Checklist for Preparing Your Home For Sale

This checklist for preparing your home for sale is quite detailed.

A. The Exterior of your Home

Checklist for Preparing Your Home For Sale1. The Yard, front and back

  • 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.

3. House

    • 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.

2. Closets

  • 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.

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