Prepare Your Home for Sale

Here’s my checklist for getting sellers on the right track. I usually add further activities unique to each home and most effective to attract our target buyer.

  • Check attic vents for blockage by bird nests, etc.
  • Clean window wells, dry wells and storage areas of debris.
  • Have heating and central air systems checked by service person and replace filters where necessary.
  • Exterior paint: touch-up minor areas, repaint/paint shutters and front door Check humidifier for proper operation.
  • Roofing: secure any loose shingles, replace damaged areas Have service person check water softener for proper operation.
  • Chimney: repair loose bricks, clean flue, repair chimney cap.
  • Check sump pump for proper operation and that cover is securely in place.
  • Gutters: clean and repair gutters, replace leaders and gutters where necessary.
  • If appliances will remain, make sure they are in good working condition and owner’s manuals are available.
  • Pruning: prune large trees and shrubbery, remove dead foliage.
  • Check all faucets for worn washers and pipes for leaks; repair where necessary.
  • Mason or stucco cracks: repair with caulking compound.
  • Re-caulk tub and shower enclosures.
  • Locks: lubricate, repair or replace locks, have keys made for main entry ways.
  • Have entry area brightly lit and clutter-free.
  • Keep lawn mowed, leaves raked, driveway and sidewalks clear depending on season.
  • Paint hallways and rooms off-white where necessary.
  • Area around front door should be neat.
  • Check front door bell, light fixtures and mail box. Plants or flowers will perk up the entrance.
  • Repair settling cracks and water marks.
  • Wash windows.
  • Repair loose wallpaper.
  • Make sure house number if visible.
  • Shampoo carpets and wax floors.
  • Replace outside lights with higher wattage bulbs.
  • Wash windows.
  • Remove stored items around house, pool and garage.
  • Clean kitchen closet and cabinets.
  • Check all windows, screens and storm doors; repair or replace broken items.
  • Clean hallway, bedroom closets, storage and basement areas.
  • Remove insects and bird nests from eaves.
  • Store excess furniture and possessions in attic or basement.
  • Clean garage
  • Make sure pets’ litter boxes, cages and bedding are clean and order-free.
  • Provide records on wells, septic, furniture and central air systems (who serviced them and when last serviced).
  • Leave lights on in dark rooms if there are no wall switches; leave shades up and allow as much light as possible to penetrate home.
  • If available, provide land survey; define easements, neighborhood assessments or covenants on land
  •  Increase wattage in light fixtures.
  • Determine what kind of insulation you have.
  • If your property has had termites or carpenter ants, check your warranty.
  • Do your own inspection and fix everything broken that is not a major expense.
  • Prepare a list of utilities including cost
  • Gather all documents related to upgrades, permits and certificates of occupancy.

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