Sell your Home

Preparing Your Home for Showing

Once you’ve decided to sell your home, there are a number of things which you can do to help get the best possible price in the shortest amount of time.

Your REALTOR® is an expert in marketing homes. However, selling your home is a joint effort with you playing an important role in the final results. Your major role is to make your home as attractive as possible to potential buyers.

Remember that first impressions count. You should do everything you can to make that first impression a positive one. People who consider buying your home will be as critical as you are in searching for a new home.

Take an inspection tour of your home, observing it as a potential buyer would. Take note of any minor repairs and painting that needs to be done.

Your Realtor® is an experienced professional who will be able to view your home objectively and make suggestions that will improve the marketability of your home.

Here are some helpful tips from your Realtor® which have proven invaluable to home owners in preparing their homes for showing.


Since the exterior of your home will be the first thing a prospective buyer sees, it is very important to create a good first impression.

  1. Keep the lawn trimmed and edged. Weed and cultivate flower gardens. Trim shrubs and eliminate dead trees or branches. Pick up any debris, toys and lawn equipment.
  2. Repair any fences and gates. Give them a fresh coat of paint, if necessary.
  3. Is the exterior well painted, the roof in good repair, as well as gutters and downspouts?
  4. Wash down driveways and sidewalks. Check them for cracking and crumbling.
  5. Replace any cracked windows and torn screens.
  6. The entrance should be clean and in good repair. The doorbell and front light must be in good working condition.


Start with a full housecleaning from top to bottom. Don’t let dirt and clutter obscure your home’s good points. Discard unused and unnecessary items in storage areas and closets. Eliminating clutter will give your home a more spacious look.

  1. Walls should be clean and free of smudges, fingerprints and dents. Consider a fresh coat of paint if a good washing doesn’t do the trick. Inspect woodwork and wallpaper for problem areas.
  2. Arrange furniture to make each room appear more spacious and attractive.
  3. Wash windows and sills until sparkling clean. Curtains and draperies should be freshly laundered.
  4. Have carpets and rugs professionally cleaned.
  5. Clean and wax floors.
  6. Repair loose doorknobs, sticking doors, windows and warped drawers.
  7. Fix leaky faucets and eliminate water discoloration in sinks.
  8. Tighten loose stair banisters and be sure steps are free of objects.
  9. Clean out closets to display their roominess. Be sure clothes are hung neatly and shoes and other object tidily arranged.
  10. Bathrooms should be sparkling clean. Repair caulking in tubs and showers.
  11. Bedrooms should appear neat with attractive spreads and curtains.
  12. Clean and organize the basement, attic and garage.

Don’t Over Improve

Many families tend to learn to live with a broken doorknob and a cracked window. All of these little things should be fixed because no prospective buyer wants to do the things you have let stack up.

Use caution in planning major improvements that you think will enable you to get more for the house than you paid for it. Of course, an investment in a fresh coat of paint and having the carpets cleaned will be well worth the costs. However, you don’t want to invest a lot of money when you are planning to sell the house.

Most people out shopping for a house are looking for a home that has been well maintained and is in good repair. They would rather buy a home and make their own major and decorating changes. As a seller, you will usually come out better selling them the potential at a price they can afford.

Showing the Home

  1. Prospective buyers feel more comfortable and free to inspect the home if you are not present. This also allows the Realtor® to do his/her job with less distraction.
  2. Pets should always be removed from the premises during the showings.
  3. The television and radio should be turned off so the salesperson and buyer can visit without disturbance.
  4. Leave draperies and shades open for light and open feeling. For evening showings all lights should be turned on to give the rooms a cheerful atmosphere. In the basement, closets and small confined areas, high wattage bulbs will better allow the buyer better viewing.
  5. Be sure the kitchen is free of dirty dishes, the stove is clean, cabinet doors are closed and all garbage is removed.
  6. In the bathrooms, towels should be hung on the racks, cosmetics and personal items tucked away in the cabinet and the commode lid closed.
  7. A good general rule: See that there is no clutter anywhere. Closets, cabinets and all storage areas should be neat and tidy. Remove some items if they are too crowded.