Preparing Your Home


Staging your home means preparing your home to look its best. Is it really important?
You bet!  With so many homes to choose from, your home must truly shine! You only have one chance to impress the buyer.  Remember that typically a buyer will see many homes in a single day, as many as 50-60 in a weekend!  Your home must make such an impression on the buyer that he or she will remember it after a busy day.

Studies have shown that a staged home sells in less time and for more money than the average home.

Preparing your home to sell: Exterior

“If you have an average house you will receive an average offer”

Below are some suggestions for preparing your home to sell.  Not all will apply to your particular home.  I will go over the list with you to come up with the best way to put your home in the front of all the rest! Getting top dollar for your house requires seeing your property through the eyes of a prospective buyer. It’s the little things you do that enhance the value to the buyer


  • Pressure wash your home to brighten color and remove mildew and dirt build-up
  • Re-paint front door (if necessary) to make a good first impression
  • Check hardware/tighten and make sure keys work properly
  • Paint all faded siding, window trim, and shutters
  • Repair or replace and repaint all damaged siding
  • Check all gutters and downspouts – clean out and paint, if necessary
  • Replace broken or cracked window panes and screens
  • Wash windows to remove dirt, cobwebs, insect nests
  • Check mailbox – replace if broken or if not in good condition
  • Replace exterior entry light if out-dated
  • Pressure wash sidewalks and driveways to remove unsightly stains, mildew


  • Keep lawn freshly mowed and trimmed
  • Edge and trim lawn next to sidewalks and driveways
  • Remove toys, bicycles, wagons, garden hoses from lawn
  • Reseed or sod bare, unsightly areas
  • Keep lawns watered for a lush appearance
  • Remove or replace any dead shrubs, hedges or trees
  • Skirt any trees that block view of property
  • Add color and charm with seasonal flowers in pots or along beds
  • Re-mulch landscaping for a fresh curb appearance


  • Pressure wash decks and patios
  • Replace rotten wood, loose rails on decks, reseal if necessary

Preparing your home to sell: Interior



  • No room in the house has a greater impact on the buyer than the kitchen. It should sparkle and shine.
  • Oven, cooktops, ventilating hood should be spotlessly cleaned, inside and out
  • Replace badly worn floor with new flooring
  • Wipe down walls, floors, sinks and fixtures until they shine
  • Clean and polish cabinets (consider painting dull, dark cabinets)
  • Remove clutter from counter tops to make counter space and room look larger
  • Remove photos and magnets from refrigerator front
  • Wash windows
  • Remove any wallpapers of unique color and design and replace or paint with neutrals that will appeal to more buyers
  • Repair any dripping faucets and slow running drains


  • The condition of the bathroom speaks volumes to a buyer about the overall condition of the property.
  • Wipe down walls, floors, bathtubs, sinks,  toilets, and shower stalls until they shine
  • Replace old caulking around bathtubs
  • Keep all mirrors shining
  • Clean all light-bulbs that are exposed (use clear bulbs for a brighter look)


  • Remove any old ashes
  • Polish fireplace tools, screens and doors
  • Pile logs neatly in fireplace


  • Wash interior windows – make sure all windows open and close
  • Have walls in top shape, repair any hairline cracks and nail pops
  • If any bookcases, drapery rods, window treatments or fixtures are moving with your, remove  them and repair all damage before marketing your property
  • Check ceilings for leak stains, repair cause of leak, repair ceiling, and repaint
  • Replace all burned out light bulbs
  • Make certain every light switch works
  • Make certain all sliding doors are in tracks (rub tracks with paraffin or candle wax for easier   movement)
  • Clean carpets, pay careful attention to heavy traffic areas and stains
  • If you have pets or if you smoke, seek odor eliminating products and spray daily, clean draperies and carpets to remove deep odors
  • Repaint walls if they are a unique, bold color or if they are dingy and drab, use neutral colors
  • Clean switch plates and wall plates
  • Make sure all floors shine
  • Tighten stair banisters


  • Clean out attic, basement and garage and dispose of everything you are not going to move
  • Package everything you won’t need until you’re settled in your new home
  • Make sure there is plenty of light on the stairs to the basement
  • If your basement is dark and gloomy, paint ceilings and walls a light color and put in highest  wattage bulbs you can safely use
  • Repair cracks in the basement floor
  • Clean garage floor and oil spills
  • Stack items neatly and close to the walls so basement will look larger (do not stack against  wall, leave enough room for viewing)

Showing Checklist


Below is a list of things to remember to check the day your home is being shown.


  • Keep draperies and blinds open to let in light
  • Turn on all lamps in every room, even during the day to brighten them if a buyer is coming
  • Turn on all hallway and stairwell lights, turn on lights in closets, over counter tops and cook  tops
  • At night, turn on porch lights and outdoor lighting


  • Add bowls of fresh fruit to counter tops and fresh flowers to table
  • Create fragrant aromas; fresh baked cookies, brewed coffee, or cinnamon simmering on the  stove
  • Set the table with attractive, color coordinated place mats, napkins, china


  • Make sure the bathroom counters and mirrors are clean
  • Remove all everyday toiletries from counter tops and shower
  • Display fresh, color coordinated towels and shower curtains
  • Place new soap in all soap dishes


  • Have soft music playing but no television