Windermere Real Estate / Puyallup, Inc.

Where Do You Start?

You’ve made the decision to sell. So, now what? Every house is as unique as the person who owns it, but when you put your home on the market, there are some universal truths you should abide by if you want to make even the most humble of abodes look like a million bucks. It all starts with the “3 C’s”: curb appeal, clutter (as in de-clutter), and cleanliness. The list below will walk you through this and everything else you need to know about getting a home in ship shape for selling. Remember, your Windermere agent is an expert on this subject, so take advantage of that resource when the time is right.

Make A Checklist:

Exterior
  • Remove peeling and chipped paint; replace with a fresh coat.
  • Clear gutters and downspouts.
  • Make sure there is good exterior lighting and all walkway lights and front-door lanterns work.
  • Remove any moss from the roof.
Yard
  • Mow and trim grass; re-seed and fertilize where necessary.
  • Prune all overgrown trees and shrubs.
  • Remove or replace dead or diseased plants, shrubs and trees.
  • Clean grease and oil stains from driveway.
  • Weed flower beds.
Decks/Patios
  • Paint or stain worn areas in wood decks.
  • Remove grass growing in concrete cracks; sweep off debris from shrubs and trees.
  • Clean all deck rails and make sure they’re secure; replace missing slats or posts.
Front Door
  • Polish the hardware on the door until it shines.
  • Add a fresh coat of paint to get rid of nicks.
  • Clean the glass on the storm door; make certain the screen is secure.
  • Make sure the doorbell operates properly and there are no squeaks when the door is opened or closed.
Windows
  • Clean all windows—inside and out.
  • If needed, add a fresh coat of paint to the window trims and sills.
  • Make sure all windows open and close easily.
  • Replace cracked windowpanes and those with broken seals.
  • Make sure window screens are secure; replace any screens with holes or tears.
Entry
  • Clean entryway floors and area rugs.
  • Downsize clutter in entry closet to give the appearance of spaciousness.
  • Double-check entry lighting to make sure it works.
Living Room/Dining Room/Family Room
  • Give the room a fresh coat of paint if necessary (use neutral colors where possible).
  • Repair cracks and holes in ceiling and walls.
  • Make sure all wallpaper is secure.
  • Repaint any woodwork that is worn or chipped.
  • Clean draperies and blinds; open them to maximize light.
  • Make sure draperies and blinds open and close.
  • Wash windows.
  • Steam-clean carpets. Clean rugs and wood flooring, and remove any stains or odors.
  • Position the furniture to showcase the size and space of the room.
  • Put away toys and hobby supplies; remove extra magazines and books from tables.
  • Store family photos and other personal effects.
  • Leave some lighting on – especially in rooms without a lot of natural light.
Kitchen
  • Make sure countertops and sinks are clean, de-cluttered, and stain-free.
  • Fix dripping faucets.
  • Organize pantry and cupboards so they appear clean, neat, and spacious.
  • Make sure the refrigerator and freezer are defrosted and free of odors.
  • Clean the oven and cook-top thoroughly.
  • Make sure dirty dishes are cleaned and put away every day.
Bathrooms
  • Make sure sinks, tubs, showers, and countertops are clean and free of stains.
  • Repair any leaky faucets.
  • Remove grout and soap stains from tile.
  • Replace any missing or cracked tiles or grout.
  • Make sure all joints are caulked.
  • Make sure all fixtures, including heat lamps and exhaust fans, are operating.
  • Install a new shower curtain.
  • Store all supplies, such as toilet paper, shampoo bottles, and cleansers.
  • Put away prescriptions, jewelry, and any items/valuables that are at risk for theft.
Bedrooms
  • Repair cracks in ceiling and walls.
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint if necessary.
  • Make sure wallpaper is secure.
  • Clean draperies and blinds; open them to maximize light.
  • Put away toys, clothes.
  • Neatly make up the beds.
  • Keep all closets clean and organized; treat any odors.
  • Make bed every day; put away dirty laundry; keep bedside table clear of clutter.
Basement
  • Check for water penetration or dampness; call for professional repairs if necessary.
  • Get rid of musty odors.
  • Clean furnace and drains.
  • Make sure light fixtures work.
  • Arrange storage area in a neat and organized manner.
  • Sweep/vacuum floor.
  • Make sure stairway handrail is secure.
Tidy Extras
  • Plant flowers to brighten a walkway and enrich the entry.
  • Remove any indoor houseplants that are brown or losing their leaves.
  • Remove all “fixer” cars, campers, and boats from the property.
  • Discard the clutter of magazines on the coffee and end tables.
  • Put away any personal effects, such as family photos, children’s artwork, etc.
  • Turn on lamps for ambient lighting; makes rooms feel more inviting.
  • Hide or get rid of worn-out throw pillows.
  • Replace shower curtains and invest in a matching set of towels in the bathroom.
  • At night, turn on porch light and outdoor lighting to keep home illuminated in dark.