Selling Checklist

Before your home is shown

One of the keys to success in today’s ultra-competitive real estate market is to position your home as the most desirable property at a given price in a given area.

Obviously, the most important variable in that equation is price. But making sure your home is in optimal showing condition will set it apart from the competition and could be the difference between a timely and productive sale or a long, drawn-out process.

Here is a checklist of preparations to make before showing your home. Be sure to consult your @properties broker to find out what improvements they recommend.

Go through your home room by room and ask yourself what you can throw away and what you can box up and put in storage.


Light gives the impression of space, so it’s important for every room in your home to have ample light at any time of day. Prior to showings, wash windows, raise blinds and turn on lights.

Brighten your home

Maintain your lawn and landscaping, and shovel and de-ice walkways in the winter. In a condominium, pay attention to the area in front of the doorway to ensure it’s neat. Make balconies, decks and patios inviting with potted plants and flowers.

Maintain the exterior

Lack of storage space can be a deal-breaker. Go through your closets and pantries and reorganize, and throw away, give away or put away anything you don’t need.


Hiring a professional, licensed home inspector prior to putting your home on the market allows you to spot potential problems and make repairs before buyers make them an issue.

Hire a home inspector

Afresh coat of paint is the least expensive, most effective way to enhance the appearance of your home. Be sure to use neutral colors.


Keep pets out of the home during showings and be sure to conceal food bowls and litter boxes.

Remove pets

Give your home a deep clean from top to bottom, including windows, upholstery and carpet, and the refrigerator and oven (yes, buyers actually open them).


Take care of quick and easy repairs such as touch-up spackling and painting, replacing a cracked window or torn screen,fixing a leaky faucet and changing burned out light bulbs.

Make repairs

By law, sellers must disclose existing structural and mechanical problems, flooding, the presence of lead paint, information on radon hazards and other known defects to potential buyers. Withholding this information can have much more serious repercussions than the problem itself.

Disclose everything

Staging your home

Staging is the art of merchandising a home to improve its market­ability. It can be as simple as rearranging a few pieces of furniture or as elaborate as hiring a professional to furnish an empty home right down to the plants and artwork.

Today, every home that is listed for sale should be staged to some degree. Your home must show like a model in order to stand out against the competition.

Your @properties broker can give you suggestions for staging or help you decide if you would benefit from a professional stager.

Here are some easy and inexpensive staging tips to consider.

Arrange furniture in small groupings that demonstrate a room’s functionality, and do not overcrowd a room with furniture.

Camouflage outdated furniture or worn upholstery with slip covers, and replace worn bedspreads and throw rugs.

Remove all personal items from the bathroom counter.

Use neutral colors and decor to help your home appeal to the largest number of potential buyers. Add color through accessories such as pillows, vases and rugs.

Keep kitchen counters and refrigerators clean and clear of all items. If your kitchen needs an update, paint cupboards with a neutral color and replace knobs on cabinets.

Add furniture, plants or potted flowers with seasonal settings to outdoor spaces.

Use light, airy window treatments, like simple sheers on a curtain rod. Hang window treatments so they cover the least amount of glass.

Display fresh flowers.

Personal photographs and mementos add warmth and character to a home, but use them in moderation so the buyer will focus on the home, not its owners.