31 Tips for Getting (And Keeping!) Your Home Ready

Real Estate

If you're considering selling your home, it's important to take a moment and try to look at it with fresh eyes.  It's easy to get used to the small smudges and scratches that are signs of normal daily life, but all those tell tales signs can really add up when viewed by someone who has never been in your house.  Here's a list of 31 things you should do before you put your house on the market and then maintain while it is on the market.  The good news is, most of these are very DYI friendly. 

  1. Edge, mow, weed and fertilize the lawn. Possibly reseed patches.
  2. Trim hedges, weed flowerbeds, trim hedges (make sure you cut back shrubs from the walls of your home) and prune trees.
  3. Seal any cracks in foundation, steps, walkways, and walls.
  4. Power-wash your home’s exterior. If you find peeling or fading paint, consider repainting in a neutral shade.
  5. Clean gutters, downspouts
  6. Inspect and clean the chimney. 
  7. Repair/replace loose or damaged shingles.
  8. Remove any oil stains from driveway and garage.
  9. Sweep the porch, walks and driveway.
  10. Place vividly colored pots of outdoor flowers near the front door.
  11. Store RVs, boats and extra vehicles elsewhere while the house is on the market.
  12. Wash the windows inside and out.
  13. Clean walls, floors, inside closets and cabinets – everything. If you must, hire a cleaning service to come in and do the job.
  14. Get rid of clutter throughout the house including, minimizing tchotchkes, stash small appliances you normally leave on countertops out of sight and cleaning out closets, garage, basement and attic. (Rent a storage unit for items, if you need too)
  15. Repair cracks, holes and damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.
  16. Replace damaged windowpanes, moldings and woodwork.
  17. Repair dripping faucets and showerheads.
  18. Buy new cabinet knobs and curtains for the kitchen.
  19. Shampoo all carpets, scrub and wax linoleum, wash and wax wood floors.
  20. Clean out the fireplace and lay some logs in it.
  21. Mend torn screens. Clean out all window tracks.
  22. Make sure every light switch works. (Replace any burned-out or low wattage bulbs)
  23. Stop the noise - nail down any creaking boards or stair treads and lubricate any squeaking doors.
  24. Remove excess, worn or unattractive furniture (Again...a storage unit could be a good place for these)
  25. Scrub all appliances (especially refrigerator and oven).
  26. Replace toilet seats and shower curtains.
  27. Clear all cobwebs from corners and doorways.
  28. Wash all light switches, handrails and doorknobs.
  29. Keep draperies and shades open to let in the light.
  30. Place colorful, luxurious towels in the bathroom. (Then don't use them day-to-day)
  31. Keep toys in the children’s rooms and bikes, wagons and skateboards in the garage.