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Prepare Your Home for Sale

A clean, neat home in need of few or no repairs will sell faster, and at a higher price, than one that is showing wear and tear. Give your home its best possible presentation and perform a mini-makeover. Your Windermere agent can recommend the most important items and can help with staging your home.

Prepare your home checklist:

Exterior
  • Remove peeling and chipped paint; replace with a fresh coat.
  • Clear gutters and downspouts.
  • Make sure there is good exterior lighting and all walkway lights and front-door lanterns work.
  • Remove any moss from the roof.

Yard
  • Mow and trim grass; re-seed and fertilize where necessary.
  • Prune all overgrown trees and shrubs.
  • Remove or replace dead or diseased plants, shrubs and trees.
  • Clean grease and oil stains from driveway.
  • Weed flower beds.

Decks/Patios
  • Paint or stain worn areas in wood decks.
  • Remove grass growing in concrete cracks; sweep off debris from shrubs and trees.
  • Clean all deck rails and make sure they’re secure; replace missing slats or posts.

Front door
  • Polish the hardware on the door until it shines.
  • Add a fresh coat of paint to get rid of nicks.
  • Clean the glass on the storm door; make certain the screen is secure.
  • Make sure the doorbell operates properly and there are no squeaks when the
  • door opens and closes.

Windows
  • Clean all windows—inside and out.
  • If needed, add a fresh coat of paint to the window trims and sills.
  • Make sure all windows open and close easily.
  • Replace cracked windowpanes and those with broken seals.
  • Make sure window screens are secure; replace any screens with holes or tears.

Entry

  • Clean entryway floors and area rugs.
  • Downsize clutter in entry closet to give the appearance of spaciousness.
  • Double-check entry lighting to make sure it works.

Living room/dining room/family room
  • Give the room a fresh coat of paint if necessary.
  • Repair cracks and holes in ceiling and walls.
  • Make sure all wallpaper is secure.
  • Repaint any woodwork that is worn or chipped.
  • Clean draperies and blinds; open them to maximize light.
  • Make sure draperies and blinds open and close.
  • Wash windows.
  • Steam-clean carpets. Clean rugs and wood flooring, and remove any stains or odors.
  • Position the furniture to showcase the size and space of the room.
  • Remove and replace any attached items, such as chandeliers and draperies that you wish to move with you.
  • Put away toys and hobby supplies; remove extra magazines and books from tables.

Kitchen
  • Make sure countertops and sinks are clean and stain-free.
  • Fix dripping faucets.
  • Organize pantry and cupboards so they appear clean, neat and spacious.
  • Make sure the refrigerator and freezer are defrosted and free of odors.
  • Clean the oven and cook-top thoroughly.

Bathrooms
  • Make sure sinks, tubs, showers and countertops are clean and free of stains.
  • Repair any leaky faucets.
  • Remove grout and soap stains from tile.
  • Replace any missing or cracked tiles or grout.
  • Make sure all joints are caulked.
  • Make sure all fixtures, including heat lamps and exhaust fans, are operating.
  • Install a new shower curtain.
  • Store all supplies, such as toilet paper, shampoo bottles and cleansers.

Bedrooms
  • Repair cracks in ceiling and walls.
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint if necessary.
  • Make sure wallpaper is secure.
  • Clean draperies and blinds; open them to maximize light.
  • Put away toys, clothes.
  • Neatly make up the beds.

Basement
  • Check for water penetration or dampness; call for professional repairs if necessary.
  • Get rid of musty odors.
  • Clean furnace and drains.
  • Make sure light fixtures work.
  • Arrange storage area in a neat and organized manner.
  • Sweep floor.
  • Make sure stairway handrail is secure.

Tidy extras
  • Plant flowers to brighten a walkway and enrich the entry.
  • Remove any indoor houseplants that are brown or losing their leaves.
  • Remove all “fixer” cars, campers and boats from the property.
  • Discard the clutter of magazines on the coffee and end tables.
  • Hide or get rid of worn-out throw pillows.
  • Replace shower curtains and invest in a matching set of towels in the bathroom.
  • At night, turn on porch light and outdoor lighting. Buyers often drive by homes they are considering at various times of day.