Ready to Sell - Home-Prep Checklist
You've dealt with major problems and purged your home of clutter. Now, it's time to do your own walk-through, looking through the eyes of your potential buyers. Use the following checklists to guide you, and make sure everything is ship-shape.
Exterior Home-Prep Checklist
- Mailbox: Is it in good repair? Is the address number clear?
- For Sale sign: Is it clean and attractive? Is the real estate agent's phone number easy to read?
- Is grass green and healthy-looking? Does it need to be cut? Deal with any weeds or crabgrass. Remove fallen leaves and other debris.
- Are trees healthy? Are they too close to power lines? Do branches overhang the home?
- Are shrubs and flowering plants healthy and attractive? Do they need trimming?
- Is landscaping tidy? Do you need to install edging or put down mulch?
- Is the driveway in good repair? Have weeds been pulled and cracks patched?
- How does the roof look? Make any repairs and remove stains, if possible.
- Check and clean gutters and downspouts, fixing any problems.
- Check masonry work and chimney (if applicable).
- Is the front porch clean? Does the porch light work? Is porch seating attractive? Remove cobwebs.
- Is the front door attractive and sturdy? Fix any problems with door seals, flashing or sticking doors.
- If you have a screen door, make sure it is clean and in good repair.
- Check the back yard, and back side of the home, as well as the front.
Interior Home-Prep Checklist
- Check ceilings and walls for discoloration or water stains and clean or paint as needed. If you have water stains on ceilings, check the corresponding roof area for leaks.
- Check the tops of all walls for cobwebs and remove.
- Dust ceiling fans and clean ceiling lighting fixtures.
- In the kitchen, clean sinks and appliances until they sparkle. Would you buy a home with a dirty oven? (Yes, buyers will look.)
- Detail-clean switch plates and electrical outlets - they can be dirt magnets. If they won't come clean, replace.
- Clean windows and window sills, or hire a professional cleaning service. Clean windows make everything in the home look better.
- Clean window treatments and screens, making any repairs.
- Have all rugs and carpets cleaned. Professionals may be able to remove stains you thought were permanent.
- Check all interior doors to make sure they fit well and hardware is in good shape. Tighten knobs and other hardware as needed.
- Examine all flooring surfaces. Fix squeaks in wood floors, and re-glue any vinyl flooring that has loosened.
- Re-check bathrooms for musty smells or mildew. Clean aggressively.
- Clean the garage from top to bottom, purging clutter and removing oil stains from the garage floor. Make sure the garage door opener works smoothly.
- If your home has a laundry room, make sure it's clean and organized.
- If you have a finished basement, make sure it's cleaned and organized to the same standard as the rest of the home. Check lighting to make sure the basement room isn't dark or dreary. Eliminate any musty odors.
- If you have an unfinished basement, be wary of storing items on blocks or tables. If nothing is directly on the floor, buyers may think you have a water problem.
- Have a pet plan. Your Doberman may be just a big, loving puppy - but it will scare buyers off in more ways than one. All pets must be secured when we show your home.
Once you've cleaned and organized the inside of your home, go through it again to re-purge it of clutter. It can be a good idea to invite over a friend or relative with extra-high housekeeping standards to check your work.