When a potential buyer comes to view your home, you have one chance to make a great first impression. The smallest details can make a big difference. Look at your home from the buyer's perspective and make any repairs or improvements that will enhance the buyer's overall experience. Address deferred maintenance items prior to showing your home so potential buyers do not have a reason to offer a low price or wonder what else you have neglected. Here is our must do staging checklist you should complete if you want to get top dollar for your home in any market. 

Curb Appeal

  • Pressure wash your home, walkways and driveway
  • Paint your home's siding, trim, shutters, front door and mail box if faded or peeling
  • Repair or replace any wood rot
  • Change out worn light fixtures, house numbers or door hardware
  • Ensure all bulbs in exterior light fixures are working
  • Place out a new door mat
  • Plant colorful flowers in beds and planters
  • Trim shrubs so they do not cover windows and they are at least 1 foot from the exterior of your home
  • Mow, water and fertilize your lawn
  • Repair any cracks in walkways or driveways
  • Clean your gutters and downspouts
  • Visually inspect your roof and make any repairs necessary
  • Pick up any pet droppings
  • Sweep your front stoop or porch and walkways

Cleanliness and Odors

  • Deep clean your entire home
  • Remove cob webs and dust bunnies from ceilings and corners
  • Thoroughly clean hardwood floors
  • Steam clean carpets and draperies
  • Scrub tile and grout in kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Clean the inside of your oven, microwave and refrigerator if it conveys
  • Wipe down the interior of your kitchen and bathroom cabinets
  • Scrub your cooktop and replace drip pans if they are stained
  • Clean your windows and glass doors
  • Dust all light fixtures and clean all globes
  • Dust all window sills and caulk and paint any that are peeling
  • Dust all blinds and plantation shutters
  • Do not leave any dishes or scrub brushes in the kitchen sink or on kitchen counters
  • Clean all bathrooms including the commode and keep the lid closed
  • Hang fresh, clean, neutral towels in the kitchen and bathrooms
  • Open windows and let in fresh air

Light and Bright

  • Open all blinds, drapes and plantation shutters to let in lots of natural light
  • Ensure every bulb in every light fixture is working
  • Consider increasing the wattage in dim light fixtures
  • Replace dark lamp shades
  • Turn on all lights for showings
  • Ensure all televisions are turned off
  • Consider painting dark walls with a light, neutral color

Declutter and Depersonalize

  • Consider hiring a professional stager
  • Remove excess furniture items or oversized furniture to maximize space
  • Rearrange your furniture to show maximum space
  • Replace family photos with mirrors or art work
  • Secure valuables including personal documents and mail, cash, collections jewelry, medication and fire arms
  • Clear your counters
  • Put away small appliances
  • Remove excessive nick nacks
  • Store all toys, pet items, books and magazines
  • Minimize the amount of items in your clothing and linen closets
  • Organize the inside of your kitchen and bathroom cabinets, drawers and pantry
  • Do not use your closet floors for storage space
  • Do not use the space underneath beds for storage
  • Remove area rugs that are on top of carpeting
  • Organize your garage
  • Consider storing extra personal items off site

Deferred Maintenance

  • Consider hiring a certified professional home inspector prior to listing your home
  • Visually inspect all of your ceilings for evidence of water intrusion and make necessary repairs
  • Repair any leaky faucets
  • Visually inspect underneath sinks for water leaks or damage and make necessary repairs
  • Replace old caulking in kitchen and bathrooms
  • Change your furnace filter
  • Have your HVAC system(s) professionally serviced
  • If you have a wood burning fireplace you utilize, hire a chimney sweep to clean and inspect
  • Remove any active pests from your attic
  • Remove traps for pests in attic
  • Change the battery in your smoke detector(s)
  • Ensure exterior spigots and irrigation systems are in proper working order
  • Ensure pool and spa is glistening and all equipment is in proper working order
  • Repair or replace damaged fencing


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