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  • Writer's pictureKarina Sanchez

Prep your home before listing from A-Z

Updated: Jul 27, 2022

1. Plan Ahead

  • Walk through each room and criticize the home from a buyer's perspective.

  • Ask your real estate agent for their advice.

  • Hire a contractor to handle any major projects.

  • Hold a yard sale. Sell, donate or trash anything you don't need.

2. Clean and Declutter

  • Thoroughly clean the entire home.

  • Scrub tile in the kitchen and bathrooms.

  • Clean hardwood floors.

  • Steam clean carpets and drapes. 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.

3. Maximize Curb Appeal

  • 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.

4. Pay Attention to Kitchens and Bathrooms

  • Mop and wax/polish the floors.

  • 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  • Replace outdated hardware.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.

  • Remove stains from sinks, toilets and bathtubs.

  • Keep all toilet seat lids closed.

  • Hang fresh towels.

5. Appeal to the Senses

  • 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.

6. Show Off Your Home's Best Features

  • 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.

7. Prepare for the Open House

  • Hold an exclusive brokers' open house to let local agents know your home is on the market. Offer food and refreshments.

  • Inform family, friends and neighbors of the date and time of your open house.

  • Put ads in local newspapers, real estate publications and on free Web sites like

  • Put up “Open House” signs on the front lawn and at nearby intersections with directions to the house.

  • Create property description sheets and prepare important documents, such as homeowner's association rules, inspection reports and purchase offer forms.

I have 8 years working with Real Estate Agents and I see a huge difference between properties that are prepared and those that aren't. These small changes will make a difference in the type of offers you receive.

I am proud to say I serve as a Real Estate Photographer in Wharton, County and the surrounding area to make sure my clients have the best listings on the market.

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