Preparing Your Home For Sale

First impressions are important!

The House Interior

  • Kitchens, bathrooms, floors and woodwork are the key. Keep these areas clean and in good condition.
  • Keep ovens, stoves or surface units and all porcelain or stainless steel clean. Cabinet counter tops should be clean and kitchen accessories in order. Remove unnecessary clutter from counter tops.
  • Whether you have hardwood floors, wall to wall carpet, tile or any combination, keeping them clean is important. Mop or sweep hardwood or tile. Vacuum carpets thoroughly, clean if needed.
  • Bathrooms are of great importance in the overall appearance of your home. If grout between tile has cracked and fallen out, it is best to recaulk those areas.
  • Replace old furnace filters and remove any dust accumulations from heat registers or vent covers.
  • If doors stick or folding doors are off track, repair them.
  • Storage is important to any prospective homeowner. Cluttered closets and other storage areas may accentuate a storage problem, especially in homes without basements. Clean out closets. Pack items you do not use, leaving only those needed before you move.
  • If any rooms within the house are dark during daylight hours, keep curtains or drapes open and if necessary, keep a lamp on. Also, make sure that all windows are clean and gleaming. A bright, cheerful room is pleasing and gives an air of spaciousness.
  • If interior painting is necessary, use neutral colors.
  • Replace any burned out light bulbs, especially in the basement or darker rooms.
  • Tighten door knobs, window fittings and other hardware.
  • Do not hide a problem; it will come back to haunt you. Cracks in walls or concrete, broken appliances, roof leaks or wet basements should be repaired.
  • Keep all steps clear of any hazards.
  • Make up beds with attractive spreads and dress up any windows in freshly laundered curtains.
  • Keep pets out of way during showings.
  • Pack personal collections and photos. Too much seller personality prevents buyers from taking “personal possession” of a home.
  • Put jewelry, checkbooks and other valuables in a secure place.

The House Exterior

  • Your front door gives a vital first impression. A little linseed oil will freshen up stained wood. If painted, wash with soap and water. If paint or varnish is chipped or peeling, a fresh coat of paint may be in good order.
  • Repair any torn screens or replace existing ones.
  • Hose off or pressure wash exterior wood and trim.
  • If gutters or exterior wood are in need of paint because of obvious cracking, peeling or chipping, it is best to
  • Repair those condensation areas.
  • If you have window air conditioning units, wipe them clean and remove any rust that may have accumulated around condensation areas.
  • If you have an outside patio or deck, make sure any lawn furniture, gas grills or exposed wood are in good repair.
  • The Yards and Grounds
  • Keep the yard cut and trimmed.
  • Trim and shape the shrubs if necessary.
  • Keep the area around the garbage cans neat and free of trash.
  • Stack woodpiles neatly.
  • Keep drives and walks swept free from pine straw, limbs, oil stains, etc.
  • Put a fresh layer of pine straw on pine islands.
  • Keep surface water drainage areas and natural streams free from debris that may cause water to stand or stagnate.
  • Pick up toys, tools, bicycles, etc.


  • Leave property showings to your agent. The agent’s business is to sell; the agent can overcome objections and highlight your home’s features better without your help.
  • It is best for you to leave when your home is being shown if at all possible.
  • Never try to sell furniture to a customer before the house is sold.
  • Do not discuss anything concerning your sale with a customer. Refer customers back to the agent.