Preparing Your Home for Sale

Preparing Your Home for Sale

In order to maximize the eventual sale price, make an effort to view your house through the eyes of a prospective purchaser. Use the following checklist to help in your preparations.

First Impression

  • Making a good first impression is as important when selling your home as when meeting a business associate. It’s called “Curb Appeal”. And it’s what draws a potential buyer out of their car and into your home.

Living Areas

  • Fix all cracks, nail pops, and visible seams in the plaster.

  • Check ceilings for leak stains. Fix the cause of the damage and repaint the ceiling.

  • Use conventional white and neutrals if redecorating (this would also include any carpet replacement and painting).

  • Clean out fireplace, stack logs inside the fireplace to make it look inviting.

  • Wash all windows, repair broken glass and windows that stick.

  • Replace all burned out light bulbs, use higher wattage bulbs.

  • Make sure all light switches work.

  • Clean all floors and fix any creaking boards or stair treads.

  • Clean all window treatments.

  • Straighten out closets, get rid of clutter to make them appear larger. Fix squeaking doors with oil, spray room deodorizer to eliminate musty smells.

  • Fix doors that stick by rubbing a block of paraffin was against the edge. Rub the tracks of the sticking doors with candle wax.

  • Remove as many personal items from the rooms as is possible. Living areas will appear larger and buyers will be looking at the house rather than your possessions.

  • Repair and/or replace broken tiles or worn linoleum.

  • Keep rooms clean and beds made.


  • Repair dripping faucets.

  • Display fresh towels, guest towels and soaps.

  • Remove stains from toilets, sinks and bathtubs.

  • Keep mirrors and all chrome shining.

  • Unclog sink and bath drains so water drains quickly.

  • Keep a solid room deodorizer in the bath area.

  • Replace old caulking around the tubs.

  • Repair and/or replace broken tiles or worn linoleum.

Basement, Attic and Garage

  • Dispose of all objects you will not be taking with you when you move and box all others neatly to make areas look spacious.

  • Make sure all the basement stairs are well lit.

  • Paint ceilings and walls of basement in a light color if they are gloomy.

  • Repair cracks in the basement or garage floor with ready-mix concrete.

  • Vacuum garage and basement floors and rafters.

  • If your basement is damp, use a dehumidifier.


  • Make the room bright and attractive.

  • Scrub the ventilating hood of the stove.

  • Clean all kitchen appliances.

  • Store all counter-top appliances in cabinets to make the counter space look larger. Clean counters well.

  • Put down new flooring if the current linoleum is worn or cracked. Replace any broken tiles.

  • Leave a delicious smell in the kitchen – potpourri, cinnamon-apple, etc.


  • Paint or touch-up exterior siding and/or trim.

  • Repair gutters and eaves.

  • Pick up any litter.

  • Polish your front door handle and other hardware.

  • Paint or stain your front door if needed.

  • Consider hanging a pretty wreath or floral swag.

  • Keep all sidewalks, porches and walkways swept.

  • Buy a new front door mat in neutral tones.

  • Clean and polish light fixtures.


  • Prune overgrown trees and bushes.

  • Pull weeds and dead or diseased plants.

  • Mow your lawn to make it look green and healthy.

  • Consider planting flowers along walkways or in pots along your walkway to bring some color to the landscaping.

  • Spread mulch or beauty bark around trees, shrubs and flowers to give a clean, well-kept look.

  • Less is more! Just as you would inside your house, make sure your front yard does not look cluttered. Move cars into the garage & out of the driveway whenever possible. Keep the kid’s bikes, toys & other play equipment out of sight. To minimize distractions, keep lawn & garden ornaments to a minimum. This will allow buyers to picture themselves enjoying the yard.

Work With Us

The team at Denise Ramey Real Estate has extensive experience in the local market in Central Virginia and the Charlottesville area, allowing you to enjoy a more simplified process. We handle everything in-house, from the first steps of your search through to the final details of the transaction. We leverage our extensive network to benefit buyers and sellers alike, ensuring that your transaction is as simple as possible.

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*Select images on this website are the property of their respective copyright owner J. Beeler. These images are used for educational, informational, and/or illustrative purposes only.