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How to prepare your home for sale

A buyer's first impression begins when driving up to the home.

  • Keep your grass cut and edged
  • Trim and shape hedges and shrubs
  • Freshen up or re-mulch the landscape at the front door
  • Remove dead or dying plants
  • In winter, shovel walks and steps
  • In summer, plant colorful flowers and keep their beds in order
  • Keep children's outside toys out of sight when not in use

A buyer's first impression upon entering the front door is influenced by many things.

  • Clean your home thoroughly, including carpeting and windows, and keep it neat
  • Maintain your thermostat at a comfortable temperature
  • Turn on lights and open window treatments to make your home's interior feel light and cheery
  • Remove all non-essential items that might be perceived as “clutter” (ie: an excessive amount of family pictures, rarely used kitchen or bathroom items, etc...)
  • Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms
    • Keep countertops clear of clutter
    • Organize closets, cabinets and drawers to display their spaciousness
    • Shine chrome, wipe mirrors clean, neatly hang towels
    • Replace range reflectors
  • Consider removing some furniture from rooms to give them a feeling of increased size; rent a storage facility and/or have a garage sale, if necessary
  • Clean and organize the garage and basement
  • Be aware of unpleasant odors (ie: strong cooking smells, baby's room, smoke, and pets)
  • Pleasant smelling candles, potpourri, baking bread or cookies all help to create a welcoming atmosphere
  • Keep pet cages and beds clean and odor free, and consider confining pets during the times your home is being shown

Buyers do not want to purchase others' problems, so make all necessary repairs.

  • Paint a fresh coat on the front door
  • Consider touch up paint for the entire home, inside and out
  • Repair or replace any inoperable appliances
  • Make sure the doorbell works
  • Make sure all locks are operable
  • Have your furnace serviced

Consider the following items while your house is on the market:

  • Be ready for your home to be shown on a moments' notice
  • Leave your home during showings when possible to allow potential buyers to feel themselves in your home
  • Secure all valuables and collectibles
  • Remove any fixtures that you do not plan to include in the sale

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