Getting Your Home Listing Ready

August 1, 2016 | Selling Your Home | By: The Goodhart Group

If you have plans to sell your home in the foreseeable future, there are several things you can do now to make the process much smoother and less stressful. While not all of these to-do’s as MUST do’s, all will help you sell your home quickly and for more money. Start today!


Every item in your home should fall into one of three categories:

(1) junk
(2) donate/sell
(3) take to the new house.

Start this sorting as soon as possible to declutter your home for listing — consider it pre-packing for your eventual move.

Specifically, counters should be clear and items on shelves should appear neat and organized. Closets should not be overstuffed – potential buyers WILL open them. Toys should be pared down as much as possible. The pre-listing period is a great time to get rid of items that you no longer need (think baby items, clothes that no longer fit, etc). You may want to consider renting a storage unit for some items you are not quite ready to part with. The less “stuff” in your home, the larger it will seem to house hunters that come through.


It’s very important to depersonalize your home as much as possible.

Doing so allows prospective buyers to imagine themselves living there instead of you.

Remove all personal photos (yes, even your wedding portrait and those adorable baby photos) and mementos such as diplomas, trophies, etc. Put any unique collections into storage. Take down refrigerator magnets, team flags, and banners.


Your home should be the cleanest it’s ever been! Susan Campbell of Lemon Tree Staging & Interiors offers the following trips:

  • look high AND low – cobwebs and dust may accumulate in the corners of ceilings and floors.
  • check light fixtures and ceiling fans for dust and clean thoroughly.
  • scan around door frames, light switches, door knobs, and along walls in high traffic areas (think hallways and stairs). Invest in a couple of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to remove any and all scuff marks.

If you have a pet, make sure the home is free of its hair and odors! Consider a deep cleaning of your carpets. You may want to ask a trusted friend for an honest assessment how your home smells.


Your home may have amazing views, but if your windows are dirty, no one will appreciate them. So check all windows on all levels of the home. At certain times of day, windows may look fine but if the sun hits them at a certain angle, it’s a whole other story! Use lots of elbow grease or consider hiring a professional. A quality window washing is an investment worth every penny.


Your home’s landscaping should look its best! Focus on the following:

  • keep grass trimmed and neatly edged.
  • spruce up your beds with a layer of fresh mulch.
  • prune and trim any shrubs that are overgrown or have dead spots.
  • check for any tree branches hanging over the house or electrical wires (you may need to call a professional for this task).
  • plant a few colorful blooms near your main entry.
  • pull weeds out of any walkways, patios and driveways.


When listing your home, you want to make its entry and exterior as welcoming as possible. Try a few of these easy ways to boost your home’s curb appeal:

  • replace your exterior lighting – porch lights, entry door lighting, and walkway lighting.
  • add a fresh coat of paint on the the shutters and/or front door
  • replace your house number to a more modern one. There are tons of fun options to choose from – we love this modern one spotted on Etsy.
  • purchase a fresh welcome mat, door knocker and/or mailbox
  • clear your roof of any fallen branches
  • ensure gutters are clear


Touch up any nicks in your home’s paint job. Be sure to check those high traffic areas which will likely need these touch ups the most.

Consider neutralizing any strong or vibrant paint color choices. Your home’s color palette should be as neutral as possible to appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers. However, before undertaking any painting, please consult with us! We can recommend shades that work well in general and also tones that complement your style of home.

If you have any wallpaper in your home, we would suggest removing it. Not everyone is a fan of wallpaper, and even if they are, they may not like the pattern(s) you have chosen. A room in a neutral paint tone will appear to a much broader range of possible buyers, which is always the goal.


Before undertaking any renovations, be sure to consult with us or your Realtor. While some home improvement projects are absolutely worth undertaking prior to listing, some can definitely be skipped. In some cases, it’s better to allow potentials buyer to imagine the renovations they would undertake versus renovating to your tastes. Bear in mind, the listing price would reflect any updates or lack thereof…


We know this is a lot of information to take in and that every situation is different.

Always consult with a Realtor before making any changes or spending money on improvements.

We are always to happy to advise you on these decisions and anything related to your home. If you need recommendations for contractors to get your home listing ready, we can help on this front too. Please contact us if we can help in any way!  If you want to know the current value of your home, click here!

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