Prep Your Home Checklist

OUTSIDE

KITCHEN

  • Mow the lawn, and trim trees and shrubs away from the house.
  • Remove dead plants, flowers & shrubs.
  • Put away tools, garbage cans, hoses, toys & building materials.
  • Remove window screens while selling your home & keep windows clean.
  • Check for broken roof shingles and clean out gutters.
  • Seal or resurface driveway.
  • Clear patios and decks of planters, flower pots, charcoal & barbecues.
  • Dress up front yard shrubs & lamp posts with fresh mulch.
  • Repaint or refinish trim around windows and doors.
  • Clean the stove, oven, range hood and countertops.
  • Repair drippy faucets and squeaks or binds in cabinet drawers. Make sure cabinet hardware is also cleaned.
  • Discard old food & leftovers from refrigerator.
  • Remove messages, pictures and magnets from refrigerator.
  • Clear small appliances, dish drainer and cookware from countertop.
  • Wipe down cabinets and clear out items under the sink.

FOYER

FAMILY ROOM

  • Clean all light fixtures and replace with bright bulbs in the light fixtures.
  • Turn on all the lights before a buyer arrives to show there is nothing to hide.
  • Roll up and remove small rugs.
  • Fill the house with a fresh scent. Heat vanilla on the stove or bake a batch of cookies.
  • Spotlessly clean woodwork & carpeting.
  • Clear window ledges of all objects to give a nice glimpse inside & out.
  • Repaint walls in a neutral color such as antique white.
  • Clean fireplace & remove any items in front of it.
  • Replace carpet if it has a loud color.
  • Remove magazines, books, video games, toys and other clutter.
  • Create an easy going, relaxed atmosphere.
  • Dust and simplify shelves; remove family photos.

LIVING ROOM

BATHROOMS

  • Discard worn furniture & move extras to a storage area.
  • Visit a model home to get decorating ideas.
  • Clear away all magazines, books & other objects from furniture.
  • Take down picture that hide walls. Patch nail holes & paint.
  • Add lamps & lighting in dark area.
  • Open the curtains.
  • Set out some fresh flowers.
  • Remove any unnecessary items from the vanity, tub, etc.
  • The fixtures, tile & shower curtain should be immaculate.
  • Caulk & grout tile. Bleach discolored grout.
  • Remove any wall paper that is not “conservative.”
  • Decorate with towels.
  • Check bath vents are working properly.
  • Make sure all fixtures work properly and fix leaks.

OWNER SUITE

MISCELLANEOUS

  • This is 2nd most important-to-be appealing room.
  • Define areas by furniture arrangement. Keep it simple.
  • Be sure clothes are hung up.
  • Store off-season clothing elsewhere.
  • Clean out closets enough for buyers to get a good idea of storage size.
  • Make sure nothing is left under beds; add bed skirts for cleaner look.
  • Clean or replace HVAC filter. Clean air returns.
  • Test all smoke detectors.
  • Clean chimney, fireplace or woodstove.
  • Remove any wall paper that is not “conservative.”
  • Decorate with towels.
  • Make sure all windows, doors and cabinets open easily without squeaks; replace rusty hinges.
  • Check ventilation in attic, basement and crawlspace; update if necessary.
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