Prepping Your Home for the Market- Almost 100 Ways to Spruce Up Your Home

Curb Appeal
  • Pressure wash driveway and walkways.
  • Mail boxes should be evaluated with a critical eye.
  • Paint and repair the mail box or replace it if necessary.
  • Make all those minor repairs to the exterior.
  • Clean cobwebs, hornet nests, etc., from entryway.
  • Porches, steps, verandas, balconies, patios and other extensions of the house should be kept uncluttered, swept and in good condition.
  • Inspect all entrance doors and weather stripping. Paint and replace weather stripping as necessary.
  • Inspect exterior doors and door jambs for wood rot, address as necessary.
  • Wash all windows and inspect for cracks, replace panes as necessary.
  • Shades and awnings should be in good condition. Replace if the color has faded. Remove windsocks.
  • Create an outside living/dining area with furniture and plants if there is an entry porch.
  • Clean and shine all accessories (door knobs, knockers, lamps, mail boxes, address numbers, etc.).
  • Clean, repair and paint all gutters and downspouts.
  • All roof shingles, tiles, etc. should be secured or replaced. If the roof leaks — fix it!
  • Make sure the garage door opens easily. Fix and paint the garage door if necessary.
  • Paint chimney and replace broken bricks or stones.
  • Fix the front door bell.
  • Invest in a new door mat and/or wreath.
  • Make sure the front door, screen door, etc. work wonderfully!
  • Water and prune all plants.
  • Use flowering plants to dress up the yard, walkways, and patio.
  • Freshen mulch around entry and foundation landscaping.
  • Weed gardens.
First Impressions
  • Have a family emergency “game plan” to get the home in order quickly if necessary.
  • Clean = Green$$. Clean everything like your in-laws are expected tomorrow- baseboards, blinds/shades, for example.
  • Create the feeling of a spacious entry area by using decorating accents, mirrors, rugs, etc. and by removing all unnecessary clutter.
  • Open the drapes pull up the shades and let in the sunlight.
  • Create a positive mood. Turn on all lights, day or night.
  • Install higher wattage light bulbs to show your home brightly—in its best light.
  • Clean all light bulbs, light fixtures and chandeliers to brighten the home.
  • Remove all clutter from each room to visually enlarge them and create the impact of spaciousness.
  • Lightly spray the room with air freshener so that it has a chance to diffuse and air 30 minutes before the buyer arrives.
  • Shampoo all carpets and vacuum them routinely.
  • If the carpet does not clean up well you should Replace It!
  • Improve traffic flow through every room and create a feeling of spaciousness in every room by removing unnecessary furniture, knick-knacks, hobby items, children’s items, etc. However, try to avoid creating a “sterile” looking environment.
  • If you have numerous family photos put them away until your home is under contract. Prospective buyers will feel more like it can be their home if they aren’t aware of your family photo memories.
  • Change AC filters and clean air vents.
  • Curtains should be fresh, clean and attractive.
  • Remove all smoke odors, pet odors, and odors resulting from hobbies.
Living Room/Family Room/Gathering Rooms
  • De-clutter all tabletops.
  • Freshen or replace pillows with attractive accent pillows.
  • If you have a fireplace, highlight it in your decorating.
  • Remove any seasonal decorations.
  • Add visual appeal to stairways.
  • Firewood should be neatly stacked or out of sight.
Master Bedroom
  • Create a master “suite” effect in your decorating.
  • Make sure that beds are made and the linens and curtains are fresh and clean. This could be just that excuse to purchase the new bed linens you’ve been eyeing.
  • Organize closets, remove unnecessary items and put them in storage.
  • Open draperies, turn on lights.
  • Lock up or remove valuable jewelry, watches, etc.
Secondary Bedrooms
  • Make sure that beds are made and the linens and curtains are fresh and clean.
  • Organize closets, remove unnecessary items and put them in storage.
  • Open draperies, turn on lights.
  • Remove posters and adhesive from walls and doors and putty any holes resulting from nails or other mishaps.
  • Depersonalize teenagers’ rooms and decorate in a neutral fashion.
  • Bathrooms should always be kept spotlessly clean.
  • Do not leave towels around and wipe down the shower areas after each use.
  • Recaulk if the caulking is not sparkling white!
  • Clean shower surround to remove calcium scale
  • Put out fresh towels and decorative soap for showings.
  • Repair or replace broken tiles on walls, floors or in showers/tubs.
  • Repair or replace loose or dangling wall paper.
  • Replace all toilet bowls if you cannot get them spotlessly clean.
  • Clean all mirrors.
  • Replace shower curtains and keep them clean.
  • Replace the washers in faucets and remove rust stains from basins.
  • Remove prescription medications from sight.
Dining Room
  • Highlight the potential of your dining room by setting a grand dining table!
  • A vase of fresh flowers makes a nice statement.
Kitchen and Pantry
  • The kitchen should always be kept spotlessly clean.
  • Invest in bright, new kitchen towels.
  • Declutter your counter space by removing small appliances.
  • Highlight an eat-in area in your kitchen with a table set for dinner.
  • Remove all grease from range hoods, ovens, stove tops, walls, microwave, etc.
  • Run the garbage disposal and empty trash to minimize food odors.
  • Organize pantry to create spacious feeling
Home Office
  • ABOVE ALL- remove or lock up all personal documents that could be a source of identity theft.
Backyard, Lanai, and Pool Area
  • Pressure wash pool deck and pool cage.
  • Repair or replace any missing or torn screens.
  • Highlight your outdoor area with lighting, benches, planters, flowering plants, etc.
  • Take nighttime photos of decorative yard lighting systems.
  • Take pictures of your flowering mature landscaping now if you are planning to sell your home later in the season.
  • Check pavered area for weeds.
  • Set an inviting outdoor dining area.
  • Freshen mulch around plantings.
  • Keep the yard mowed, raked, fertilized and watered at all times!
  • Remove all toys, bicycles, tools, unsightly patio furniture, trash, etc. from the yard.
  • All hoses and garden equipment should be neatly out of sight.
  • Outdoor furniture should be kept clean and/or repainted if necessary.
Garage and Storage Areas
  • Remove all unnecessary items from the attic, basement, garage, tool shed, and especially from the storage area if you have one.
  • Rent a storage area for these items or have a yard sale.
  • Paint garage floor if badly stained.
  • Check to make sure that all garage doors open easily.