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.

3 Ways to Let Your Renters Customize Without Breaking The Bank

One complaint that renters often have is they can’t personalize their space. As a landlord, your first worry is protecting your investment, so allowing a tenant to make changes to your property, changes that could adversely affect its value, isn’t on your to do list. However, there are a few things that you could let the tenant do that won’t kill your investment.


3 Ways to Let Your Renters Customize Without Breaking The BankOne way to let your renters customize is you could let them paint. Paint is something that is easily “undone” for the next tenant or for sale down the line.

Paint is also something that makes people feel at home. If you are uncomfortable with just saying “sure, go ahead”, then set some limits. It is your property and tell the tenant that you get the final say on paint colors. Also keep in mind that if the paint chosen is, well, questionable, you can use the security deposit to fix it down the line. Remind the tenant that using the security deposit could be a possibility. But paint is an easy fix in the end.

Plant flowers, etc.

One way to further let them personalize their space is to let them plant flowers, shrubs and other landscaping. Many people enjoy working in gardens, and for the most part landscaping or even hardscaping will improve the value of your property. Keep in mind any restrictions set by a homeowners association or the municipality, and let the tenant know those restrictions.

Beautiful flower gardens make people feel at home, relax them and make the neighbors happy as well! It’s another change that can be an easy fix down the line. You can also make any garden choices contingent on your approval so it is a good way to let your renters customize.

Installing pet door

If you have tenants that have pets, and you approved those pets, installing a dog or cat door might be something they want to do. It can be an easy install and easy fix later. Make this change contingent on a few things. First, security. If the property is in an area where easy access to the house is not a good idea, then nix it. Second, the change must be ok’d and it must be reversed upon move out, or you will do so with the security deposit.

Any of these 3 things are an easy fix in the end, you have the security deposit to fall back on, and they will keep your tenant happy. And a happy tenant stays and pays!

What Color Should You Paint Your Kitchen

Kitchens are the heart of most homes. Choosing a color for your kitchen will help set the mood for your home daily. So, what colors should you choose to paint your kitchen? Well, that depends on quite a few things.

What Color Should You Paint Your KitchenStart with what colors there are in the things you can’t easily change in your kitchen. Thinks like tile, counter colors or flooring colors or choices. Finding colors that complement them is a good idea. Unless you are ready to change everything, then you can start with a fresh slate. In that case consider things like the size of your kitchen. If it is small you might want to use lighter colors or white. It will make the space seem bigger. A large kitchen has enough space that bold or dark colors can be chosen without making the room feel small. Neutral colors or earth tones are also a good choice because you can change appliances without having to repaint.

If you want to use color to set a mood, try these suggestions. Cheerful colors are reds. They are warm and passionate. Oranges and yellows are as well. Yellows are also considered friendly and sunny. With all these colors don’t go overboard. Use different tones, or accent walls with them.

If you want to go with more calming colors to paint your kitchen, think blues. Blues have many tones and shades and can go from bold sapphires to calming pale cornflower blues. Blue also complements yellow, and can be a great way to “settle out” an overwhelmingly cheerful yellow kitchen. Greens also are calming, but also can make the room feel refreshed. From vibrant emerald or pine greens to beautiful sea foam greens, it is also another great way to tone down an orange or yellow.

Your choice of color for your kitchen comes as much from your personal taste as the style of your home. Try out a few from paint store testers and see what works, but always make your kitchen color set the mood for your home and family.