Getting Ready To Sell

Getting your home ready to sell will be work, but the payoff is how much money you will get at closing, so roll up your sleeves and get busy.


What does the outside of your home say to buyers? Does it say “Welcome, this is a great place to live!” or does it say “Beware, there could be problems with this house.” The condition of your home’s exterior is most important when it comes to a buyer’s first impression of the home.

  • House number should be easy to read
  • Lights on timers to ensure house is lit up after sunset
  • Eaves troughs, and down spouts in good repair

  • Garage/car port clean and tidy

  • Litter picked up

  • Cracked or broken window panes replaced

  • A fresh coat of paint on the front door (buyer’s will stand at the entry for a few minutes while the house is being unlocked, make sure this area looks good)

  • Doorbell and door hardware in good repair

  • Touch up trim paint on doors, window frames, fascia, etc.
  • Trim bushes and plants as needed, and make sure the lawn is kept mowed and trimmed. In autumn, rake the leaves; in winter, keep the snow shoveled.

  • Seasonal flowers will add color and a personal touch.

  • Inspect the roof for necessary repairs and any visible broken shingles or tiles.

  • Dirty siding should be power washed.

  • Fences should be mended and painted.

  • Wash all windows inside and outside.


Rule number 1: I can not stress this enough – Clean, Clean, Clean! No one wants to buy someone else’s dirt (yuck) so make sure your home is sparkling clean and smells fresh. Then make your home warm, bright and welcoming.

  • Lights should be on and drapes should be left open during daylight

  • Heat set at a comfortable temperature, Air conditioner turned on in warm weather

  • Fresh flowers/plants in various rooms

  • Chipped plaster and paint touched up and repaired

  • Doors and cupboards properly closed

  • Leaky taps and toilets repaired, Seals around tubs and basins in good repair

  • Burned out light bulbs replaced

  • Squeaky doors oiled

  • Mirrors, fixtures, and taps cleaned and polished

  • Floors cleaned, garbage containers emptied

  • Inside of closets and cupboards neat and tidy

  • Valuable property, out of reach, out of sight, or locked away

  • Pets absent, where possible, or contained during showings

  • All torn screens should be repaired or replaced.

  • White or light pastels are the easiest to work with and they make your rooms look larger

  • Countertops neat and polished

  • Appliances cleaned

  • Consider putting excess furniture and belongings in storage. Now’s the time to clean out the garage and basement and sell, give away or throw away items you don’t need anymore.


Before undertaking renovations, consider your Return On Investment (ROI) and if the work will increase your chances of selling. Minor renovations can improve the overall impression of a property. Upgrades to systems will eliminate concerns buyers could have about taking on a large repair shortly after closing. But it is best to stay away from high-end remodeling, many of those won’t pay you back.

The projects with the highest ROI? A new front door or a new garage door is a sound investment and a minor kitchen renovation (think new flooring, counters and paint) will pay you back over 80% of your cost, but a major kitchen renovation will only pay you back about 64%.


Staging can include everything from de-cluttering and sprucing up to moving in furniture to fill rooms. The goal of staging is to help buyer’s feel like this is a home they want to live in, and that is easier when the home is clean, neat and stylish.

In addition, staging can speed up your sale. A 2010 study by the Real Estate Staging Association found that unstaged homes spent 181 days on the market, before the home owners decided to have them professionally staged, at which point they, on average, sold in 60 days. This equates to a total of 241 days. When staged first (prior to listing), homes averaged just 35 days on the market.

The cost of staging varies from a few hundred to a couple thousand, depending on how much you want the stager to do.

If you are interested in home staging let me know, I will be happy to refer you to someone that can help.