How should I prepare my home for sale?

We have all heard the expression, “you only have one chance to make a good first impression”. This expression has never been more true than when it comes to selling a home. When preparing your home for sale, make it SPARKLE. This means clean, organize, clean, discard, and clean. Following is a list of areas of your home to which you should pay special attention when preparing it for sale:


  • Clean all windows.
  • Have carpets shampooed.
  • Replace worn carpets.
  • Repair holes and paint marred walls.
  • Paint or stain doors – oil squeaky hinges.
  • Store out of season clothes.
  • Clean and condition fireplace tiles and moveable parts.
  • Clean air vents and returns – replace or paint if needed.
  • Clean light fixtures and ceiling fans.
  • Remove clutter to make rooms and closets more spacious.
  • Clean or replace switch and outlet covers.
  • Replace the furnace filter.
  • Confirm that the water softener and water heater is clean and functional.


  • Clean appliances, cabinets and countertops.
  • Store kitchen counter appliances out of sight.
  • Clean cabinets and discard unused items especially under the sink.


  • Clean everything. Appliances should be spotless.
  • Old caulk should be removed and replaced. Tile and grout should be examined and replaced or repaired as necessary.
  • Repair leaks.
  • Install deodorizers in each bathroom.


  • Cut back over grown hedges and trees.
  • Keep the lawn mowed and properly fertilized.
  • Wash, clean and paint siding and trim.
  • Clean and paint front door and screen.
  • Install a new “Welcome” mat.
  • Replace entry light and other exterior lights with high wattage bulbs.
  • Make sure rain gutters are clean, secured and proper extensions are in place.
  • Have older roofs inspected.


  • Organize it like a hardware store.
  • Discard unused items.
  • Remove oil spots from concrete floor.
  • Lubricate garage door and confirm opener is functional.
  • Paint garage door and service door.
  • Remove your car from the garage during showings.