Preparing Your Home to Sell

It is surprising what potential buyers notice when viewing a home for sale. You might not think a few cobwebs on the ceiling fan matter, but when buyers see areas that appear neglected, they often begin to wonder about the overall condition and maintenance of the home.

Increasing your home's appeal

Remember the 60-second rule: That is all the time you have to create a winning first impression! Here are some simple, yet significant ways to maximize your home's appeal.


  1. Keep the grass cut and apply fresh mulch to flower beds.
  2. Apply fresh paint to wooden fences and porch rails.
  3. Tighten and clean all door handles.
  4. Clean windows, inside and out.
  5. Power wash home's exterior.
  6. Ensure all gutters and downspouts are firmly attached and functioning.
  7. Paint the front door.
  8. Buy a new welcome mat.
  9. Place potted flowers near the front door.
  10. Clean lawn furniture and make outdoor spaces look inviting.

manicured lawn home for sale


Evaluate the furniture in each room and remove anything that interrupts "the flow" or makes the room appear smaller. Consider renting a storage unit to move items off-site.

  1. Clean and organize cabinets, closets and bookshelves.
  2. Clean all light fixtures and ceiling fans.
  3. Shampoo or replace carpets.
  4. Remove excessive wall hangings and knick-knacks.
  5. Repair all plumbing leaks, including faucets and drain traps.
  6. Make minor repairs (torn screens, sticking doors, cracked caulking).
  7. Clean or paint walls and ceilings.
  8. Replace worn cabinet and door knobs.
  9. Fix or replace discolored grout.
  10. Replace broken tiles.
  11. Replace worn countertops.

Special details for showings

  1. Turn on all lights.
  2. Open all drapes and shutters in the daytime.
  3. Keep pets secured outdoors.
  4. Buy new towels for bathrooms.
  5. Buy new bedding for bedrooms.
  6. Replace old lamps or lampshades.
  7. Play quiet background music.
  8. Light the fireplace or clean out the ashes and light a candelabrum.
  9. Infuse home with a comforting scent, but nothing too strong as buyers will wonder what is being "covered up."
  10. Set the dining room table for a fancy dinner party.
  11. Vacate the property while it is being shown.