Getting A Home Ready for Sale

  • Rachel Walsh
  • 07/18/20

Getting a home ready for sale is a lot easier if you maintain the home regularly. But, let’s be real – - there are very few homeowners I know that have their house in a show-ready state. Here’s a [long] list of things to do to help your house shine and beat out your competition.

  • Look at your home objectively, as if you were seeing it for the first time. If you were driving by, would you want to go in to see more?
  • Power-wash exterior surfaces including the roof, house and walkways. Pay particular attention to which section is north facing.
  • Check the exterior for any peeling paint and rot – repair and paint as needed.
  • Check masonry including walkways, stonewalls, the foundation, etc. and repair as needed.
  • Check the driveway for potholes and cracks. Fill and repair. Reseal the driveway if needed.
  • Look at your mailbox and see if it needs painting or replacing, and that it is upright and clean.
  • Check that your house numbers are visible and in good condition.
  • Consider if your front door needs to be repainted or sanded and stained. Consider a complimentary new color to enhance your curb appeal.
  • Add seasonal pots and planters to your main entryway and any other visible doorways from the street.
  • Make sure the entrance to the doors and all walkways are well lit in the event of an evening showing. Clean the light fixtures and add high wattage bulbs.
  • Buy a new exterior and interior doormat for all entrances. Not only will it make your doorways look great, it will also keep your interior clean.
  • Check your landscaping. Remove any dead or dying plants and any fallen branches or trees.
  • Add seasonal annuals or perennials to your gardens if listing in the spring or summer.
  • Cut back and trim any overgrown bushes.
  • Weed, edge and mulch garden beds.
  • Continue to fertilize and seed your yard while the house is on the market, and have it mowed regularly. Over-seed in the fall.
  • Remove any toys and garden tools from the yard.
  • If you have a pet, keep the yard scrupulously clean.
  • Look at your exterior door hardware to see if it needs polishing or replacing.
  • If you have a gate or fence, check it to ensure it is sturdy and doesn’t need painting or repair.
  • If you have a pool, consider “staging” it during showings with bright colored pillows, umbrellas and matching towels – even a tray with lemonade and plastic glasses.
  • Check all windows and screens. Repair as needed.
  • If any storms or screens are missing, make note of them so you can add that to the disclosure list you will be filling out. I usually say, “Screens where seen” on my listings.
  • If listing in the fall, have leaves removed from your property every two weeks.
  • Check any wood surfaces such as decking and pillars for rot and repair and paint or stain as needed.
  • Make sure all door hinges work properly and don’t squeak.
  • Check that your doorbell works or install one.
  • Check that your security system works properly and is monitored and that your system is up to code.
  • Check all gutters, downspouts (leaders) and drains for debris and make sure they are clean and draining properly.
  • In the garage: Clean out and throw out anything you don’t want or need. Store the rest neatly in containers that are clearly marked and make sure there is room for a car in the garage, even if you don’t use it for your own cars.
  • Look at the garage floor. Have any cracks filled and the floor painted if needed.
  • If listing in the fall or winter, close down your irrigation, drain and winterize exterior faucets.
  • Interior: Look at each room and see what furniture can be removed or placed differently for a better flow and layout.
  • Use rooms for their intended purpose while selling.
  • Have a floor to ceiling cleaning done by a professional company, if possible.
  • Have all windows and interior French doors cleaned.
  • Have all interior light fixtures cleaned and replace all bulbs with similar wattage and use brighter bulbs.
  • Check all interior spaces for any water infiltration and address as needed.
  • Check all walls and ceilings for cracks and holes. Repair as needed.
  • Paint interior spaces as needed. Use warm versus cool tones – they photograph much better.
  • Shampoo carpets if needed or replace.

Cleanliness is part of maintaining a house well, and all buyers want a well-maintained house. Once you complete all these tasks, you may not want to move because the house will look so good, but if  you still do, now you’ll be ready.

Work With Rachel

With 25 years of experience, Rachel's expertise is based on local knowledge, honesty, loyalty, her impeccable client service and attention to details.