Preparing Your Home for the Market

Studies have shown that a properly preparing your home does help sell at the best price, in a shorter period of time. In my experience, a lack of attention to detail makes buyers wonder what else might be getting neglected around your home. It sounds silly, but if the house isn’t clean, this can suggest to some people that this “neglect” could extend to regular maintenance of your home’s services (for example, the fireplace, furnace, eaves-troughs, etc).

Lawns & Yard

  • Remove clutter
  • Cut grass
  • Edge walkways
  • Trim hedges
  • Weed gardens


  • Paint &/or touch up any areas that need improvement
  • Repair and wash railings, steps, screen doors, gutters, etc.


  • De-­clutter
  • Organize
  • Paint interior.


  • Repair leaky faucets & toilets
  • Clean sinks & tubs.
  • Replacing old toilets will often produce a high return.

Furnace & Fireplace

  • Clean furnace & vents of dust and dirt.
  • Clean fireplace; set a small fire to demonstrate functionality if weather permits!
  • It is strongly recommended you have your fireplace WETT certified.


  • Replace burned out bulbs, consider installing new high-­efficiency bulbs.
  • Replacing switch & receptacle covers can provide a big return on investment!

Carpets & Floors

  • Clean thoroughly. Give a quick sweep or vacuum before showings if necessary.


  • Oil hinges, tighten door knobs, and polish shiny surfaces.

General Considerations

  • Dust, wash, paint, repair anything and everything that may have been neglected in recent years; store unneeded items and extra furniture off-­site.
  • Pets, children and adults can prevent buyers from feeling at ease; it is suggested the home be vacant for every showing, if possible.
  • Before a showing, open drapes, open windows (if a nice day), and avoid cooking strong-­smelling foods. Your home should be “fresh” for every showing.

RE/MAX has created a comprehensive package of videos and checklists on the top 10 priorities for preparing a property for sale. For more information, visit!