Knowing what you need to do as a homeowner preparing to list your house for sale is just as important as hiring the right real estate agent.

At Brett Furman Group, our best results happen when we work together as a team with home sellers to get the job done.

Steps to Prepare Your Home for Sale

Here is a detailed list of steps to follow when you’re ready to get started:

  • Change Light Bulbs
    It’s easy to forget about all the bulbs that have burned out over the years, but you want your home to be as bright as possible.
  • Get Moving Boxes and Packing Tape
    A big part of the adventure you’re about to embark on involves reducing clutter. For under $100, you can get proper packing supplies. If you’re going to be moving a lot of stuff out of your house for the sale, consider renting a storage locker.
  • Embrace the Entrance
    Buyers will have an emotional reaction to your home upon entering it, so a clean and inviting entrance is essential to their experience. Be disciplined during the time your house is for sale and only keep the shoes and coats you will really wear, then stow away everything else.
  • Tackle The Bathrooms
    Remove all the toiletries on display. Invest in some new white towels (for show, not personal use). Purchase new accessories: soap dispenser, toothbrush holder, shower curtain, bath mat, etc. The perk? You can take these new items with you to use in your new space!
  • Declutter the Kitchen
    Buyers are most attracted to the kitchen, so don’t skip it. Remove your appliances from the counters – you want them to be as clear as possible. Clean inside all the cupboards, removing everything and wiping them out. Don’t cram all your dishes and food back in – you want to convey to Buyers that your kitchen has enough storage for their stuff. Clean inside the fridge (and remove the magnets, photos, and reminders). Use your self-cleaning oven. Consider investing in some fresh flowers and a beautiful bowl with fresh fruit in it.
  • Next up: The Bedrooms
    The bedrooms should be inviting, which means more cleaning and decluttering. Add a neutral-colored duvet cover and some fancy pillows. Straighten the bookshelves. Remove photos, knick-knacks, and personal grooming products. Clean out the closets. Consider getting an area rug. If you have any furniture that doesn’t really fit into the space, store it offsite. Convert any home offices you created back into bedrooms.
  • Spruce up The Living Room
    Clean the sofa and chairs and invest in some new throw pillows. Consider getting an area rug to bring the room together. Hide the wires from your TV/stereo/speakers.
  • Set the Dining Room Table
    Remove the kids’ homework and the piles of magazines and mail that have accumulated on the dining room table. Clean up the hutch. If your dining chairs have seen better days, consider getting them reupholstered or purchasing chair covers. Invest in a new tablecloth to hide an old table.
  • De-clutter, Organize, and Clean the Basement
    Whether your basement is finished or just a storage area, you’ll need to invest the time to make it look as spacious and clean as possible.
  • Attack the Closets and Storage Areas
    Buyers will open your closets. They’ll look in your cupboards. The last thing you want is for Buyers to think there isn’t enough storage in your home, so take the time to pack away what you don’t need in the immediate future.
  • Store vs. Donate vs. Throw Away
    It’s a pain (and expensive) to store all the stuff you don’t really need. Take some time and decide what to throw out/donate/sell/save in storage.
  • Get Rid of All the Things That Make Your Home Yours
    Buyers want to imagine their own stuff in the house, not yours. Ouch, I know it hurts to read that! Remove all the family photos and souvenirs. Walk through every room in your house and pretend you’re a Buyer. Get rid of anything that defines you.
  • Painting and Touch-ups
    A fresh coat of paint is one of the cheapest ways to freshen up your home. Choose a color that’s likely to appeal to the most people possible. (Tip: light colors will help small rooms look bigger). Don’t forget about baseboards and ceilings – they might need some paint too.
  • Repair What You’ve Been Avoiding
    We all have that honey-do list of never-ending repairs and fix-its. Now’s the time to get to it, including fixing the leaky faucet, the picture holes in the wall, etc. Get it done once and for all. If you aren’t handy yourself, we have some great handymen who can take care of the work.
  • Get the Windows Cleaned
    Over time, the elements can really make your windows dirty. Do it yourself or hire an affordable window cleaning crew.
  • Focus on the Front Yard
    Curb appeal matters and will significantly impact people’s first impression of your house. Clean the scuff marks off the front door and touch-up the chipped paint or give it a fresh coat. And if your front door has seen better days, consider investing in a new one. If you have a front porch, make it look inviting. Invest in some seasonal plants. Clean up the garden. A lot of Buyers will see your home at night, so make sure that your outdoor lighting is showing off your home.
  • Brighten up Your Backyard
    Depending on the time of year you are selling, clean up the gardens, trim the trees, cut the grass, stain the deck, and clean the patio furniture. Do your best to make it look presentable. If you have a garage, now’s the time to tidy it up too.
  • Get the Carpets Cleaned
    Unless your carpets are brand new, you’ll want to have them steam cleaned (or do it yourself). You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes. Don’t forget to invest in some great products for the other floors in your home too.
  • Wipe the Walls and Doors
    Whether you live alone or have an entire family at home with you, Mr. Clean® Magic Erasers will be your best friend. It’s amazing how many walls and doors get scuffed.
  • The Final Clean
    While you can do this final step yourself, we know how exhausting the process has been. Hire professional cleaners who will make sure to clean all the spots you missed: the baseboards, inside the lights, the fridge, etc.
  • Make Plans for the Kids and Pets
    Put away all the toys and make a plan to keep them concealed. Have a plan to get your pets out of the house.

You’ve worked hard, and now it’s time to step back and admire your work. How does it look? Do you see anything that might distract or turn off a Buyer? Take one final walk through all the rooms and adjust as necessary.

Now…call your Realtor to schedule photography and start marketing!