Prepare Your Home for Sale

Roy Wheeler Realty Co. specializes in the professional marketing of property. Exactly what does that mean to YOU? What is a marketing plan and what services can YOU expect? You may be moving up or you may be moving on, but your home is definitely going on the market and it’s time to prepare it for your buyers. In order to maximize the sale price, make an effort to view your house through their eyes. Here’s a room-by-room checklist that you can use:

Living areas

  • Fix all cracks, nail-pops and visible seams in the plaster.
  • Check ceiling for leak stains. Fix the cause of the damage and repair and repaint the ceiling.
  • Use conventional white and neutrals if redecorating (this also includes any carpet replacement and painting).
  • Clean out fireplace(s), stack logs inside to make it look inviting.
  • Wash all windows, repair broken glass and windows that stick.
  • Replace all burned out light bulbs, use higher wattage bulbs.
  • Make sure all light switches work.
  • Clean all floors and fix any creaking boards or stair treads.
  • Clean all window treatments.
  • Straighten out closets, get rid of clutter to make them appear larger. Fix squeaking doors with oil, spray room deodorizer to eliminate musty smells.
  • Fix doors that stick by rubbing a block of paraffin wax against the edge.
  • Rub the tracks of sticking doors with candle wax.
  • Remove as many personal items from the rooms as is possible. Living areas will appear larger and buyers will be looking at the house rather than your possessions.
  • Repair and/or replace broken tiles or worn linoleum.
  • Keep rooms clean and beds made.


  • Repair dripping faucets.
  • Display fresh towels, guest towel and soaps.
  • Remove stains from toilets, sinks, bathtubs.
  • Keep mirrors and all chrome shining.
  • Unclog sink and bath drains so water drains quickly.
  • Keep a solid room deodorizer in the bath area.
  • Replace old caulking around the tubs.
  • Repair and/or replace broken tiles or worn linoleum.

Basement, attic and garage

  • Dispose of all objects you will not be taking with you when you move and box all others neatly to make area look spacious.
  • Make sure the basement stairs are well lit.
  • Paint ceilings and walls of basement in a light color if they are gloomy.
  • Repair cracks in the basement or garage floor with ready-mix concrete.
  • Vacuum garage and basement floors and rafters.
  • If your basement is damp, use a dehumidifier.


  • Make the room bright and attractive. Paint cabinets if needed.
  • Scrub the ventilating hood over the stove.
  • Clean all kitchen appliances.
  • Store all counter-top appliances in cabinets to make the counter space look larger. Clean counters well.
  • Put down new flooring if the current linoleum is worn or cracked. Replace any broken tiles.
  • Leave a delicious smell in the kitchen – potpourri, cinnamon-apple, etc.

Exterior, landscaping and curb appeal

  • Making a good first impression is as important when selling your home as when meeting a business associate. It’s called "curb appeal." And it’s what draws a potential buyer out of their car and into your home.
  • Start by taking an objective look at your home. When you drive up, what’s the first thing you see? Is it an inviting setting that encourages buyers to stop and take notice? Or is the first thing you see your brother-in-law’s old boat, children’s toys all over the yard or overgrown landscaping?
Here are some tips for ensuring your home makes a good first impression:

Nice landscaping

  • Prune overgrown trees and bushes.
  • Pull weeds and dead or diseased plants.
  • Fertilize and mow your lawn to make it look green and healthy.
  • Consider planting flowers along walkways or in pots along your walkway to bring some color to the landscaping.
  • Spread mulch or beauty bark around trees, shrubs and flowers to give the yard a clean, well-kept look.

Attractive front entry

  • Polish your front door handle and other hardware.
  • Paint or stain your front door if needed.
  • Consider hanging a pretty wreath or floral swag.
  • Set out pots of flowers near the front door and/or where potential buyers are likely to notice them.
  • If you have a front porch, set the mood by featuring a bench or chairs with a table and flowers.
  • Keep all sidewalks, porches and walkways swept.
  • Buy a new front door mat in neutral tones.
  • Clean and polish light fixtures.

Make sure your front yard does not look cluttered. Move cars into the garage and out of the driveway whenever possible. Keep the kids’ bikes, toys and other play equipment out of sight. To minimize distractions, keep lawn and garden ornaments to a minimum. You will have created an environment that invites buyers into your home and allows them to picture themselves enjoying the yard. Please call a Roy Wheeler Realty agent or email us at so we can come by and suggest ways to improve your home’s presentation and curb appeal.