Preparing Your Home For Sale

A quick home sale doesn’t happen by accident. It’s pricing the home correctly and staging the home correctly. A professional real estate agent can guide you through the process to ensure your home is competitively priced and looks its best when shown. Statistics tell us that 49% of all home sales are related to the initial curb appeal.


Correctly pricing a home is critical to a successful real estate transaction. While it is tempting to list your home on the high side it can actually deter agents from showing it, buyers from making offers and lead to longer days on market that ultimately leads to low offers and a perception of a desperate seller. The first few weeks on the market are when a home garners the most attention. It is vitally important your home is competitive with other similar properties being offered. Here are a few tips to avoid the temptation to overprice your home.

Take “Comps” seriously: “Comps” is short for comparable sales. As part of a market analysis your realtor should show you comparable properties that have recently sold and competitive properties currently on the market. As a rule of thumb, “Comps” don’t lie. A comp is third party information that is a real indicator of market value. The buyer will be doing the same research and have all the same data provided by his/her agent. In this market buyers will not overpay and in many cases pass over overpriced homes to work with more realistic sellers.

Consider an appraisal:  Appraisers use the same numbers and data when determining your home’s value. An appraiser’s value is generally related to what lending institutions will loan on a property. Even if you receive an offer at a higher-than-justified price, it can cause a major delay in the buyers mortgage process, force a renegotiation of the accepted sale price or dissolve your transaction altogether should the appraisal come in under the sale price.

You should work closely with your agent when evaluating the “Comps” to ensure your home is priced correctly and poised to take advantage of the initial market interest when listed.

Exterior Of Home:

  • Keep walkways, porches, decks and driveway cleared
  • Mow the lawn regularly
  • Remove dead plantings, trim shrubs and weed gardens
  • Remove mold and mildew from house and paint if necessary
  • Make minor repairs; fix gutters, damaged siding etc.
  • Create a warm inviting feeling

Interior Of Home:


  • Remove personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers need to see themselves in the home with their own personal effects.


  • Clean off all kitchen and bathroom counters
  • Pack up things you have not used in over a year
  • Remove most books and knickknacks from shelves
  • Clean out closets and kitchen cabinets
  • Organize all storage areas
  • Clean garage so cars can be parked inside
  • Make sure hallways and stairs are clear and accessible

Remove or Replace Special Items Not Staying:

  • If you want to take a special light fixture, appliances, window treatments or other items remove them and replace if necessary. Once a buyer sees them they will want them. If told no it will most likely become an issue that could jeopardize the transaction

Make Minor Repairs:

  • Fix windows that don’t open
  • Paint window trim and walls if chipped or unusual colors. Neutral colors work best
  • Fix minor plumbing issues, leaky faucet or toilet handle that doesn’t work
  • Make sure all lights work
  • Fix cracked tiles
  • Shampoo carpets if soiled or smell

Make the House Shine:

  • Vacuum before all showings/regularly
  • Wash wood floors and tile. Polish all chrome and stainless steel
  • Clean out refrigerator
  • Make sure tubs and showers sparkle
  • Wash all windows inside and out
  • Remove cobwebs and dust from screens
  • Remove dust and cobwebs from ceiling fans and air conditioners