To get the best return on your home, you need to make your home look its best. The simple truth is that homes with great curb appeal and homes that are super clean, well maintained, and have pleasing decor sell faster and for more money than homes that don’t measure up. You may also want to consider having your home inspected before you list it. In doing this, you will learn if there are any major repairs needed and can address them before the house goes on the market.

Here’s a checklist that will help you present your home in its best possible light.


  • Mow the lawn and run the edger along the driveway and sidewalks.
  • Trim all shrubbery, remove dead branches from trees, and remove/replace any old or dying bushes.
  • Spruce up your shrubs and trees with fresh mulch or pine straw
  • Hide garbage cans, water hose, and miscellaneous items to help keep clutter at a minimum.
  • Wash your windows and scrub your screens clean.
  • Replace any broken shingles and clean the gutters.
  • Pressure wash, seal or resurface the driveway.
  • Pressure wash the house, if necessary.
  • Repaint or refinish trim on windows and doors.
  • Keep your front entryway super clean and freshly painted.
  • Check that house numbers, mailbox and exterior lighting are all in good condition.



  • Get rid of all the old junk taking up space in your garage.
  • If you have a two car garage, clear enough space for two cars to be able to fit in there.
  • Ensure the garage door opener is working properly.
  • Fix any squeaky doors or loose hinges.
  • Make sure the garage door has been thoroughly cleaned and windows washed.
  • Thoroughly clean the walls, shelves and floor, and repaint where necessary.



  • Remove bulbs and replace with brighter bulbs. Wipe down light fixtures.
  • Clean floors and vacuum carpets.
  • Reduce clutter on window ledges and wipe them down.
  • Paint over accent color walls with a neutral color.



  • Clean the sink and check for leaky faucets. Clean out under the sink.
  • Fix squeaky or jammed drawers and cabinet doors. Wipe down cabinets.
  • If your cabinets are outdated, new hardware may be necessary.
  • Keep the refrigerator clear of pictures, notes, and magnets.
  • Keep the counter-tops clear, putting away appliances and kitchen supplies.



  • Clear and clean the fire place, and keep the mantle clutter free.
  • Replace old Carpet or have the carpets professionally cleaned
  • Make sure to put away family photos.
  • Dust all surfaces.
  • Store or discard tired looking furniture.
  • Keep your décor simple. Less is more.
  • Add light to dark spaces.



  • Remove items from the sink, shower, and tub. Clean thoroughly.
  • The fixtures, tile & shower curtain should be immaculate. Wash the shower curtain, or replace with a neutral color if necessary.
  • Fix up caulk & grout tile. Scrub discolored grout with a baking soda paste or bleach.
  • Remove patterned wallpaper.
  • Use towels to decorate, but keep them simple and neutral.
  • Vacuum and wipe down bathroom vents.
  • Check for leaks and repair any broken fixtures.



  • Keep the bedrooms simple, but use space wisely.
  • Hang clothes in the closet and fold carefully.
  • Remove any clothing storage bins that can make the closet look cluttered.
  • Keep the clothing in the closet to a minimum, so buyers can see the size.
  • Remove under the bed storage, and add a bed skirt.



  • Clean or replace HVAC filter.
  • Clean air returns.
  • Test all smoke detectors and CO detectors.
  • Clean or hire a professional to clean your chimney, fireplace, and wood stove.
  • Remove bright, patterned wallpaper.
  • Test doors, cabinets and windows for squeaks or loose hardware and make sure all the hardware is in good condition.
  • Check ventilation in crawlspaces, basements, and attics.
  • Turn on the lights and open the blinds before buyers arrive.
  • Take advantage of soft scents by heating vanilla on the stove, baking cookies, or lighting a candle.
  • Play classical or jazz music at a low volume to create a pleasant ambiance and unique showing experience.
  • Conceal any critters, such as dogs or cats, when you have someone coming to look at your home.

By following this Checklist your home will be appealing to the masses. Remember that the first impression is the only impression. It’s important that the potential home buyer feels warm, welcome and safe from the moment they arrive at your house.