I’m Ready to Sell My Home; Now What?

Congratulations! Deciding to sell, for whatever reason, is a huge deal, so you want to do everything you can to make your home MORE appealing than the others on the market. Why? So it sells. Unless you like it sitting on the market--then totally skip this whole blog; it’s not for you. However, if you ARE wanting to sell quickly, then this checklist below should prove very useful. The list of items is in order from most important; let’s say you had only a small budget to do what you could to make your home as good as possible: do the first couple of items from each subheading. Sometimes, if there’s a long list of items on an inspection report, buyers get cold feet and back out or ask for a lot of money in lieu of getting the repairs completed. So, if you can, do as much as possible on this list. After all, a clean inspection will get you more money in the end.

Let’s start at the top, shall we?

Inside of Home:

❏ Have home professionally treated for insects/bugs

Attic

❏ Clean out stored junk (I know, who looks up there? Well, the inspector will)

❏ Check underside of roof for leaks, stains, or dampness

Walls

❏ Clean off fingerprints, smudges, grease, and dirt 

❏ Repair cracks, holes, or damage to plaster or drywall

❏ Paint with a NEUTRAL colored paint if necessary

Windows and Doors

❏ Check for smooth operation

❏ Replace broken or cracked panes

❏ Check condition of weather stripping and caulking

❏ Clean windows to let in as much light as possible; clean window sills, tracks, blinds, and valances 

❏ Ensure burglar alarms and doorbell or chimes work properly

❏ Paint, if needed

Floors

❏ Clean baseboards, moldings, carpet, wood and tile floors

❏ Correct loose, missing, or cracked tiles

❏ Correct loose handrails or posts, worn tread, carpet, and creaks

❏ Correct any issues with carpet including stains, overstretching and hanging threads

Bathrooms

❏ CLEAN!! The bathroom and kitchen are the rooms that turns off buyers the most if not clean. Ensure chrome sparkles, mirrors are clean and all fixtures look as new as possible

❏ Repair/replace broken/cracked/yucky tile joints, grouting, and caulking, removing any mold/mildew

❏ Repair leaking faucets and shower heads

❏ Ensure proper operation of toilet and faucets

❏ Paint, if needed

Kitchen

❏ Clean, organize and polish EVERYTHING. This room has a huge impact on buyers! This includes the inside 

of the dishwasher, oven, cabinets, and below sink. 

❏ Remove accumulation of grease or dust from tiles, walls, cabinets, floors and just above the stovetop

❏ Remove everything non-essential or dangerous such as knives which may be at a child’s height on center island or counters

Living Room(s)

❏ Remove extra furniture, knick-knacks, collections, family pictures, plants, etc. Keep only the basics necessary to distinguish the area (couch, chairs, rug, coffee table, lamp, and a few items to display; tv is optional)

❏ Repair anything broken that needs to stay in room, or cover it up so it doesn’t show (i.e., rip in cushion)

Electrical System

❏ Repair any exposed wiring and outlets

❏ Have a professional electrician label each switch in the circuit breaker box 

Plumbing System

❏ Check water pressure when faucets in bathroom(s) and kitchen are turned on 

❏ Look for leaks at faucets, sink traps, and valves and repair

❏ Clear slow-running or clogged drains 

Heating and Cooling Systems

❏ Change or clean furnace and air conditioning filters 

❏ Have equipment serviced if needed 

❏ Clear and clean areas around heating and cooling equipment 

 

Outside of Home:

❏ Have home professionally treated for insects/bugs

Roof and Gutters

❏ Inspect flashing around roof stacks, vents, skylights, and chimneys 

❏ Clean gutters of debris

❏ Clear obstructions from vents, louvers, and chimneys 

❏ Check fascias and softs for decay and peeling paint 

❏ Repair loose or missing mortar around chimney 

Exterior Walls

❏ Check masonry walls for cracks and damage 

❏ Replace loose or missing caulk 

❏ Hose down outside of house to remove mold, mildew, dust and dirt buildup (can use mixture of bleach and water, or a power washer)

❏ Repair any cracks and chips

❏ Paint, if necessary 

Driveway

❏ Clean grease or stains 

❏ Remove grass or weeds growing in driveway seams 

❏ Park in the garage if possible, leaving a clear driveway at all times 

Garage

❏ Lubricate hinges and other hardware on your garage door 

❏ Make sure electrical outlets are working properly

❏ Test garage door opener for smooth and quiet operation 

❏ Clean and organize; have a garage sale/donate/throw away/send to storage unit all unused items 

❏ Remove dangerous tools from levels a child may reach 

Foundation

❏ Check walls, steps, retaining walls for cracks; if unsure, have a foundation company inspect for any settling or major issues that will need to be addressed

Yard

❏ Pick up yard trash, bikes, toys, and other items that are not necessary for using the yard.

❏ Mow lawn, and keep lawn mowed and edged

❏ Trim hedges, prune trees and shrubs; especially around windows—let the light in! 

❏ Weed and mulch flower beds

❏ Re-seed, re-rock or sod if needed

❏ Ensure watering times are following city ordinances, adjust sprinklers which spray onto walkways 

❏ Keep yard free of animal mines (pick up the poo!)

For a PDF version of the check-list, click here.