This checklist for preparing your home for sale is quite detailed.
A. The Exterior of your Home
- Cut, edge and fertilize the lawn.
- Trim bushes & trees removing all dead limbs & debris.
- Add low cost, colorful and seasonal foliage.
- Remove all weeds from flower beds, rocks, & cracks in concrete.
- Install/ Inspect decorative metal or stone borders between lawn & planting beds.
- Add more rock or more mulch to garden beds.
2. Decks, Patios, Driveways, Porches, & Fences
- Wash driveways & sidewalks.
- Patch holes & cracks in concrete or asphalt.
- Replace any broken areas in fencing or decking.
- Paint and stain fences & decks.
- Arrange outdoor furniture & firewood neatly.
- Put away all lawn equipment, bikes, & toys.
- Make any repairs or updates to all equipment
- Remove debris from the street in front of your home, hose it down if the municipality doesn’t street sweep.
- Inspect all exterior elements of home: gutters, downspouts, siding, windows sashes, trim, & shutters. Clean, paint, and/or replace as needed.
- Replace any broken windows, doors, & screens. Make sure they all operate properly.
- Clean windows & screens thoroughly inside and out. This helps brighten the home inside.
- Roof: Inspect for missing/ damaged shingles & flashings. Make any necessary repairs.
- Clean & touch up paint on the little things: House numbers, mailboxes, doorbells, etc…
4. Front Porch: Extra Attention Needed! This should be very welcoming.
- Replace front door if damaged & can not be repaired.
- Paint door & trim.
- Clean porch, make any necessary repairs (depending on type of materials the porch is made from).
- Put out a new doormat.
- Depending on space, decorate with hanging or potted plants, chairs, etc.
- Have a nice porch light that uses high wattage bulbs to make porch area brighter.
B. The Interior of your Home
1. Whole Home Improvements
- Clean and repair windows & screens.
- Clean curtains, drapes, & blinds, replace if necessary.
- Clean carpets, professionally, if necessary. If not salvageable, replace.
- Clean & wax wood floors, repair any stained beyond cleaning.
- Clean vinyl & ceramic floors.
- Clean, paint, replace all vent covers.
- Clean, polish, paint/stain wood trim in home.
- Have a friend come in once cleaning is done and advise if there are any lingering pet or smoke odors. Re-Clean areas where there are.
- Remove dated wallpaper & borders.
- Repair damages to walls & ceilings. Includes: holes, cracks, & water stains.
- Freshly paint home using white, off white or beige paint, or a light, neutral color.
- Clean all lamp shades & covers and replace bulbs with a higher wattage, if possible.
- Have all home systems inspected: HVAC, electrical, plumbing, roof; and have any necessary maintenance or repairs completed. Keep a file of documentation to provide proof of what was done.
- Have all appliances maintained and repaired. This includes hot water heater, laundry and kitchen appliances. Replace any beyond repair.
- Completely empty out all closets and sort items.
- Pack up out of season clothing, coats and shoes.
- Pack anything not necessary to live for the time period you’ll have the home listed.
- Leave only a few items on the floor of closets.
- Neatly arrange items on shelving.
- Leave extra space on shelves.
3. Pay Attention to the Little Things
- Tighten loose door knobs.
- Tighten loose towel racks.
- Oil any squeaky doors or drawers.
- Arrange furniture to give an open feel. Remove any unnecessary or oversized furniture.
- Make sure all switches & outlets are clean & working properly.
- Make sure windows open & close without squeaking.
- Keep expensive personal items with you, including prescription medication.
4. Kitchen & Baths
- Thoroughly clean all countertops, appliances, mirrors, ovens, sinks, toilets, tub, & shower walls.
- Store small appliances to open up counter space.
- Clear off vanity countertops & store all personal care items neatly.
- Clean ventilating hood & exhaust fans.
- Remove rust stains.
- If old and dated, replace knobs on drawers & cabinets.
- Clean & organize drawers, cabinets, & linen closets.
- Clean all tile grout & caulk. Re-caulk if necessary.
5. Garage, Basement, Attic, & Storage Areas
- Clean out all storage areas, throw away or donate anything you no longer need or use.
- Thoroughly clean storage areas, garage and attic. If finished, consider painting white to make them appear larger. Paint garage floors with a sealant.
- Arrange and organize remaining items.
- Wipe off dirt/cobwebs from water heater, furnace, washer & dryer.
- If you have a basement, make sure it’s water problem free.