Preparing Your Home For Sale

Clean, Clean and Clean Some More – Indoors and Out

We recommend a deep whole-house cleaning. There is nothing like walking through a clean house to show off all of the features while emphasizing that a prospective buyer won’t have to do much to move in. really helps your home be more attractive to a buyer. Think about your own home searches and view your house as a buyer will see it as they walk through your home and make assumptions about how well you have maintained the home, often based on how clean the home is.

Don’t forget these important items:

  • Weed, rake, mow and trim the outside of your home
  • Paint the front door to freshen it’s appearance
  • Wash windows and remove screens placing them in the attic or neatly in the garage.
  • Oil squeaky door hinges and replace rubber kick stops
  • Clean light fixtures as well as receptacle and switch plates
  • Clean the appliances inside and out
  • Dust and clean drapes, blinds and louvers

Get a pre-sale home inspection


The buyer is going to hire an inspector – why not beat them to the punch and get an inspection before you go on market. This way you’ll learn of any surprises before buyers come calling and you can have the repairs made on your terms and within your budget. Buyers always over estimate the cost of repairs so make them a non issue right up front.

Repair, replace and repaint as necessary

Go through your home and make a list of all items that need to be repaired, replaced or repainted. A few items of note:

  • Doorknobs (interior and exterior)
  • Doorbells, locks, and cabinet knobs
  • Toilets, leaky faucets, and slow drains
  • Window sash cords, locks, and storm windows
  • Superficial cracks on the walls or ceiling
  • All appliances
  • Peeling wallpaper or paint (more on paint later)

Declutter and Remove Personal Property

We all have stuff and most of us like to have pictures of family and loved ones but when selling your home you want to make the home look as large as possible while giving the buyer an opportunity to try the home on for size by not having other peoples loved ones staring back at them as they walk through your home.

Be sure to go through attics, closets, garage and outbuildings to remove unnecessary items – if possible rent a self storage unit. Many national companies give you the first month for a dollar or free. If you leave all of your stuff in your home you’ll be screaming to prospective buyers there isn’t enough room for our stuff.

  • Old or out of season clothing, coats, hats, mittens, shoes and boots
  • Wall hangings and posters that don’t have a wall to live on
  • On counter appliances
  • Books, collectibles or collections
  • Sports and recreational equipment that may be currently in use as a clothes hangar

Paint, Paint and more Paint

The adage goes paint is worth a couple of dollars in the can and thousands on the wall. Painting is the “improvement” project that has the most immediate impact on the price you’ll get for your home than any other improvement project. Not only does paint make a room feel fresher and cleaner but it reinforces that the home is well maintained.

Neutralize intense color palettes. You may love that Terracotta and teal blue wall but many a buyer may find it off putting and leaving them with the feeling of yet one more thing they’ll need to do before they can move in.

Along with the walls and trim of the interior you should pay attention to

  • Home’s exterior
  • Exterior trim
  • Mailbox
  • Downspouts and gutters
  • Exterior light fixtures