Shaping Your House For Sale

The first impression your home makes on a potential homebuyer likely will be a lasting one. Preparing your home for showing doesn't mean spending a lot of money or making any major changes or improvements, but it does mean cleaning up your curb appeal and your home's interior.

Your home's exterior is your first priority. If a drive-by home shopper likes what he sees on the outside, he's more likely to have a look at the inside. Once the potential homebuyer is inside, make it easy for him to envision living in the house by depersonalizing your home's interior and keeping it clutter-free and squeaky-clean.


Keep the lawn watered, trimmed and neatly landscaped. Keep trees and shrubs trimmed. Get rid of yard clutter by storing toys, garbage cans, barbeques, wheelbarrows, Store unused cars and RVs elsewhere. Consider applying a fresh coat of paint to the trim and the front door, and if warranted, the entire front of the house. Keep all of the windows sparkling clean. Make sure all exterior lighting works and in the evenings give your home a warm and inviting feeling by leaving the lights on.


Get rid of the clutter. This means getting rid of or storing unused or excess items and furniture. Nothing turns a potential homebuyer off more than a home that is packed with furniture and clutter. Rearrange your furniture to compliment the room, making it look bigger and enhancing flow from room to room. Gut your kitchen and bathroom cabinets and under-the-sink areas.

Make sure the essentials you keep, cleaning supplies, cookware, dishes, flatware, toiletries and linens, are kept neatly organized. Keep the kitchen and bathroom countertops clean and clutter-free, leaving out only the essentials and make sure those are neatly organized. Set up your bathrooms with new towels, keep fresh soap in the shower and sink areas. Repair any leaking faucets, running toilets or other systems the homebuyer likely will check.

Minimize personal items like family photographs, trophies and other decorations that could distract a homebuyer. Maximize closet space by minimizing their contents. Again, get rid of unneeded items or put them in storage. Inspect the walls for cracks and smudges and repair or clean as needed.

Consider applying a fresh coat of neutral-colored paint. Have carpets and drapes professionally cleaned. If you must replace carpeting or linoleum, pick a neutral color. Stage rooms for their intended purpose. For example, if your home office is crammed into a corner of your dining room or kitchen, move it into a more appropriate space, such as the family room.

Minimize odors and stuffiness by keeping windows open and fresh air circulating throughout the house whenever possible. If you have pets, keep them elsewhere during the showing. Have your home professionally cleaned every two weeks so that it remains insparkling clean condition.