Listing Prep Checklist: Everything You Need To Do BEFORE Listing Your Home For Sale

You’re ready to sell your home, but there’s a lot to be done before it can actually hit the market. Things in the real estate market are slowing down, so now is the time to make sure you’re doing everything you can to make your home stand out in order to receive top dollar for your listing. 

Here is a detailed list of what exactly needs to be done around your home before you list it for sale.

  • Make any repairs to the home (broken cabinet doors, ripped carpet, etc.) 
  • Declutter most items off counters, shelves, floors, surfaces and furniture – get a head start on packing for your move!
  • In the kitchen, tuck all small appliances away except coffee/tea pot/maker
  • Remove all area rugs except those in living/family rooms and dining rooms
  • Remove everything off refrigerators and other appliances
  • Remove all art (including children’s artwork) and personalized trophies or plaques/certifications 
  • Pull curtains and blinds completely open
  • Make up all beds neatly – if bedding is overly wrinkled, steam or iron it 
  • Remove any pet items for listing photos and showings (tuck them away for easy access)
  • There should be no signs of pet “business” in the yard or home – be diligent with pooper scooping and clean out litter boxes frequently and before showings/open houses
  • Remove family photos and personalized items (i.e.: signs with family’s last name or child’s names in bedrooms)
  • Remove valuables to a safe, secure, offsite location to prevent theft during showings and open houses
  • Pull all shower curtains fully open to the farthest position away from the door/entry to the bathroom
  • Move all packed items into a storage area or give away  
  • Declutter, clean, and organize closets, garage, pantries, and storage rooms/areas so that they are only 20-25% capacity (the floor, walls, and ceilings should be visible inside) – clothing closets can stay 50% capacity; the rule of thumb is that you should be able to see parts of all walls 
  • Replace all burnt-out or missing lightbulbs in light fixtures and ensure all main lighting fixtures have matching bulbs (i.e.: all cool or all warm tone so they are not mis-matched)
  • In darker rooms lacking in natural light, install higher wattage incandescent light bulbs to brighten and add more light
  • Close all toilet lids
  • Dump all trash cans before showings/open houses – move them into cabinets/storage so they are out of sight
  • Clean off any scuff marks from walls, doors, cabinets, and trim
  • Patch any holes or issues in drywall
  • Take any decals off walls
  • If possible and not already done, paint interior walls a neutral color that is cohesive throughout the house 
  • Remove excess hooks (i.e.: Command brand hooks) off walls and doors
  • Maintain yard/exterior spaces by mowing lawn, planting/pruning plants/flowers, cleaning up debris
  • Powerwash any dirty siding or other outdoor surfaces and be sure they are cobweb free
  • Ensure there are no odd or off-putting aromas in the home (air out the home for a few days prior if needed)
  • Get the carpets professionally cleaned
  • Clean all vent covers, returns, and ceiling fans from dust and debris
  • Schedule insect remediation if there are any infestations (i.e.: wasp nests, spiders, ants, etc.)
  • Use enzymatic cleaner to remove pet soils/stains in carpet, rugs, furniture – be sure to follow the directions on the bottle (recommended brands: Simple Solution or Nature’s Miracle)
  • Turn on all lights in the house for listing photos and showings
  • Get window exteriors professionally cleaned
  • Schedule a professional cleaning service to deep clean the entire property right before listing photos are taken

Your realtor may also recommend professional staging for your home before listing photos are taken. 

Your realtor is a great resource for you if you have any questions about how to prepare your home for sale. At Dwellings, we make sure we are by your side every step of the way… so go ahead, and let us know if you have any questions about this process! You can also find more helpful information about selling your home at dwellingscolorado.com/selling-your-home/

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