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Preparing your home


Staging your home means preparing your home to look its best. Is it really important?
You bet
!  With so many homes to choose from, your home must truly shine! You only have one chance to impress the buyer.  Remember, some buyers will look at as many as 15 to 20 in a weekend!  Your home must make such an impression on the buyer that he or she will remember it after a busy day.

Studies have shown that a staged home sells in less time and for more money than the average home. But whether you choose to use a home stager or not, you must remember four basic principles:  Clean, depersonalize, minimize and neutralize.

 “If you have an average home you will receive an average offer”

Below are some suggestions for preparing your home to sell.  Not all will apply to your particular home.  I will go over the list with you to come up with the best way to put your home in the front of all the rest! Getting top dollar for your home requires seeing your property through the eyes of a prospective buyer. It’s the little things you do that enhance the value to the buyer.


  • Pressure wash your home to brighten color and remove mildew and dirt build-up

  • Paint all faded siding, window trim, and shutters
  • Repair or replace and repaint all damaged, delaminated siding
  • Check all gutters and downspouts – clean out and paint, if necessary
  • Replace broken or cracked window panes and screens
  • Wash windows to remove dirt, cobwebs, insect nests
  • Check mailbox – replace if broken or if not in good condition
  • Replace exterior entry light if out-dated

  • Pressure wash sidewalks and driveways to remove unsightly stains, mildew. Remember: Curb appeal is the first impression your home will make.
  • Keep lawn freshly mowed and trimmed
  • Edge and trim lawn next to sidewalks and driveways
  • Remove toys, bicycles, wagons, garden hoses from lawn
  • Reseed or sod bare, unsightly areas
  • Remove or replace any dead shrubs, hedges or trees
  • Skirt any trees that block view of property
  • Add color and charm with seasonal flowers in pots or along beds
  • Pressure wash decks and patios
  • Replace rotten wood, loose rails on decks, reseal if necessary


No room in the house has a greater impact on the buyer than the kitchen. It absolutely must sparkle and shine.
  • Oven, cook tops, and the ventilation hood should be spotlessly clean, inside and out
  • Replace badly worn floor with new flooring
  • Wipe down walls, floors, sinks and fixtures until they shine
  • Clean and polish cabinets (consider painting dull, dark cabinets)
  • Remove clutter from counter tops to make counter space and room look larger
  • Remove photos and magnets from refrigerator
  • Wash windows
  • Remove wallpaper and borders and paint with neutrals that will appeal to more buyers
  • Repair any dripping faucets and slow running drains

  • The condition of the bathroom speaks volumes to a buyer about the overall condition of the property.
  • Wipe down walls, floors, bathtubs, sinks,  toilets, and shower stalls until they shine
  • Replace old caulking around bathtubs
  • Keep all mirrors shining

  • Remove any old ashes if your fireplace is wood burning
  • Polish fireplace tools, screens and doors
  • Pile logs neatly in fireplace

  • Minimize.  Large furniture and lots of items make a room look small.  Store excess items.
  • Wash interior windows – make sure all windows open and close
  • Have walls in top shape, repair any hairline cracks and nail pops
  • If any bookcases, drapery rods, window treatments or fixtures are moving with you, remove or replace them and repair all damage before marketing your property
  • Check ceilings for leak stains, repair cause of leak, repair ceiling, and repaint
  • Replace all burned out light bulbs
  • Replace dirty HVAC filters
  • Make certain every light switch works
  • Make certain all sliding doors are in tracks (rub tracks with paraffin or candle wax for easier movement) and clean the tracks.
  • Clean carpets, pay careful attention to heavy traffic areas and stains
  • If you have pets or if you smoke, seek odor eliminating products and spray daily, clean draperies and carpets to remove deep odors
  • Repaint walls if they are a unique, bold color or if they are dingy and drab, use neutral colors
  • Clean switch plates and wall plates
  • Make sure all floors shine
  • Tighten stair banisters
  • Clean out attic, garage and storage areas and dispose of everything you are not going to move
  • Pack everything you won’t need until you’re settled in your new home. If there are a large number of items, consider renting a storage unit or store at a relative’s or neighbor’s home.
  • Make sure there is plenty of light on stairs and in storage areas
  • Clean garage floor and oil spills

Showing Checklist

Below is a list of things to remember to check the day your home is being shown.

  • Keep draperies and blinds open to let in light
  • Turn on all lamps in every room, even during the day to brighten them if a buyer is coming
  • Turn on all hallway and stairwell lights, turn on lights in closets, over counter tops and cook  tops
  • At night, turn on porch lights and outdoor lighting
  • Add bowls of fresh fruit to counter tops and fresh flowers to table
  • Create fragrant aromas; fresh baked cookies, brewed coffee, or cinnamon sticks simmering on the  stove
  • Set the table with attractive, color coordinated place mats, napkins, china
  • Make sure the bathroom counters and mirrors are clean
  • Remove all everyday toiletries from counter tops and shower
  • Display fresh, color coordinated towels and shower curtains
  • Place new soap in all soap dishes
  • Have soft music playing but no television
What’s your home worth? Contact Peggy for a free market analysis and information on selling your home.