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Prepare to Sell your House
People usually decide within two minutes whether they like a home or not.  The first impression is often the lasting impression.  They start forming their opinion before they even walk in the front door!

It is smart to ask yourself if your home is as presentable as it can be for a faster sale at the best price.  The best way to find out is to imagine you are a prospective buyer.  You have probably been looking at other homes, so approach your present home the way you look at other houses.  Get into your car and drive up to your home the way a prospective buyer would.

If you are a seller... think like a buyer!

A checklist of items that should be completed, if they apply, prior to the first prospective buyer arriving to view your home.


  1. Invest in landscaping where it can be seen at first sight.  A well manicured lawn, neatly clipped shrubbery, clean walks and driveways create a good first impression.

  2. Cut back overgrown shrubbery that looks unsightly or keeps light out of the house.

  3. Paint your home if necessary.  This can probably do more for sales appeal than any other factor.  If you decide against painting, at least consider painting front shutters and window frames.

  4. In the winter, walks and driveways should be free of snow and ice.

  5. Inspect the roof and gutters.  Any missing shingles to replace?  Gutters and down spouts in place?  Need paint or repair?

  6. Pick up the yard of toys, debris and other unsightly items in the yard.

  7. In the summer, spring and fall consider putting flowers outside the front door.

  8. Repair broken outdoor steps and sidewalks.


  1. The kitchen is the most important room in the house.  Make it bright and attractive.  If dull, paint cabinets, put up new curtains and make it smell good.  Bake items or light candles.

  2. Clean the ventilating hood in the kitchen.

  3. If the kitchen floor is badly worn, put down new flooring.  If a single tile is loose, apply heat to the tile with an iron covered with a soft cloth to soften the adhesive, then replace the tile.

  4. Remove any appliances that you keep on your counters, like toaster, coffee maker, can opener, etc.  Clean counters to make the room look larger.


  1. Repair dripping faucets.

  2. Keep fresh towels in the bathroom.

  3. Use special cleaning products to remove stains from toilets, bathtub and showers.

  4. If sink and bathtub drain too slowly, unclog them.

Living Area:

  1. Have all plaster in top shape.  Cracks (nail-pops, visible seams, etc. in drywalls) are easy to fix.

  2. Check ceilings for leak stains.  Fix the cause of the damage.  Repair the ceiling and repaint.

  3. In painting and redecorating avoid off-beat colors.  Stick to conventional white outside and easy to work with neutrals inside. 

  4. Faded curtains or bedspreads can be dyed bright colors.

  5. If you have a fireplace, clean it out and lay some logs in it to make it look inviting.

  6. Wash windows.

  7. Replace broken glass.

  8. Mend torn screens.

  9. Check to see that all windows will open and close.

  10. Replace burned out light bulbs.  Use brighter light bulbs.

  11. Be sure every light switch works.

  12. Make the floors shine.  Clean and polish them.  Have the carpets cleaned.  Nail down any creaking boards or stair treads.

  13. Straighten up the closets.  Get rid of excess.  Use room deodorants to eliminate musty orders.  Lubricate any sticky or squeaking doors.

Basement, Attic and Garage:

  1. Clean out attic, basement, and garage and dispose of everything you are not going to move.  Package everything you won't need until you are settled in your new home.

  2. Make sure there is plenty of light on the stairs to the basement.

  3. If your basement is dark and gloomy, paint ceilings and walls a light color.

  4. Repair cracks in the basement floor with ready mix concrete.

  5. Wipe off furnace and hot water heater tops.


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