Preparing Your Home For The Market

As you prepare to begin showing your home to prospective buyers, you might consider taking some of the steps listed here. 

Potential buyers often welcome a home that is clean, neat, uncluttered, in good repair, light, airy, fragrant, and quiet. 

Here are a few tips that can help you get your home ready to show.

Inside Your Home

  • Organize and de clutter all closets.
  • Clean dishes and laundry.
  • Clean windows (inside and outside).
  • Repaint rooms neutral colors.
  • Polish door handles, fix leaky faucets .
  • Replace burned out light bulbs.
  • Clean or replace dirty carpets and rugs.
  • Open blinds and curtains.


  • Neatly arrange dishes and mugs in cupboards.
  • Hang shirts in same direction.
  • Keep remote controls at entertainment station (not on couch).
  • Take pets to a neighbor.
  • Keep computer station clean and dusted.
  • If necessary, rent a storage unit for excess furniture, lawn equipment, and personal items.
  • Pack up knickknacks and clear books from bookshelves.
  • Make all visible repairs. 

Special touches 

  • Pay close attention to the kitchen and bathrooms.  Make them as clean, modern, and well lit as possible.
  • “Add” more space to your house by removing bulky furniture and clearing tops of tables, dressers, and other flat surfaces.
  • Don’t store things in your closets, basement, garage, or attic.  These spaces should be clean, organized, and open.
  • Put on a low fire on cold days and offer refreshments.
  • Pack away anything you want to take with you (i.e. special drapes, heirloom chandelier, etc).  Once you tell a buyer she can’t have an item, she will covet it.
  • When buyers visit, play soft music, bake something to make the house smell good, and get lost. Give buyers time in the house alone without you in the way.  Remember to talk very little and to allow buyers to have their own experiences in the house.  

Outside Your Home

Buyers will make a first impression of your home within 60 seconds, and the impression will be formed based on your house's outside appearance.  Not only that, most buyers research homes on the Internet before visiting, and they form impressions based on the house's listing pictures.  One cannot over emphasize the importance of maximizing your property's attractiveness from the outside, including landscaping, lighting, and the house itself.

Yard improvements

  • Season permitting, plant flowers.
  • Add new mulch to flower beds.
  • Give entrance a welcome feeling.
  • Add or remove plants, trees, and shrubs as appropriate.
  • Make sure your walkway and front porch are clear from debris, leaves.

Home Improvements

  • Make any visibly needed repairs.
  • Paint, varnish, or purchase a new front door.
  • Polish or purchase new door handle.
  • Add extra lighting.
  • Clean gutters.