Remember First impressions ALWAYS count. Prospective buyers will come to your property and go through your home with a fine toothed comb. You should take the time and have a stager / interior designer go through your home and give you a list of things that you should do prior to putting your home on the market. Then you should execute what you can on their list, remember the agent and the stager only have your best interests at heart and want you to sell your home at the highest price possible. Your home will not only show much better than other properties on the market but it will also gain a huge competitive advantage just by spending a little time and money.

The following is a checklist of tips and comments that will assist you in preparing your home for sale.

First Impressions / Exterior Maintenance

  • In the summer, make sure your lawn is cut and raked, the gardens and flower pots are weeded and watered so they aren’t wilting, the hedges and shrubs are trimmed, if you have a pool make sure it is clean and clear, sweep cob webs from the front door and light fixtures and sweep the walkway / veranda / patio / door step.
  • In the Fall, rake the leaves, cut down any dead or dying plants from the garden, sweep the walkway / veranda / patio / doorstep.
  • In the Winter, clear the snow and salt walkways if required.
  • Ensure the garage door is in working order and clean.
  • Ensure the entrance to your home is clean and tidy – put boots and coats in the closet out of site.
  • Make sure your front door handle is clean and working.
  • Make sure your doorbell works.
  • Ensure the air in your home smells fresh – especially after cooking.

Interior Maintenance

  • Clean the furnace filter.
  • Touch up any painting.
  • Replace any broken baseboards.
  • Replace any burned out light bulbs and ensure that there is adequate lighting in every room.
  • Tighten any loose door knobs.
  • Clean light fixtures.
  • Polish every “shiny” surface.
  • Repair any caulking that may be missing pieces or is moldy.
  • Repair any cracked tiles.


  • Empty the garbage before every showing.
  • Repair any leaky taps or toilets.
  • Polish every “shiny” surface.
  • Repair any caulking that may be missing pieces or is moldy.
  • Repair any cracked tiles.
  • Make sure the Vanity is clear from clutter.
  • Clean everything of course.
  • Ensure that your towels are clean and matching.


  • Repair any caulking that may be missing pieces or is moldy.
  • Repair any cracked tiles.
  • Clean the appliances and if they are stainless steel make sure you polish them so they sparkle.
  • Polish every “shiny” surface.
  • Ensure your countertops do not have small appliances on them and they are clear and clean.
  • Make sure there are no dirty dishes in the sink and the sink is cleaned.
  • Hide any clutter there may be.
  • Wash down your cabinet doors.

For Viewings and Open Houses – Creating the Right Atmosphere

  • Turn on all the lights – including outside light if it is in the evening.
  • In the summer, make sure the air conditioning is on if you have one, to make it comfortable for the potential buyers. If you do not have an air conditioner, leave a few windows open if possible.
  • If you have a fireplace and it is winter, turn it on as nobody can resist a beautiful fire on a cold day.
  • Make sure all your hallways, floors and stairs are clear of clutter.
  • Make sure your closets are neat and tidy, just in case the potential buyer would like to see closet / storage space.
  • Sweep or vacuum the floors.
  • Make sure the air smells good in your home.
  • Clean kitty litter, if necessary.
  • If the viewing is during the day, open the drapes.
  • Remove or contain pets if possible.
  • Try to be out of the house during these times as it allows the potential Buyers to talk freely to their realtor and they will not rush through your home feeling uncomfortable that you are there and potentially missing the best details of your home.
  • Ensure any valuables are either with you or put away out of site.
  • Ensure all your dishes are washed, even the ones in the dishwasher as a Buyer could open the door to the dishwasher.
  • Have some light music playing, if possible.

Your home may be worth more than you think

Find out today