Preparing To Sell Your Home

Getting Prepared

One of the great challenges to selling a home can be showing all of its space and natural light potential. This can be accomplished by de-personalizing the home so the potential buyer can envision their belongings in the home.

Begin by evaluating which areas can be de-cluttered. Go through clothes, shoes, etc., and get rid of anything that can create more space. You can donate these items or even have a yard sale!  Organize shelves and other areas to make better use of your storage space, including your garage. 

Although most sellers keep their homes clean and well-decorated, it can be difficult to convince a buyer of a home's potential when clutter is noticeable.   I will walk thru each room of your home with you and tell you what needs to be done.  Once you've gone thru your list of requirements, I'll come back and we can stage your home before the professional photographer comes to take the photos.

There may be repairs that need to be done prior to putting your home on the market.  I will talk to you about these repairs so we can maximize the $$$ you'll receive from the sale of your home.

Home Improvements

What home improvements really pay off when the time comes to sell your house?

That’s an important question for any homeowner contemplating moving. And the only possible answer is a somewhat complicated one.

That answer starts with the fact that really major improvements – room additions, total replacements of kitchens and baths, etc. - rarely pay off fully in the near term. It ends with the fact that small and relatively inexpensive changes can pay off in a big way in making your home attractive to buyers if your decision is to move now.

Probably the most basic rule of all is the one that says you should never – unless you absolutely don’t care at all about eventual resale value – improve a house to the point where its desired sales price would be more than 20 percent higher than the most expensive of the other houses in the immediate neighborhood.

Here are some other rules worth remembering:

        Never rearrange the interior of your house in a way that reduces the total number of bedrooms to less than three.

        Never add a third bathroom to a two-bath house unless you don’t care about ever recouping your investment.

        Swimming pools will not return what you spent to install them.  Make sure your value is in the enjoyment you've received in using the pool.  

If you decide to do what’s usually the smart thing and move rather than improve, it’s often the smaller, relatively inexpensive improvements that turn out to be most worth doing.

The cost of replacing a discolored toilet bowl, making sure all the windows work or getting rid of dead trees and shrubs is trivial compared with adding a bathroom, but such things can have a big and very positive impact on prospective buyers. I can help you decide which expenditures make sense and which don’t, and can save you a lot of money in the process.

Showing Checklist

Fully preparing your home for sale can make a considerable difference in the time it takes to sell it. You can help eliminate buyer objections before they arise by making necessary repairs and improvements, some of which are suggested below.


  •  Spruce up the outdoors; trim shrubbery and replace dead plants.
  •  Yard and patio should be neat; outdoor furniture should be clean and in good shape.  Doggie doo-doo needs to go away.
  •  Clean or paint your front door - remember first impressions last longest!
  •  Manicure your front yard, driveway and entry - you can’t sell what you can’t see.


  • Check that address numbers, mailbox, and exterior lighting are all in good repair.
  • Touch up with fresh paint as needed.
  • Repair loose trim, gutters/downspouts and fencing.
  • Clean stains; clean window screens.


  • Remove clutter; tidy up shelves.
  • Wash floor so it looks clean and spacious.

Living Areas

  •  Apply fresh paint as needed…brighten your interiors with neutral-toned paint.
  •  Clean windows, window coverings and carpets. 
  •  Replace burned out light bulbs.
  •  Remove all personal photos from the walls.


  •  Sinks, appliances and counter tops should sparkle without any clutter.
  •  Have the tile floors and grout steamed cleaned.
  •  Clean oven, range and other appliances.
  •  Organize the pantry & under the sink making certain there are no water stains/leaks in that area.


  •  Clean mirrors, glass, chrome and porcelain/hard surfaces.
  •  Replace shower curtain if necessary.
  •  Fix any faucet drips or leaks.
  •  Clean tile, grout and caulking; replace if necessary.
  •  Remove unneccessary personal items from the tops of the vanity.


  • Doors and drawers should open and close easily.
  • Remove clutter; tidy up shelves and racks.
  • Shoes and clothes should be neatly arranged.


  • Check the basics around the house. It takes just a minute to check all doors, windows and cabinets to make sure they don’t stick, squeak or are too loose.
  • Clean your HVAC system (replace the filters) & water heater, so buyers know they are looking at a house that has been well maintained.

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