Get Ready to List!

Tips to get your house ready to list your house for sale…without breaking the bank!


  • Clear almost EVERYTHING off of your kitchen and bathroom counters. Yes, even if you use it every day. Clutter-free counters show off your counter space, which is an attractive feature in a home.
  • Pack up personal photos. Keep decor neutral so prospective buyers can picture themselves living in the space.
  • Pack up any trinkets, etc on end tables, coffee tables, mantles, and any other surface. Think about how a model home looks and try to emulate that.
  • Pack up books and keep your bookcases looking sparse.
  • If your closets are bulging at the seams, consider thinning them out a bit. You don’t want your closets to appear too small.
  • Remove ALL of the papers and magnets from your fridge.
  • Get the grime off of the walls (especially near light switches, hand level if you have kids, stair rails, front and garage doors, & walls near trash cans).
  • Clean your ceiling fans.
  • Clean your heat vents if they are covered in dust.
  • Get your carpets professionally cleaned.
  • Clean the appliances (fridge, stove, microwave- inside and out!). If your appliances are stainless steel, keep them fingerprint-free.
  • Keep your house picked up ALL of the time. This is hard to do, especially if you have kids, but it makes a big difference.
  • Clean up any pet areas- try to keep pet hair to a minimum, clean up sliders/windows with nose/slobber marks, & use a deodorizer to get rid of any pet odors. Put pet beds/toys away for showings.
  • Invest in new shower curtains.
  • Plant flowers in the yard- easy way to enhance curb appeal.
  • Trim trees away from the roofline, cut back out-of-control bushes, and weed your garden.
  • Organize your closets! Yes, buyers will open your closet doors and an organized house shows buyers that the owners stay current on home repairs/cleanings.
  • Buy a pet kennel for your animals if you don’t have one, and put them in it (in the garage or basement, if possible) during showings or remove pets from the house altogether for showings. This reduces your risk of a nervous animal biting/scratching prospective buyers and buyers who are skittish around animals will still feel comfortable viewing your home.
  • Paint dark trim white to make the house feel more updated and modern.
  • If you have kids, buy attractive looking toy bins that you can stash in a cabinet/corner for quick and easy playtime and cleanup.
  • Remove wallpaper, especially if it is peeling or is a dated print.
  • Buy a new doormat to greet buyers as soon as they get to your front door.
  • Make sure your front door lock isn’t sticky and works properly. The buyers need to be able to access the home before they can put an offer in!
  • Replace a broken/cracked doorbell. This is their first impression of the upkeep of the house.
  • Fresh flowers in the kitchen are also a nice touch!
  • Repaint dated tile in the bathrooms. It is much less expensive than replacing it, and makes the bathroom look worlds better. Ask your favorite contractor and/or local hardware store what you need for a DIY project.
  • Update your brass fixtures with something more modern- new cabinet knobs, new light fixtures, new plumbing fixtures, new door handles & hinges.
  • Paint the walls- keep the color scheme neutral (beige/tans are better than whites, which tend to feel a bit sterile and bold colors could be a drawback for buyers) to attract more buyers.
  • Think about mud jacking a sunken stoop or patio.
  • Restain/Repaint fences and decks to give them a fresh look.
  • Replace carpet in the bathrooms with tile or another hard surface. I don’t know of any buyer who likes carpet in the bathroom.

And when the showings start, PLEASE make sure you LEAVE the house!! No buyer wants to open your cabinets and look at your shower nozzles with the owners following them around the house. And buyers need to be able to do this so they can visualize this as their next home!

If your house is vacant, you may want to consider hiring a professional stager to make the house look and feel comfortable. Stagers are experts at designing rooms to maximize the space, add the right amount of color, and make the rooms feel very usable.

Want to know the value of your house in today’s market? Give me a call at 303-378-9333 or click here to inquire online.


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