Thinking About Selling Your Home? Here’s How To Get Ready

It’s no secret that an “Attractive” home will attract offers. Follow these tips to make your home stand out and ultimately get more money. Here are 6 big ideas to follow.

real estate check list

  1. Keep the Home Dressed Up – The homes curb appeal will create an instant and irreversible first impression with every buyer. Use this checklist to make sure your listing is dressed for success.
  • Paint the Trim / and Front Door
  • Plant Flowers / Pull Weeds
  • Clean the Downspouts and Gutters
  • Clean the Screens and Windows
  • Pressure Wash the Sidewalk / Driveway
  • Mow Grass, Remove Weeds and Pet Waste / Apply New Bark Mulch (if necessary)
  • Replace Outside Light Bulbs with Clear Bright Bulbs
  • Wash the House Exterior or Paint if Needed
  • Clean or Replace House Numbers
  • Remove all Cob Webs / Spray for Pests
  1. Create a Warm Environment – Every home should offer the potential buyer a warm, friendly experience especially during the first showing. What greets the buyer on the other side of the seller’s front door? Things to consider:
  • Consider the Smell of the Home / Candles & Vanilla Can Help
  • Replace Lights Bulbs, Clean Drapes, Blinds, Windows and Light Fixtures
  • Professionally Clean Carpets / Replace if Needed
  • Paint Walls or Wash Walls
  • Clean Doors / Cabinets / Closets / Mirrors
  • Dust the Home / Remove Cobwebs / Clean Vents
  • Clean Appliances Inside and Out
  • Have Mechanicals Cleaned and Checked
  • Paint or Clean Baseboards
  • Re-Caulk Bathtubs / Showers
  • Clean or Replace Cracked or Damaged Outlet Covers and Switches
  1. Remove Barriers from the Relationship – Buyers need to build an emotional bond with a home before they can make a decision to purchase the home. Help them by removing potential barriers.
  • Pack and Store Seasonal Clothing
  • Remove Unused Furniture
  • Remove Personal Photo Clutter and Pack
  • Secure Pets Before Each Showing
  • Remove and Replace Fixtures Not Included with Sale
  • Encourage Sellers to Leave the Home During Showings


  1. Tell a Story and Be Interesting – Buyers want a home that stands out from the competition. This is often referred to as staging the home. Here are top producer suggestions:
  • Set the Kitchen Table
  • Turn Down the Master Bed / Place a Book on Nightstand
  • Display an Open Game in the Kids Room
  • Turn on Fireplace in Living Room
  • Turn on Soft Music
  • Display a Family DVD near the Entertainment Center
  1. Open Up the Dark Areas – Buyers want to know everything about a home before they decide to move forward. In most cases this means they want to view every area of the home. By making this easier you may be able to position your listing as the most appealing match to the buyer needs. For example:
  • Unlock and Open All Areas of the Home
  • Turn lights on in spaces that are hard to see
  • Turn basement lights on throughout
  • Clean the Garage / Sweep / and Pressure Wash
  • Unlock Outside Buildings Including Shops
  • Clean Out Closets / Pantry
  • Provide Access to the Crawl Space / Cellar
  • Provide Access to Attic
  1. Offer Incentives – How can your listing stand out from the crowd? One way is to offer the buyer an incentive to purchase your listing. Examples of incentives that could be offered:
  • Pay for Limited Closing Costs
  • Pay for Compliance Work
  • Pre-Pay Assessments or Special Assessments
  • Provide an Allowance for Upgrades/Repairs – Lender Approval Reqd.
  • Provide a Selling Agent Bonus – Broker Approval Reqd.

By Lee Ernst

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