Of course, any major repairs should be completed before showing the house, if a top selling price is expected. Limit your repairs to functional parts of the house, such as the roof, plumbing, and major appliances. Cosmetic changes like new carpeting and draperies may not match your future buyer's tastes, and could even discourage the sale.

The key words to remember in preparing your house are neat and clean...sparkling clean...clean enough for royalty to visit. Take a look at your house as if you were seeing it for the first time. You may not notice crowded closets and untidy flower beds, but potential buyers will!



  1. When potential buyers drive up to your house, what they see will make a lasting first impression. Keep the grass mowed, edged and the weeds pulled. trim trees and bushes away from windows, put children's toys in the garage. Plant some flowers to add a touch of color.
  2. If your house needs painting do it now. A good paint job will more than pay for itself in the selling price. Try to maintain the neighborhood look when choosing paint; you don't want your house to be remembered as "the green one with the blue door."
  3. Remove oil stains from the driveway. Buy an inexpensive drip pan to avoid further stains. Replace a weather-beaten mailbox. Make sure your doorbell works. remove torn screens. Clean outdoor light fixtures. Repair loose brickwork and fill cracks in the walk and driveway. In other words, make your house a show-piece from the curb to the front door.


  1. A coat of paint will brighten interior walls. Choose neutral shades of white, off-white, beige, or light pastels that will coordinate with most decor. This inexpensive investment will increase the show ability of your house.
  2. Clear out closets and cupboards. Have a garage sale or donate your unused items to charity. With less clutter, your closets will appear bigger. Remove all necessary furniture to make your rooms seem more spacious.
  3. Open the curtains and pull up the blinds. Turn on as many lights as possible. Give your house an airy look. Fresh flowers bring color, fragrance and a touch of spring that enhances a room.
  4. The bathroom should be absolutely spotless. Remove any stains from fixtures, repair dripping faucets, and polish the mirrors. Add a sanitizer to the toilet bowl and keep the lid down. Wash and fluff bathroom rugs, hang fresh towels. Potpourri or scented soaps add a nice fragrance to the air.
  5. A clean kitchen tells the buyer that the house has been well cared for. Remove excess pots, pans, bowls, and clutter from the cupboards. Clean the oven inside and out. Run a lemon through the garbage disposal for a fresh smell. Make sure all appliances are working.
  6. When a sales associate is showing the house, keep children and pets under control. Also turn off the televisions and stereos. The noise may distract tired clients, causing them to overlook many fine features.
  7. Check garages and basements for debris. A two car garage should have plenty of space for two cars. Brighten basements with the highest wattage lighting allowed and clear away any cobwebs.