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Preparing Your Home to Sell

First impressions are so important. From the moment a buyer drives up to your home, criticism has started… good and bad. It really is an easy thing to prep your home and make the most of your investment. Start at the curb and walk thru the home as you would as a buyer.


  • Maintain your landscaping. If you don’t already have one, hire a gardener. This is one thing you don’t want to think about in the selling process. The interior will be stressful enough to prepare to show.
  • Pressure was the home, first thing if possible. This will remove dirt and cob webs
  • Maintain grass, shrubs and plant new flowers/plants
  • Potted plants are a nice thing. But sometimes can look cluttered. Fewer the better
  • Replace any outdated light fixtures
  • Replace any broken window glass. This is a fairly inexpensive repair. Call your local Glass Company.
  • Repaint any areas of the home that show wear. This includes gates and fences
  • Be sure the front door looks fresh. A coat of paint/stain will do wonders
  • Replace the front door mat with something new- neutral, no color
  • Add pillows for softness ad pops of color. Outdoor area rugs are nice too!

First and most important is DE CLUTTER. Keep things simple. Not only is it pleasing on the eye, but it is the style. Depersonalize. This means accessories too. Less is better.

Knick Knacks– Remove/pack most, if not all of your family photos, memorabilia collections, posters and personal keepsakes. This helps a buyer see past your personal style and picture themselves living in the home.

Furniture– Remove any pieces of furniture that make the room look smaller, or that are not being used. Remember the way your furniture is arranged dictates the traffic flow. An open room is a larger room, buyers like space.

Draperies– I know this may be a hard one for most of you, but most draperies and valances are dated. Remove all heavy draperies and valances. This includes rods that have no draperies. These make rooms feel smaller, darker and closed in. Draperies also accumulate dust. Buyers want to see open, light rooms. Shutters, woven woods and simple neutral draperies are easy on the eyes, and useful for privacy or sun control.

Paint– Update/refresh paint. Especially if the walls are damaged or dirty beyond cleaning. This is an easy inexpensive way to also update with current colors. Neutral or lighter colors are best.

Plumbing– Have a Plumber inspect all plumbing fixtures. Small fix-it’s here and there will show your home has been properly maintained.

Closets– Clean out the closets! This is a job most people do not like to do, but you will get such gratification. Buyers always look in closets. A messy closet gives the appearance your home does not have enough storage space. There are so many nice ways to organize with baskets and fabric storage containers.

Kitchen– This is one of the most important rooms in a home.

– Update as much as possible and clean off all the surfaces

– Wipe down the cabinetry, paint if necessary, this includes the cabinets

– Replacing hardware is an easy fix (Go simple! Nothing too ornate)

– Store all countertop appliances; even the toaster and coffee maker if possible

– Remove most of the counter top accessories; open counter space dictates function

– If the kitchen faucet is dripping, please ask a plumber to repair. In most cases it’s about the same cost to replace with a new faucet rather than repairing and old fixture that may break during the repair.

– Remove any bills/paperwork; even if this is your office, no one needs to see it

Pantry–  Throw away old food and stuff! Organize! Use trendy baskets to consolidate all the little bags of chips etc. I can’t tell you how buyers flip when they see an organized pantry.

Bedrooms– Always make the beds. Refresh bedding and pillows if needed. Remove all clutter. Keep dressers and nightstands free of little items. Open the draperies and let the sun shine in! Don’t forget those closets and nothing should be on the floor. If a child’s room, you can still de clutter and make it presentable. Kids rooms are not an excuse for an unpleasant space.

Baths– Keep counters as clutter free as possible. Replace towels, shower curtain, etc. Remove bathmats and toilet seat covers. Update faucets, mirrors and light fixtures if needed. Most importantly clean these areas, especially the mirrors.

Have your carpets professionally cleaned.

Make any necessary repairs before listing your home. Buyers will notice small repairs and add to their “mental list of things to do”.

Update your plants! Alive or artificial. Toss all the old dusty ivy, etc. Colored silk plants are out of date too. Also, moving companies will not typically move live plants over state lines.

Other important items:

  • Lock away all valuables- this includes medications.
  • Organize all pet items in one area during showings. (Beds, toys, blankets etc)
  • Place candles and plug-in air fresheners around the home. This again is an easy thing to add. We want Buyers to stay as long as possible.
  • Open windows. Fresh air is a good thing!
  • Don’t forget the garage, clean it out.

In Closing:
-Visit new model homes in your area. They are a fun way to view all the latest trends. Watch home improvement shows too. Both will help with “in style”, current looks. (Paint colors, window coverings, fabric patterns and overall direction.)

– De clutter and donate. Remember all the “stuff” you can’t part with you move! Moving = Money!

– An organized home is so important. Buyers will see the home has been maintained and cared for. Don’t forget this is a huge investment and your home is one of many they will visit. You want your home to stand out. Let go of any emotional ties, and be ready for an offer!

– Put effort into selling your home. It’s a short amount of time that will pay off.

– Update, Clean out, Fresh air and pleasant scents are key.

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