Start with your lawn…It’s the first thing that prospective buyers see.

  • Is the lawn trimmed and edged?
  • Are flower beds clear of leaves, weeds & grass?
  • Is appeal of the house enhanced by adequate flowers and mulch?
  • Are light posts, gas grills, outdoor lights, mailboxes, fences or basketball hoops in good condition?
  • Are children’s objects removed, such as old swing sets, sandboxes, etc.?
  • Have any imperfections to lawn such as bare spots, big holes, ruts, weeds or crabgrass been removed or repaired?
  • Does the lawn have an overall manicured look?
  • If it is winter, have snow and ice been removed from driveway, sidewalks and steps?

Your front door welcomes the prospect…A door decoration adds a warm, inviting touch.

  • Is the door clean? Does it need a coat of paint?
  • Are light fixtures, door knockers and doorknobs in good condition?
  • Does the doorbell work?
  • Are storm doors clean and in good condition?
  • Is the front step/porch in good repair?

Decorating helps assure top dollar and a quick sale…A little Liquid Gold does wonders for scratched and dry-looking wood.

  • Are walls clean?
  • Has outdated wallpaper been removed and walls painted?
  • Are all nail and molly holes filled?
  • Are there any cork or mirror tiles, shelves, metal brackets, plant brackets, stickers, murals or makeshift cabinets that should be removed?
  • Should the ceiling be textured to cover flaws?
  • Are switchplates clean?

Clean windows show the bright side of your home…Let the prospective buyers see how cheerful your home can be.

  • Have curtains and draperies been opened to highlight walls and ceilings?
  • Will window coverings appeal to the general public?
  • Do sheers cover all windows facing the street?

A clean kitchen is a must…Many buyers judge the housekeeping by the oven and stove.

  • Is the interior of the oven, stove and dishwasher stain free?
  • Have the cabinets been cleared of all but essential items?
  • Are the counter tops clean and clear of clutter?
  • Is the Formica stained? (Baking soda removes stains without marring the finish).

Sparkling bathrooms help sell your home…Spick and span throughout is the way to judge bathrooms.

  • Are shower doors, ceramic tile and grouting clean and free of soap film?
  • Are fixtures polished and free of water marks?
  • Have appliques in the tub been removed?
  • Is lighting adequate?
  • Does the toilet seat need to be replaced?
  • Is the exhaust fan working? Is it quiet?
  • Is there a window available? Open it and let the fresh air in.

Avoid cluttered appearances…Perhaps now is the time to plan a garage sale.

  • Do you have excess furniture which makes the rooms appear cramped?
  • Are toys and other articles picked up?
  • Is the stairway clear? This is essential!

Make the closets look as large as possible…Remove or pack items that can be stored elsewhere.

  • Is the closet neat and organized?
  • Are wall surfaces in need of paint?
  • Are shelving and hardware in good condition?
  • If the closets have lights, are the bulbs bright?
  • Do the closet doors operate smoothly and quietly?

From top to bottom…Remove all unnecessary items.

  • Have you removed all excess items from the basement, garage and other utility spaces?
  • Is there a damp smell in the basement or crawl space? Place a bag of limestone the area.
  • Are the walls dark and dull? If so, they can easily be brightened with a coat of paint.
  • Do all the lights work?
  • Are the lights bright enough?
  • Are window areas clean and sealed properly?
  • Are window wells free of debris?
  • Is the floor covering in good condition?
  • Do the steps or handrails need paint or repair?
  • Is the basement immaculate?
  • Is the sump pump clear and operable?

Check major appliances…A little correction could be worth many dollars.

  • Is the furnace filter clean?
  • Is the attic fan funning quietly?
  • Is the exterior of the water heater clean?
  • Does the water softener work? Is the exterior clean?
  • Is the water heater in good condition? Drain a pan of water to remove rust particles.
  • Does the furnace work properly?
  • When was the air conditioner last checked?
  • Does the air filter work properly? Is it clean?
  • Do kitchen appliances work properly? (Dishwasher, range, disposal, exhaust fan, compactor, refrigerator, oven)
  • Does the garage door opener work properly and quietly?

Minor flaws suggest neglect to the prospect… Have them fixed to get top dollar for your house.

  • Do the screen doors close tightly?
  • If the property has a storage shed, is it in good condition?
  • Is there a dog house, and should it be removed?
  • Is the driveway in good condition?
  • Are gutters and downspouts in good repair?
  • Do gutters drain away from the house?
  • Is the roof in good repair?
  • Are the hardwood floors in excellent condition?
  • Are vinyl floors in good repair?

Download a copy of the seller’s checklist here.

Find more great tips on our “Preparing your Home for a Photo Shoot” page here.