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How to Prepare Your Home For Sale


Remember the buyer’s first impression is critical

  • Is the exterior paint peeling?
  • Is the exterior siding in good condition?
  • Does the exterior color conform to the neighborhood?
  • Are the gutters and downspouts clear of debris?
  • Is the lawn green, neatly trimmed and edged?
  • Are the bushes trimmed, flowers planted and garden appealing?
  • Are the windows clean and unbroken?
  • Are the screens, missing, torn or sagging?
  • Do the doors squeak or stick?
  • Is there any unnecessary debris or toys in the yard?
  • Is the roof, porch, deck, or stoop structurally sound and in good condition?
  • Is the driveway and walkway free of ice and snow?
  • Is your pool and all of the pool equipment operable?


A neutral home sells more quickly

  • Are the walls off white or neutral in color?
  • Are the carpets beige or tan in color?

A home in move-in condition sells more quickly

  • Do the walls have scuffmarks or fingerprints?
  • Do the walls have a lot of pictures that will leave marks?
  • Are the carpets of an updated style?
  • Have the carpets experienced wear or developed traffic patterns?
  • Do the carpets need to be cleaned?
  • Are the vinyl/tile floors in good condition?
  • Do the hardwood floors need to be refinished?

A home should be ready for every showing

  • Do the closet doors open and close easily?
  • Are the closets neatly organized?
  • Are the kitchen appliances and bathrooms clean?
  • Has any unnecessary personal property been removed from the closets, basement, garage or any other areas of the house?
  • Are the carpets vacuumed?
  • Are the drapes or blinds open?
  • Do all the light bulbs work?
  • Are the pets put out of the way?
  • Have the personal touches, such as fresh flowers on the dining table, been completed?

A home with furnishings tends to sell more quickly

  • Personal belongings add to a home’s warmth and appeal. Therefore, try to sell your home when you are still living in it.

There is no guarantee of a 100% return

  • The money that is spent on improving a home’s marketability will not necessarily be matched dollar for dollar in what a buyer may be willing to pay.

There is an alternative for repairs

  • You can offer the potential buyer an allowance. This allows the buyer to make any changes or repairs to their preference.

Attempt to interview 2-3 agents prior to making your final listing decision. Each agent should present to you a market analysis detailing the most recent comparable sales in the area, competing listings currently on the market, positive and negative features of your home, suggested repairs and improvements to the home and the agents recommended listing price and their probable sales price.

The role of the listing agent is to:

  • Represent the seller.
  • Market your property in the most professional and efficient way.
  • Know the community (taxes, schools, shopping, etc.).
  • Know your home and be able to sell its assets.
  • Help you determine the value of your home and establish an appropriate list price.
  • Motivate the broker community thereby increasing showings.
  • Submit all feedback from showings.
  • Advertise and market the property on an ongoing, long-term basis.
  • Provide fix-up tips.
  • Submit all offers.
  • Help you negotiate.
  • Act as a buffer between other brokers and prospective buyers.
  • Follow through on contracts.

Follow through to closing on inspections, contingencies, and mortgage commitments.

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