Add Sales Appeal – Showcase Your House


  • Go around the perimeter of the house and remove trash and debris.  Place garbage cans in the garage or out of sight.
  • Check exterior trim and sidings for wood rot and peeling paint.
  • Make sure gutters are free of leaves and debris and are in good condition.
  • Apply fresh paint as needed and replace damaged bricks or wood siding.
  • Inspect all plants and remove dead or dying ones.  Prune trees and bushes that block the path to the front door or that are blocking windows.
  • Weed and clean flower beds and add fresh colorful plants as needed.
  • Keep the lawn neat and mowed
  • Keep the driveway, walkways, and steps clear of water hoses, tools, toys or bicycles.
  • Repair any cracked or broken windows and replace old or torn screens.
  • Be sure the faucets and sprinkler systems are in good working order.
  • If you have a pool or spa, be sure it sparkles.
  • Keep the patio or deck area clean and uncluttered.  Make it inviting to prospective buyers.
  • Pay special attention to the front entry area and the front door.  Paint or refinish the front door in necessary.  Clean the porch lights and put out a new welcome mat.
  • In the garage remove all unnecessary items, clean floor and tidy the shelves.



  • Clean up.
  • Remove clutter and organize.  Clear out everything but the essentials.  Sell or give away the things you don’t use and store the rest elsewhere even if you must rent a storage unit.
  • Keep stairways clear and clean to avoid injuries around your house.
  • Pare down closets and make sure there is plenty of space so it doesn’t appear that there is not enough storage.
  • Rearrange furniture to create a roomy atmosphere.
  • Clean draperies, blinds, carpets, windows, and walls.  If an item can’t be cleaned paint it or replace it.
  • The air-conditioner, heater, kitchen appliances, plumbing and electrical systems must be in good working order.
  • Fix even the small things that need it, such as drippy faucets, non-working electrical outlets, light switches, ceiling fans or garage door openers.
  • Bathrooms need special attention – sparkling clean is the key.  Add new shower curtains, towels and floor mats.
  • The kitchen is one of the most important areas.  Clean it – the counters, the floor, the pantry, the cupboards, under the sink and even under the refrigerator.  Clean counters of clutter and small appliances.
  • Replace light bulbs with higher wattage bulbs where possible.
  • Depersonalize.  Remove excess family photos and such things as sports trophies, political posters, music posters, or pictures that you think someone might find offensive.

Two Special Issues

  • If you have pets, determine if there is any area (preferably outside or in your garage) where you can confine them when potential buyers visit.  If possible send pets to a pet daycare, to a family member, to friends or take them with you.
  • Be aware of odors.  They very seriously influence buyers.  Be cautious of smells from cooking, smoking, pets, or baby’s room.  Use commercial deodorizers and give the house a fresh clean smell.  Covering up with potpourri or burning candles is not always the answer.

When the Buyers Come to Look

  • Turn all the lights on, even if it is daytime.
  • Open all draperies, curtains, shades, and blinds
  • Tidy up the house.  There should be no dirty dishes in the sink, no unmade beds, no magazines, papers or toys scattered around.
  • Keep the house a comfortable temperature.
  • Turn off TV’s and radios.  Either play soft background music or nothing.
  • Leave the house during visits.  Buyers often feel like intruders and are uncomfortable if the seller is present.  They will often rush to leave.
  • If you must be home, let the real estate agent show your house.  Do not follow them around or try to engage in conversation with the buyer.