These days, between HGTV, Pinterest and the flood of blogs about real estate – there’s no shortage of sources from which to get tips and ideas for preparing you home to sell.  And you can spend anywhere from 5 minutes to 12 years reading up on what you should do, what you should NOT do, and how “these 6 tricks will get your home sold NOW!”

Let me help boil it down to a simple checklist.  This is by no means exhaustive, but the bottom line is, if you’re getting ready to list your house in the next 30 days, these will give you a great head start.

  1. Obviously clean and declutter.  Some people have a natural aversion to clutter, so this is easier for them.  Others prefer to be surrounded by the things they love and that mean a lot to them.  How do you decide what to put away and what to keep out?  I always tell people, if you’re moving anyway, start boxing up anything you won’t need in the next month or so.  If you can live without it for the next 30 days, put it away.
  2. Touch up paint.  Sure, painting can be a pain.  And maybe you can’t get the exact shade you used a couple years ago anymore, which means… you guessed it – you’re repainting that room.  And especially your trim.  Just clear an afternoon or a Saturday and go throughout your whole house with a can and a brush and get that trim looking like brand new.
  3. Tighten things up.  If you have loose door knobs/handles, secure them properly.  Make sure every light bulb in your house works.  Dirty windows, broken window blinds, dripping faucets, even the splintered cap on that one deck post… go get a new one.
  4. Curb appeal.  Pressure wash and mulch (but not until you’re sure it’s not going to snow).  Have torn screens?  Take them out.  Clean out your gutters, paint your font door (black) and maybe consider a fresh coat of blacktop on the driveway.  Don’t break the budget, but shine it up a little.

These are tips we give frequently to seller clients. But we aren’t a ‘cut and paste’ company.  We pride ourselves on providing a specific and prioritized list for each home owner, no matter the price point.  We can tell you where best to spend your time and money, and what things won’t help you sell any faster.  No two homes are alike, so neither are our recommendations.

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.