- Thoroughly deep clean the entire home including, ceiling fans, baseboards, oven, closets and bathroom/laundry fans.
- Professionally steam clean carpets and. Consider replacing carpet if stains are prominent.
- Consider refreshing hardwood floors if they are scratched up or show damage.
- Buy long white curtains from Ikea and change all curtains to match white curtains (I believe they are $9.99 for two panels)
- Fix any knicks, cracks, or holes in the walls. Repaint if needed. Neutral paint colors only such as beige, cream, or light gray. Pale blues and sage greens are good for bathrooms.
- Take down all personal photos and any personalized items such as wall hangings, picture frames.
- Remove all valuables including, jewelry, prescription drugs, and password- protect all computers to prevent identity theft.
- Make sure all light bulbs are working and place the highest wattage bulbs you can safely place in each lighting fixture. Add lamps to any rooms without adequate lighting.
- Declutter, declutter, declutter. Your home should no longer look like a home. It should look like a hotel or model home. Remember, it is no longer your home! It’s now the buyer’s home.
- Each room should only have one purpose. If you use your dining room as an office and a dining room, remove the office items and put them in storage.
- Closets and cabinets should NOT look full and should look organized and have empty space.
- Remove excess and oversized furniture. Remember, the less furniture, the better.
- Rearrange furniture to maximize space. Consider pulling furniture away from the walls.
- Push all chairs in and set the table
- If you have more than 4-6 chairs, put the additional chairs and storage.
- Remove anything from the dining room that is not food/eating-related
- Remove everything but one or two items from the counters
- Scrub tile, backsplash, counters and the inside of the oven
- Clean and organize your fridge. Don’t forget to wipe down the top of your refrigerator.
- Clean the inside of the microwave
- Replace old caulking around sinks
- Remove stains from sinks
- Hang fresh towels
- Change outdated cabinet hardware and make sure it all matches
- Clean your office desk of all paperwork and personal items
- Remove anything with your name on it or any other personal information
- Password protect any computers
- Put away wait all bills, valuables, checkbooks, passwords, etc. Consider putting these items in a safety deposit box until your home is sold.
- Take everything off counters accept a plant or apothecary jars filled with Q-tips, cotton balls, etc.
- Clean out and organize bathroom cabinet
- Buy a portable shower caddy and put anything on the counter you use in it, such as your toothbrush, makeup, etc. Put it under the sink before each showing.
- Replace old caulking around sink and bathtubs
- Remove stains from sinks, toilets, and bathtubs.
- Keep toilet seat lid closed for showings
- Make beds before showings
- Put away everything on dressers/ nightstands except a few books, an alarm clock, and a lamp.
- Organize your closet so there is one inch of space between each hanging item and so the shelves aren’t full. Store out-of-season clothes.
- Laundry hamper should be hidden in the closet out of sight
- Have a place to hide pet beds, litter boxes, toys, and food containers during showings
- Arrangements should be made for pets to be put out of the home during showings.
- Put away all toys
- Hide anything with your kids name or date of birth on it
- Put away all photos of your child
Exterior and garage (if applicable)
- Paint the home’s exterior if needed, including trim, doors and shutters
- Inspect the roof and make repairs as needed
- Repair cracks in the driveway and sidewalks
- Sweep the entryway and walkways
- Mow, water and fertilize the lawn
- Trim shrubs and trees and rake the leaves
- Plant colorful flowers and shrubs
- Store any toys or equipment laying in the yard
- Clean up pet droppings
- Clean the gutters and downspouts
- Organize the garage
- Have the outside of the windows and your screens professionally cleaned
- Have your furnace and AC tune-up professionally
- Change air filters
- Maintain clean drains by adding a half cup of baking soda followed by a half cup of white vinegar. After 10 minutes, flush with boiling water.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when you set clocks back in the fall.
- Check windows and doors for weather-tightness and install weather stripping where it’s needed.
This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR’s viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.