Every seller wants their home to sell fast and bring top dollar. The best way to do this is to put in a little elbow grease and make your home shine.

Buyers assign dollar values to repairs that typically exceed the actual cost of remediation. To get the best return on your investments - and avoid turning off potential buyers - you need to ensure your home looks its best when it hits the market. Below are our top suggestions to make your home market-ready.


  • Walk through each room and criticize the home from a buyer's perspective.
  • Ask a few local real estate professionals for their advice.
  • Consider getting a professional home inspection to see if any repairs are needed.
  • Hire a contractor to handle any major projects.
  • Hold a yard sale. Sell, donate or trash anything you don't need.


The first impression. The condition of your home's exterior is most important when it comes to buyer 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.


  • Clean your home from top to bottom.
  • Put all valuables in a safe place.
  • Repair any cracks or holes in walls and touch-up paint.
  • Clean, touch-up paint and caulk doors as needed. 
  • Repair or replace all torn screens.
  • Avoid repainting the entire house unless current colors are very loud or offbeat. White or light pastels are the easiest for new homeowners to work with and they make your rooms look larger.
  • Clean carpeting and draperies. 
  • Fireplace | rapair broken tiles and screen and clean the hearth.
  • Lubricate squeaking doors, windows, and cabinets.
  • Store out-of-season clothes.
  • Pre-pack items and store them in garage. 
  • Add a few colorful plants to help liven the interior.

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house. An open appearance with sunlight and green plants will make the room a focal point.

  • Keep the counters clean and clear of appliances.
  • All appliances should be clean and neatly organized. 
  • Clean and organize your cabinets, potential buyers will open the doors. 
  • Never leave dirty dishes in the sink.
  • Clean and wax the kitchen floor. If the floor looks old and dull, consider replacing the flooring.
  • Clean fans and vent hoods.
  • All bathroom appliances should be thoroughly cleaned.
  • Remove stains from sinks, toilets, and bathtubs.
  • Replace old caulking around bathtub and sinks.
  • Repair or replace leaky faucets.
  • Unclog and sanitize drains to remove odors.
  • Clean all mirrors.
  • Keep all toilet seat lids closed.
  • Fresh towels should be in the bathrooms at all times.
  • Have a garage sale to dispose of any unwanted items.
  • Family heirlooms, which you will take with you, should be boxed and stored in the garage until you move.
  • Degreasers are available at your local home repair store to remove stains from the garage floor.
  • Remove any cobwebs.
  • If the basement or attic is a functioning part of the house, make sure the area is clean and in good repair.


  • Dust and vacuum the whole house thoroughly.
  • Lightly clean and straighten up living areas.
  • Open all drapes and blinds to let in as much light as possible. Turn on lamps and other lights as necessary to brighten each room.
  • If you're planning to move around the same time you're selling your home, try to arrange showings while the furniture is still in the house.
  • Any household or children's items should be stored away. This includes toys, bikes, skateboards, etc.
  • Turn television sets off. Turn on a radio with soft music at low volume.
  • While your home is being held open, arrange to spend the time away from the house, especially if you have small children. If this is not possible, go for a walk, visit a neighbor, or keep children quiet when your home is being shown to prospects.
  • Keep pets away from potential buyers and keep pet areas clean.
  • Your agent may request to serve refreshments. If not, feel free to suggest this.
  • Try baking chocolate chip cookies or brownies just before the open house. A pleasant aroma means home to many people.