrives.
      11. Put family photos in storage.
      12. Improve traffic flow through every room by removing unnecessary furniture.
      13. Create the feeling of a spacious entry area by using decorative accents and removing unnecessary furniture.
      14. Putty over and paint any nail holes or other  mishaps in the walls.
      15. Paint all interior walls a neutral color to brighten the home and make it look bigger.
      16. Repair or replace any loose or damaged wallpaper.
      17. Clean all  light bulbs and light fixtures to brighten the home.
      18. Wash all windows inside and out.
      19. Use plants in transitional areas of your house.
      20. Start packing! Remove all unnecessary items and place them in storage.
      21. Make the most of your attic’s potential.
      22. Remove and/or hide excess extension cords and exposed wires.
      23. Open doors to areas you want potential buyers to see such as walk-in closets, pantries, attics, etc.
      24. Remove all smoke and pet odors.
      25. Repair or replace banisters and handrails.
      26. Interior doors should be cleaned thoroughly and/or painted for a clean look.

In the Kitchen:

      1. Microwave a small dish of vanilla twenty minutes before a showing and place it in an out of the way place.
      2. Highlight an eat-in area in your kitchen with a table set for dinner.
      3. The kitchen and bathrooms should always be spotlessly clean.
      4. Expand your counter space by removing small appliances.
      5. Clear EVERYTHING from your kitchen counters.
      6. Remove all magnets or other attached items from the refrigerator, other appliances or cabinetry.

In the Bedrooms:

      1. Create a master suite effect in your decorating.
      2. Depersonalize bedrooms and decorate in a neutral scheme.
      3. Remove all items from the tops of any dressers or night stands, except for something decorative and alarm clock.
      4. Make sure that the beds are made and the linens are clean. The bed is the focal point of the room – make it look nice – think “upscale hotel room.”
      5. Organize your closets, remove unnecessary items and put them in storage. (Remember, you want potential buyers to think there is MORE than enough storage space in the home.)

In the Bathrooms:

      1. Do not leave towels around and wipe down the sinks and shower areas after each use.
      2. Re-caulk the tub if the caulk is not sparkling white.
      3. Repair or replace broken tiles in the shower/tub.
      4. Replace shower curtains and keep them clean.
      5. Remove all bottles, bars of soap, etc. from the shower and bathtub area. (Keep the essentials in a shower caddy that can be stored under the sink.)
      6. Put out fresh towels and decorative soaps – Think “hotel bathroom.”


      1. Keep the yard mowed and raked at all times.
      2. Use flowering plants to dress up the yard, walkway, and patio.
      3. Remove all toys, bicycles, tools, grills, unsightly patio furniture, and trash from the yard. Put these items in storage.
      4. Porches, steps, verandas, balconies, patios, and other extensions of the house should be kept uncluttered, swept, and in good condition.
      5. Paint all entrance doors.
      6. Make sure the garage door opens easily.  Fix and paint the garage door if necessary.
      7. Clean and shine all hardware and accessories indoors and out (door knobs, knockers, lamps, mail box, address numbers, etc.)
      8. Trees and shrubs should be trimmed and pruned.
      9. Use a new doormat.
      10. Be sure the front doorbell is in good working order.
      11. Be sure the front door and screen door works perfectly.
      12. Clean all exterior light fixtures to remove dead bugs and spider webs.
      13. Pressure wash the exterior of the home as well as all decking and sidewalks.