Your Complete Checklist for Showing the Best Home on the Market

First impressions count. Your home has just one chance to make a great impression with each potential buyer. And a little effort can make a big difference.

Buyers are using online searches not only to select homes to view, but to eliminate those that don’t look appealing. Are you willing to run the risk of losing a potential buyer because your home lacks “web appeal”?

At Beverly-Hanks, we’ve seen thousands of properties over our 40 years in business. That makes us uniquely qualified to help you understand how to properly prepare your home for sale. Nothing is more important than pricing your home. But making sure your home is in optimal showing condition will set it apart from your competition. And in many cases, it’s the difference between a timely sale or a long, drawn-out process.

To ensure the best photos and showings for your property, follow this checklist to prepare your home for sale.

Your complete checklist to prepare your home for sale.

Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal


  • Repair any damaged roof shingles, gutters, and siding.
  • Repair and repaint fences, decks, windows, shutters, and screen doors.
  • Check caulk around windows and doors. Follow manufacturer’s recommendations to re-caulk if needed.
  • Repair major cracks in sidewalks and driveways.
  • Repaint or re-stain lawn furniture.
  • Discard old or broken lawn furniture, flower pots, and hanging baskets.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts. Clear them of debris if necessary.
  • Sweep walkways, patio, decks, steps, and porches.
  • Wash exterior windows.
  • Have chimneys and flues inspected and cleaned if necessary.
  • Clean your swimming pool until it sparkles.


  • Prune and trim trees and shrubs. Start a compost pile.
  • Rake leaves and pick up fallen limbs.
  • Replace dead or diseased plants and shrubs.
  • Clean out flower beds and plant seasonal flowers.
  • Add fresh mulch to beds and gardens.
  • Mow and edge your lawn.
  • Water your lawn, trees, and shrubs (if needed).


  • Shine hardware on the front door, outside lighting fixtures, etc.
  • Add a doormat at your entrance.
  • Add fresh flowers or potted plants around the door.
  • Add visible house numbers.
  • Test the doorbell to make sure it works.

Make Your Home Sparkle


  • Add a fresh coat of interior paint in light, neutral colors.
  • Clean upholstery and polish wood surfaces.
  • Clean and deodorize all carpeting.
  • Clean draperies and blinds.
  • Clean all light fixtures and ceiling fans.
  • Clean windows inside and out including glass, frames, and ledges.


  • Clean bathrooms thoroughly including floors, walls, fixtures, and tiles.
  • Clean kitchen ceiling, cabinets, sink, and appliances (inside and out).
  • Wax and polish kitchen floors.
  • Clean out attic, garage, workshop, and basement spaces.
  • Clean out closets and straighten clothes, shoes, and other articles.
  • Organize storage areas, including pantries, linen closets, laundry rooms, and medicine cabinets.
  • Clean your fireplaces (if applicable).

Make Any Additional Repairs

  • Repair any toilet, sink, or faucet leaks.
  • Caulk and grout tiles (if needed).
  • Repair or replace any broken appliances.
  • Repair any doors, cabinets, or windows that do not work properly.
  • Patch spots on walls and ceilings (if needed) and repaint.
  • If pests are a problem, be sure to have the issue inspected and treated prior to market.
  • Make sure furnace, HVAC, and hot water heater are in working order.

Appearance is Key


  • Rearrange your furniture and remove “extra” pieces to make rooms appear larger.
  • Remove clutter from all rooms, bookshelves, and countertops to provide an open, spacious feel.
  • Remove any loose or personal paperwork, magazines, newspapers or mail that is visible on countertops, tables, or desks.
  • Remove any extra appliances from countertops in kitchens, bathrooms, dressers, and vanities.


  • Replace light bulbs and add lamps to brighten dark rooms.
  • Remove any unpleasant odors throughout the entire house and deodorize.
  • Clean and put away all dishes, pots, and pans.
  • Clear your refrigerator completely of messages, photos, and magnets.
  • Straighten children’s rooms and store all toys.
  • Pick up after pets.

Add Any Final Touches Inside

  • Replace throw rugs or house plants that look shabby.
  • Add fresh flowers or potpourri.
  • Add decorative pillows to sofas and beds.
  • Replace the shower curtain.
  • Add coordinated towels and accessories in the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Open curtains and windows for daytime showings.

The whole idea in preparing your home for sale is to present a clean, spacious, clutter-free home that potential buyers can see themselves living in.

Your Beverly-Hanks & Associates, REALTOR® can provide additional suggestions on improving the marketability of your home. Contact us today to speak with a Beverly-Hanks real estate agent about scheduling a pre-market consultation.




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