Home Preparation Basics
- Repair all broken items. Take the time to make the small repairs around your home that you have been lagging on. Look around your home and try to imagine it from the buyers perspective. Taking the time to repair holes in the wall, replace broken windows, put some WD-40 on squeaky doors and make any necessary general repairs.
- Make sure your windows are clean and functioning properly. Clean windows bring more light into your home and make smaller spaces look bigger.
- To eliminate lingering bad odors, empty your garbage daily.
- Remove all family photos to create space and cut down on clutter. Potential buyers will want to imagine their own things in your home and by eliminating personal mementos you give them the ability to place themselves into those spaces.
- Create a welcoming fragrance in your home by using light scents to remove bad odors which may discourage potential buyers. Place a few candles around in strategic places like by the garbage in the kitchen, in bathrooms and entryways. Lighting them before a showing can create an enticing environment when entering the home, but, be careful not to overdo. Another idea: bake some cookies or bread prior to a showing.
- Eliminate pet odors and keep pets, food and water dishes, and toys out of the way.
- Keep your floors and walls sparkling clean by vacuuming carpets and hardwood floors, scrubbing and cleaning tiles and grout all over your house. This will be one example to buyers that your home is well taken care of.
Safety For Home Sellers
- Store valuables for safekeeping.
- Store prescription medications or any over-the-counter medications for safekeeping.
- Keep all windows and doors closed.
- If someone comes to your door and asks to see your home, let them know they need to make an appointment with an agent.
Low-Cost Ways to Make Your Home's Buyers Say WOW!
These quick and easy, low-cost strategies will help make your home more appealing and are sure to have your potential buyers saying WOW!
- Create more space in your house by either rearranging furniture or moving to other rooms.
- Remove and store seasonal and seldom-used clothes from closets.
- Rent a storage space. Remove all visible storage boxes from closets and garage.
- Use mirrors generously. A mirror at the end of a long hallway makes the home look bigger. A mirror opposite the bathroom vanity pushes walls back and makes small bathrooms appear bigger.
Individual Room Checklists
- Wash the bathroom counters and clear any clutter. Place toothbrush(s), knickknacks, soap, razors and miscellaneous items in a drawer or cabinet.
- Leave out a new bottle of hand soap or a clean bar of soap together with a hand towel.
- Folding towels in thirds on the rack give a good impression. Purchase new towels if necessary.
- Leave shower stalls and tubs empty save for the necessities.
- Always keep the toilet lid closed.
- Keep garbage cans empty and cleaning supplies out of sight.
- No drips! Repair all plumbing, faucets, running toilets.
- Clean or repair/replace worn caulking around tubs, sinks, countertops.
- The shower curtain should be clean or replaced with a new one.
- All cracking peeling areas should be repaired and moldy areas cleaned. If necessary repaint these areas.
- Make your showers and tubs look sparkling clean and neat by giving them a fresh bead of silicone caulking at the edges.
- Make the beds daily and if necessary replace beddings. Arrange pillows nicely on top of the bed and store any extra bedding, stuffed animals, etc.
- Leave nothing on nightstands, dressers, etc.
- Remove all clothes from the bedroom floors and keep any magazines, books or any other materials under the beds.
- Close all closet doors. For walk-in closets, maintain clean floors and remove any laundry and clutter from the floor.
- Ensure the closets’ doors open without creaking sounds. Also keep the closets neat by arranging items well. Purchase baskets or hanging organizers to help maintain a neat and clean space.
Den, Family room, Living room, Sunroom
- Ensure coffee tables and end tables are cleared and clean.
- Keep pet bowls out of sight.
- On the dining tables, leave only a centerpiece or other decorative items.
- Make the room look bigger by removing extra table leaves and storing
- Minimize all clutter and unnecessary items from countertops and put in cabinets or drawers
- Purchase organizers for cabinets and drawers to create a cleaner look and help smaller spaces appear to have more room.
- Remove and store all small kitchen appliances like toaster, blender, coffee maker
- Take all pictures, magnets, drawings, etc off of the refrigerator and store.
- Fix any broken counters and grout any loose tiles.
- Ensure the stovetop and oven are clean.
- Clean and empty the kitchen sink and counters.
- Remove all soaps, sponges and supplies from the sink and keep them out of sight.
- Check that all the bulbs are working properly and replace with high wattage bulbs if more light is needed.
Outside the house
- Repair any broken fences and repaint if necessary.
- Paint or stain your front door. You may also retouch or repaint the house exterior.
- Pick up and store any clutter in your lawn.
- Remove/Replace dead plants, remove weeds.
- Create an inviting entrance by putting mixed planters near the front door.
- Sweep walkways clean.
- Sweep and organize the garage so that it is neat.
- Arrange patio furniture into a warm inviting living space.