It’s always a good idea to choose a Realtor® with whom you can work.   Your agent can provide great advice and guidance on improving your home’s presentation.

The following 10 steps are a way to get a good head start on preparing to sell your home.

  1. Welcome buyers

Make your address easy to find and make sure that your entry door is easy to find AND accessible to all types of buyers.  There are many things you should consider doing because “curb appeal” is very important,   Exterior defects can make a poor first impression on buyers.

Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression.

  • Paint the door, clear debris and clutter from the walkway and yard, mow the lawn and prune hedges
  • Pot or plant colorful annuals and perennials to attract attention from the street
  • Fix broken screens, doorbells, roof tiles, shingles and outdoor lighting, and replace your doormat


  1. Do a Deep Clean

Make it sparkle, even if you have to hire a professional cleaner to do the work.  Clean = a home has been well taken care of – buyers scrutinize homes closely, especially kitchens and bathrooms.

  • Re-caulk and repaint to give these heavy-use rooms a fresh and clean look
  • Clean rugs and carpets to eliminate unsightly stains or dinginess and eliminate odors
  • Tidy each room, including cabinets, closets – and the garage – before showing


  1. De-clutter and De-personalize

Neat is a winner!  Cluttered rooms turn buyers off and make your home look smaller.  Your family pictures and belongings make it difficult for potential buyers to envision living there.

  • Start by storing away excess furniture, toys and personal decorations, such as family photos
  • Pack up things you don’t use on a daily basis, and put them in storage or ask a friend to hold onto them
  • Decluttering your house also gives you a head start on your move


  1. Don’t Over-Do Painting

Again neat is a winner.  A well-done, no-frills paint job is all you need.

  • Repaint white or beige walls, and any walls that have eccentric or unconventional colors.
  • Neutral colors – taupe and subtle gray are the best choices and include the trim and molding
  • Fresh paint on outdated or worn cabinetry goes a long way


  1. Repair/ Replace Obvious Items

Repair or replace broken or outdated hardware and door handles, faucets, towel bars and curtain rods – anything that’s very visible to homebuyers.  New hardware in the bathroom, kitchen and on windows and doors also improves the functionality and safety of these components.


  1. Update lighting.

Replace burnt-out light bulbs and replace broken or outdated light fixtures

  • Use low-key lighting fills in bedrooms and task lighting in areas like a reading nook
  • Use accent lighting to draw buyers’ attention to certain focus areas


  1. Don’t Forget the Windows

Make sure rooms look light and airy

  • Be careful of heavy or dark window treatments
  • Adjust window treatments appropriately when showing your home in the mornings, afternoon and evenings


  1. Staging Works Well

Fresh, decorative flowers in the kitchen or on the dining room table are always a nice touch.

  • Set the table – place settings should be set out right before showings or an open house
  • Make the dining room look like a fun dinner is about to happen, and keep the kitchen table bright and casual


  1. Hide Unsightly Everyday Items
  • Don’t leave children’s toys and pet belongings out in the open
  • Litter boxes, pet dishes, toys, animal crates and kids’ entertainment need to be out of sight
  • Don’t leave laundry (especially dirty!), make the kitchen look like a store model


  1. Back to Curb appeal

Keep your front and back yard clean and neat – pick up after your pets so buyers feel comfortable touring the yard.