Selling Your Home? Follow this Handy Checklist to Make a Good First Impression

[fa icon="calendar"] May 02, 2017 / by Home Services Expert

house for saleBy now, you probably have your cleaning and arranging routine down pat when friends and family members are on their way over for dinner.

But having your house up for sale requires a different strategy because your guests have an entirely different agenda: They're dropping by to see if they might want to buy your house, not spend an enjoyable evening there.

Allow Experts in Your Home to help you present your home in the best light possible to discerning buyers, inside and out. Some of the tasks, especially cleaning, will sound familiar. But some basic repairs – those things dinner guests are hopefully too busy to notice – are probably not (note: we discuss staging tips here).

Prepare Your Home's Exterior

First impressions matter, so recognize that the outside of your home can raise expectations or dash them in the blink of an eye. Competitive Realtors talk about “curb appeal” for a reason, knowing that some buyers won't bother to venture inside a home if they see something on the outside that raises their suspicions. Set a proper stage by:

  • Touching up paint on doors and around windows
  • Washing windows (on the indoors, too)
  • Fixing dislocated gutters and downspouts
  • Removing water or dirt stains on the exterior facade with a mild bleaching agent
  • Repairing driveway cracks
  • Mending and putting a fresh coat of paint on a front yard fence
  • Pulling weeds, keeping your lawn cut and edged, sculpting shrubs and cutting back overgrown trees and other greenery
  • Planting colorful annuals near the front door

Prepare Your Home's Interior

Try not to worry about whether your home will suit buyers' personal tastes. The reality is, it probably won't, based on the law of averages. Buyers should know how to look beyond decorative preferences to focus on the things that matter. And a clean, well-maintained home is likely to appeal to every buyer, no matter how different their personal style. Set the stage indoors, in key rooms, by:

The Kitchen:

  • Cleaning the sink and appliances until they sparkle, inside (yes, buyers will check) and out
  • Wiping down and clearing counters of clutter
  • Cleaning fans and the vent hood
  • Tidying up your pantry so that it looks as roomy as possible
  • Washing (or at least vacuuming) the floor


  • Repairing leaky faucets (or asking our Plumbing Experts to do it for you)
  • Replacing old caulk around sinks, bathtubs and showers (or, as long as our Experts are there...)
  • Scrubbing fixtures until they sparkle
  • Buffing mirrors until they shine
  • Ensuring that water drains quickly and toilets flush without hesitating

Living, Dining and Family Rooms:

  • Repairing cracks or holes in the walls and touching up the areas with paint
  • Replacing torn screens
  • Lubricating squeaky doors, windows and cabinets
  • Wiping down doors
  • Cleaning the fireplace hearth
  • Vacuuming the floors and carpets

The Garage:

  • Removing cobwebs
  • Ridding the area of unnecessary items to reduce clutter and make it look bigger
  • Raising items from the floor to shelves
  • Removing grease or oil stains from the floor (or asking the Experts to do it for you). If your garage floor is in woeful shape, now might be a good time to consider applying an epoxy coating, which should appeal to even the fussiest buyer.

If you're out of breath by now, let Experts in Your Home help you recover your bearings while your home is up for sale. We can help you with any home maintenance or repair task. And our cleaning team can do the heavy-duty, top-to-bottom cleaning of your home so that you're left with only quick touch-ups – just as you do before guests arrive at your home for dinner.

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