Preparing & Staging Your Home


  • Walk through each room and criticize the home from a buyer's perspective.
  • Find a reliable REALTOR® for their advice and service.
  • Hire a contractor to handle any major projects.
  • Hold a yard sale. Sell, donate or trash anything you don't need.


    • Thoroughly clean the entire home.
    • Scrub tile in the kitchen and bathrooms.
    • Clean hardwood floors.
    • Steam clean carpets.
    • Consider replacing carpet if stains are prominent.
    • Get rid of all dust bunnies.
    • Repair cracks and holes in the walls.
    • Paint interior walls with neutral colors, like beige, cream or light pastels. Pale blues and greens are good for bathrooms.
    • Remove excess and oversized furniture.
    • Rearrange furniture to maximize space.
    • Organize room closets and store out-of-season clothes.
    • Remove all small appliances, toys, magazines and pet items.
    • Remove family photos, personal collections and medications.
    • Remove items from the garage and store them off site.
    • Secure valuable items, including cash and jewelry.
    • Clear the countertops.
    • Replace outdated hardware.
    • Clean appliances and fixtures.
    • Clean and organize the pantry, cabinets and drawers.
    • Replace old caulking around sinks and bathtubs.
    • Keep all toilet seat lids closed. Hang fresh towels.


      • Paint the home's exterior, including trim, doors and shutters.
      • Check front door, doorbell, address number and welcome mat.
      • Power wash the siding and windows.
      • Inspect the roof and make repairs as needed.
      • Repair cracks in the driveway and sidewalks.
      • Sweep the entryway and walkways.
      • Mow, water and fertilize the lawn.
      • Trim shrubs and trees and rake the leaves.
      • Plant colorful flowers and shrubs.
      • Store any toys or equipment lying on the yard.
      • Clean up pet droppings.
      • Clean the gutters and downspouts.


        • Bake cookies or burn scented candles.
        • Offer light refreshments.
        • Install higher wattage incandescent light bulbs to brighten rooms.
        • Turn on all the lights.
        • Open windows to let in fresh air.
        • Open curtains or blinds to let in natural light and show off views.
        • Turn off TVs.
        • Relocate pets on the day of the open house.
        • Refrain from smoking in the home.


          • Remove rugs to show off hardwood floors.
          • Pull back drapes to showcase nice views.
          • Stage the front porch or deck with furniture and potted plants.
          • Make sure fireplaces are in working condition.
          • Clean the backyard and pool area.


          For a printable checklist for preparing your home to be placed on the market, click here.