Here are some
general tips for preparing your house
• Clean everything thoroughly.
Ask a friend to help you assess your
efforts – especially in sensitive
areas such as odor removal.
• Put out clean towels, new
soap, a nice tablecloth, and fresh
• Don't be at home during a
showing or open house. Your absence
will put buyers at ease so they'll
feel free to linger and ask questions.
• If you do stay, be polite,
but let your sales associate do the
• Don't apologize for the condition
of your home.
• Make sure kids and pets are
out of the house.
• Eliminate clutter from all
areas of your home to create an impression
of spaciousness and plentiful storage
space. A great way to clear away clutter
and make money at the same time is
to hold a yard or garage sale.
• Nothing makes a home look
new more quickly than a fresh coat
of paint. Neutral colors such as beige,
white, off-white and gray have a broad
appeal to prospective buyers. These
colors suggest newness and cleanliness.
It's a good idea to stick to neutrals
when making any improvements prior
to selling your home.
Ask home buyers what area or room
of the home they consider most important,
and chances are they'll say the kitchen.
When prospective buyers look at your
kitchen, they will pay particular
attention to its cleanliness, layout,
and storage capacity
If major appliances are being sold
with the home, make sure they are
spotless, odor-free, and in good working
condition. Polish chrome surfaces.
Fix any leaky faucets, loose cabinet
hardware, drawer handles, and outdated
or inefficient light fixtures. Make
more efficient use of drawers and
cabinets with dividers and cutlery
It's true that first impressions are
often lasting. So take a good look
at the paint on the outside of your
house. Is it cracking, peeling or
chipping? If it is, a fresh coat for
your exterior may cost you a bit of
time and money but may elevate your
home from "fixer-upper"
to "move-in condition."
If you decide your home needs painting,
choose colors that are appropriate
for the style of your home and that
blend in well with your neighborhood.
Repair any cracks or holes in the
walls and ceiling, and repaint if
necessary. Strip outdated wallpaper.
Clean interior and exterior windows
and screens. Repair cracked panes,
torn screens, broken sashes and ropes
or cords as well. When your home is
being shown, open your curtains to
let daylight in, especially if the
view is noteworthy. While you're at
it, wash all the mirrors in the house
too. Launder or dry-clean curtains
Carpeting has a major impact on the
look of a home. Vacuum thoroughly
or have it steam-cleaned. If the carpet
is badly worn, outdated or stained,
consider having it replaced, despite
the expense. Pull up any carpeting
that is outdated or worn. Check wood
floors to see if they need to be refinished.
Scrub and wax tile floors, and repair
or replace cracked tiles.
Make sure light fixtures, switches,
switch plates, and outlet covers are
clean and in good working order.
Buyers will pay close attention to
the condition of your roof. Re-patch
or re-shingle where necessary, and
fix leaky, corroded downspouts and
gutters. Inside, a watermarked ceiling
is a sign to buyers that the roof
has leaked – even if the damage
has been repaired.
A neat and clean entryway creates
a positive first impression. A freshly-painted
door and trim with sturdy hardware
add a welcome touch. Replace faded
house numbers with new ones. Make
sure the doorbell is in working order.