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First Choice Realty Sellers Tips
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As the saying goes: "You never have a second chance to make a first impression." First impressions count when selling your home. The following list will provide suggestions on the best way to prepare our home for sale.

When it comes to selling your home, many buyers will "judge a book by its cover." You can have a home that is completely updated and sparkling clean inside. However, if the outside is not appealing, buyers often do not want to take that first look inside.

  • Keep lawn freshly cut
  • Trim hedges & shrubs
  • Weed beds and gardens
  • Sweep front steps, porch, walkway
  • Check for cracked or peeling paint on front door
  • Check for cracked or peeling paint on exterior siding
  • Polish door handles
  • Power wash aluminum/vinyl siding
  • Repair cracks in driveway and seal
  • Clean gutters and repair gutters and leaders if loose or broken
  • Repair ripped screens on doors and windows
  • Repair loose railings--paint or wash if needed
  • Repair or replace lighting fixtures if broken and replace bulbs if needed.
  • Clean windows
  • Keep walkways unobstructed


Buyers often make a beeline for the kitchen to determine how clean it is kept. Many buyers feel if the kitchen isn't clean, it's an indication that the rest of the home hasn't been well looked after.
  • All appliances should be kept clean even if all aren't included in the sale
  • All countertops and work surfaces should be spotless and free of clutter
  • Kitchen sink should be clear of dirty dishes
  • Cabinets should be clean inside and out and not overcrowded
  • Polish or clean hardware on cabinets
  • Take out trash/recyclables
Buyers also love clean, sparkling bathrooms.
  • Clean shower stall/tub thoroughly--recaulk if needed and replace shower curtain liner
  • Wash shower curtain
  • Display clean fresh towels
  • Empty wastebaskets
  • Wash area rugs
  • Polish mirror and all faucets and taps
  • Keep floors clean
  • Clean out the vanity--get rid of products you no longer need or use to give the illusion of more space
  • Keep countertops free of personal care items
  • Organize linen closets
  • Keep vacuumed
  • If stained, have professionally cleaned
  • If very worn out, have replaced
  • If hardwood flooring is underneath, consider having refinished if in bad condition. The trend is polished hardwood flooring.
Buyers need to see that their things will fit into your closets. A bulging closet gives an impression of inadequate storage space.
  • Store or pack clothes that are not being used
  • Consider space saving shelves if not already installed--can actually double closet space
  • Pick up/organize shoes from the closet floor
  • Neatly fold/hang clothes
  • Repair or replace leaky or dripping faucets and toilets
  • If faucets are corroded, consider replacement
  • Replace burned-out bulbs in lamps and light fixtures
  • Repair or replace dirty or broken switch plates
Heating & Cooling:
  • Replace filters and vacuum ducts
  • Clean exterior of units
You can have a sparkling clean home inside and out. However, if buyers detect an unpleasant odor due to pets, cigarette smoke, or unusual cooking smells, it is a big deterrent and can prevent a sale.
  • Keep litter boxes clean and out of sight.
  • Burn candles or simmer potpourri.
  • Clean carpets, draperies, and upholstered furniture.
  • Bake some cookies or some bread. This can be very comforting to a buyer. Remember, they are considering "making your house their home", so let them feel at home.

  • Turn on all lights. Open up curtains, blinds, shades unless view is objectionable.
  • Tidy up - pick up toys from floor, remove objects from all stairways and hallway floors, have beds made, towels off bathroom floor, dishes out of sink, etc.
  • Turn off or turn down volume on TV's
  • If possible, try to not be home. Buyers feel more at ease when owners are not present. The more time a buyer spends in a home for a showing, the better.
  • If home, be unobtrusive. The Realtor will ask you if they need information pertaining to the home.
  • If it is warm outside set the home to a comfortable temperature inside with air conditioning. This will make the customer comfortable and show them that the climate control equipment is in good order.