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Sellers-Staging Your Home Print E-mail

Preparing Your Home for Sale


You will not get a second chance to make a first impression!

Neat, clean and de-cluttered are expected, but charm & sparkle will set your home apart from all the others.  Consider making your home as charming as possible, which will be the compelling reason for the buyer to choose your home over your competition!




The first impression starts in the driveway.  Sweep and edge the driveway and sidewalks.  Remove any debris from the front yard (and backyard). Trim hedges and weed gardens, mow & manicure lawns.  In the winter, it is essential that the sidewalk, driveway and porch are free of ice and snow.  


Remove any webs, bee’s nests, etc from the area around the front door.  The buyer and their agent will stop at the front door to unlock; there is lots of time to look around.  Buy a new welcome mat and wash down any dirty siding/porch.  Paint if needed; fix any broken windows or shutters.  Make sure the exterior is well lighted.


Wash your windows! Your windows make your home sparkle.


Garage doors should work without effort. Remove clutter & organize the inside of your garage.  Make sure the lights work and it is easy to turn the lights on.


Make sure downspouts are extended and gutters are clean.  Basement problems can be caused by something as simple as inadequate downspout extensions, full gutters, poor grading.


Patios and decks should appear ready for use in all their glory.  If you have an umbrella, open it; make the arrangement attractive EVEN IN THE WINTER!  Repair any trip hazards, sweep and edge.  Remove any items that are just stored on the deck/patio.  Consider the view from your patio windows; neat and clean, and remember, cute sells!


As for your roof, it may not be leaking, but does it look old & worn?  Just the appearance of an old roof can cause a buyer to make an unconscious decision to put your house on the back burner.  Is there anything you can do to remove streaking, repair shingles, or paint soffit?  Often, a minimal cost visit from a roofer can prevent perceptions problems as well as problems at contractor’s inspection.     




The general cleanliness of your home reflects the overall maintenance of your home in a buyers mind.  Clean and de-clutter, clean carpets, vacuum & dust and consider arranging your furniture especially for showings.  Store all unneeded items, but remember the charm factor.  Make the rooms feel spacious.  Your REALTOR will help you with this issue if you ask.


Make your entry welcoming & make your buyer feel comfortable looking around your house.  Floor mats helps keep your home clean and makes the purchaser feel comfortable with a place to leave wet shoes.


Personal items remove or mark any personal items that are attached but not intended to stay with the home.  Consider your next home; will your current appliances, drapes, etc. be appropriate? 


Firearms and weapons: Store all such items out of sight.


Closets should be organized and clean to show adequate storage space.  Store items that do not fit properly.  This is especially important for front hall & bedroom closets.


Halls and stairways should be free of clutter and give an open feeling                 


Kitchens must be free of clutter on counters.  This includes unnecessary appliances and decorations.  The stove should be cleaned and free of any coverings, which are not standard to the stove (foil covers of any kind).  Clean sink, refrigerator, and dishwasher.  Store all items such as cleaning utensils, dish soap etc.  Remove all magnets & decorations from your appliances.  Organize cabinets to emphasize adequate storage.  Take out the garbage and pack away all the extras items such as a collection of plastic/paper bags, pop cans, recycle bins not built in.  Put the trashcan out of sight.  A clean kitchen is necessary.


Bathrooms need to be spotless.  Clean and re-grout or re-caulk tubs if necessary.  Remove any stains, clean toilet, sinks & tub/showers.  Repair any leaks.


Oil hinges, repair loose doorknobs, make sure your locks work easily, replace light bulbs, lights should be easy to turn on and off.


Clean exterior of furnace and water heater, basement cobwebs, make utilities accessible.  A dehumidifier will remove musty smells and make the basement feel more comfortable.


Be aware of odors in your home.  Pet & cooking odors are most common & problematic.  Smoking in the home is a big no-no while your home is on the market.  Heavy odors such as perfume or scented sprays can be a big turn off.  Your agent can help with these problems.


When it comes time to show your home … make it as easy as possible!


Turn on all the lights.  You have lamps to accent your decor and overhead light to brighten areas, use lighting to show off your home.


Keep the temperature comfortable.  Air conditioning in summer and heat in winter, but never too hot or too cold.  Keep in mind that the buyers will have their coats on in the winter, and enjoy the cool in summer.  If your home has air conditioning, use it in the summer and avoid open windows. 


Children, pets & adults make purchasers feel uncomfortable in your home.  Try your best to be out of the house and remove any pets if possible.

If you must be home, try to avoid being a distraction.  Let the REALTOR show the house unless you are asked to provide assistance.


Do not leave your stereo or television on during a showing. 


Open all drapes and blinds


You will need to collect utility bills for your REALTOR to make available to purchasers.  It is always a question!  Provide any information about association fees/dues & the services provided, cable company information, garbage collection information.


If you have a large lot, make the approximate lot lines apparent.  A rough drawing can help a REALTOR describe the property to a purchaser; a survey is the only way to be accurate.  It is always a question … ‘where are the lot lines’.


Moving is a very stressful event.  Showings are very invasive and often uncomfortable.  To have as few showings as necessary and to sell your home in the least amount of time, price the home correctly, and follow the above advice.


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(c) Copyright 2007 Tree House Realty Group - 734-663-4305