Preparing Your Home for Sale

Now that your home is for sale, let your McGrew Real Estate Agent help you make the experience more pleasant and rewarding. Often, sellers have an emotional tie to their homes, and as the saying goes: “can be too close to the forest to see the trees.” Step back and try to see your home as a product for sale in a very competitive market, because that is exactly what it is. The guidance of your McGrew Real Estate expert, as well as these helpful hints, and the Dress Your House for Success video, will improve the chances for a successful sale. Also see our Showtime Checklist.


Your home should be as clean as it has ever been. Sanitize and deodorize. If it won’t come clean, paint, repair or replace it. Keep in mind that a clean smelling house creates a positive image in the buyer’s mind. Be aware of any odors from cooking, cigarettes, pets, etc. They may have adverse affects on potential buyers while your home is on the market. Consider removing your pets before showing your home.


You have personalized your home for your family. This may seem self-evident, but don’t limit the marketability of your home to only those who happen to share your tastes. Make it as neutral as possible to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. Some colors, patterns and fabrics may need to be removed or replaced.

Lighten Up

Arrange shades or drapes to give the maximum amount of light to the interior rooms. Don’t forget to clean windows and replace burned out, or low wattage light bulbs, for a brighter effect. Light colors add cheer to dark rooms.

Leave It To Us

Buyers ask our representatives many questions when being shown through a home. Most buyers prefer to do this privately. Ideally, showings should proceed without your presence. The buyer will feel more relaxed and less pressured. If you are present, do not discuss terms, price or even condition with prospects. Your McGrew real estate agent will handle these details.

Be Prepared

You should always be ready to show your property. While appointments with maximum notice are preferred, the delayed prospect may cost you a sale. And always try to keep your McGrew Real Estate agent informed of where you may be reached.

House History

It is a good idea to furnish your McGrew Real Estate agent with an accurate utility history, as well as any information on recent improvements, additions or major repairs.

First Impressions

Some homes have been sold, and others rejected, based solely on “curb appeal.” The grounds should be properly maintained throughout the summer and winter. Have the lawn mowed and raked, shrubs trimmed, driveway and sidewalks swept (or shoveled in the winter), and all other debris removed from the premises. Check for loose or missing shingles. Clean out gutters and down spouts. All doors and windows should be in good working order. Clean and paint the exterior if it is necessary.

De-Clutter / Organize

Remove, remove, remove! Sell it, store it (elsewhere) or when in doubt, throw it out. Clear out storage rooms and organize garages. Pack and store away unused items. Sweep and wash the garage and storeroom floors. Clear clutter and arrange furniture to give rooms a more spacious feel. Now, before your home is officially listed, is the time for a garage sale.


Empty closets of off season items and pack them up for the move. Organize your closets to demonstrate the most efficient use of space. Minimize items on the floor and shelves.


Check or have your home professionally inspected for any needed maintenance just as a buyer would. Paint or touch up as necessary. Buyers often overestimate what items will cost to be fixed. If needed, your McGrew Real Estate expert can help you find the right service provider to call. Remember, if you think it is too much work, so will most buyers.

Remove & Replace

Remove & replace items that you do not want to include in the sale of your home. For instance, if the dining room chandelier is a family heirloom, take it down and replace it with one that can be included in the sale. If a Buyer sees it, they will want it.

Showtime Checklist



  • Pick up lawn tools and toys
  • Pick up after pets
  • Remove obstructions from curb view
  • Lawn should be mowed and raked; sidewalks swept or shoveled (seasonal)

Cleaning the Interior

  • Vacuum, sweep & dust
  • Empty wastebaskets; pick up dirty clothes; make the beds
  • Put away personal care items in the bathrooms
  • Clean all sinks and faucets with glass cleaner
  • Make sure rugs are clean and straight
  • Freshen carpets, draperies and upholstery with an odor neutralizer
  • Clean pet areas and remove pet beds & toys

Get Ready for Showings

  • Open shades and drapes
  • Set a comfortable temperature
  • Turn on all lights
  • Arrange fresh flowers in key areas
  • Play soft music and turn off the television
  • Turn off all work sounds (dishwashers, washers, dryers, etc.)
  • Final check every room
  • Securely store valuables

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