Preparing Your Home for Sale
Creating a warm, welcome feeling inside your home increases its desirability. View your home with a critical eye. Clean, complete minor repairs, and add finishing touches. A clean house with working appliances and no evident problems indicates to a potential buyer that the house has been well maintained.
Preparing the Interior
Doors and Windows
- Consider adding a fresh coat of paint to your front door.
- Polish brass fixtures and be sure door locks work properly.
- Oil hinges to both doors and windows.
- Keep stairways tidy and secure handrail.
- Repair or replace bent or damaged screens and window glass.
- Cut back outdoor plants that restrict natural light or seem to crowd the house.
- Keep windows clean and tidy with draperies firmly affixed and in proper working order.
Floors and Carpets
- Repair or replace missing or damaged tile, hardwood, vinyl and baseboards.
- Steam-clean or shampoo carpets.
- Secure loose carpeting and replace damaged areas.
- Be conscious of odors caused by dampness, high-traffic areas or pets.
Closets and Storage Areas
- Ample storage space increases the desirability of the home.
- Keep closets tidy.
- Discard any unnecessary items and consider storing those you do not use frequently.
Bedrooms and Living Areas
- Keep living areas clean and inviting.
- Arrange furniture to allow a spacious atmosphere.
- Make beds, arrange couch cushions, dust shelves, vacuum carpets and touch-up walls with paint or spackling as necessary.
- Wallpaper should be clean and adhere smoothly to the walls.
- Finishing touches such as flowers or candles add to the home's house warming appeal.
Kitchens and Bathrooms
- Clear counters, drawers and cabinets of unnecessary items.
- Clean soap dishes, mirrors, faucets and appliances (inside and out).
- Store cleaning supplies and hang freshly washed towels.
- Be conscious of odors caused by dampness, hampers, garbage and various foods.
Counters and Cabinets
- Store infrequently used counter-top items to allow a spacious look in the kitchen and bathroom.
- Keep drawers and cabinets tidy and organized.
Garage or Workshop
- Items should be neatly stored in shelving or wall units.
- Allow appropriate space for the home buyer to visualize their vehicle or workbench.
- Consider moving excess or over-sized items to mini-storage.
Preparing the Exterior
- Replace missing slats, stakes and posts.
- Repair broken hinges and paint or stain the fence if necessary.
- Mow, trim and fertilize the lawn.
- Weed flower beds and replace dead plants and trees.
- Place new barkdust on beds where needed.
Driveway, Garage, Carport
- Clean up grease or oil spots on concrete surfaces.
- Make sure the garage door(s) opens freely and the automatic door opener is working.
- Provide an unobstructed view of your home from the street by not parking cars, boats or other vehicles in the driveway.
- Polish door handles and door knockers.
- Replace worn or broken items, such as an unsightly mailbox or rusty doorbell.
- Be sure porch lights are working and add welcoming features such as a new door mat and flowering plants.
- Paint the door and fix any trim if required.
Siding and Trim
- Consider painting the highlight features of your home, such as trim work, shutters, gutters, down spouts and railings.
- If necessary, add a fresh coat of exterior paint to the exterior siding.
- Remove debris such as tree branches and leaves.
- Straighten the TV antenna if present.
- Make any necessary repairs to worn shingles or cracked surfaces.
- Flowering plants and outdoor furniture add appeal.
- Remove any unnecessary items such as gardening equipment.
- Tidy any visible items, such as an outdoor grill or barbecue.