The holidays are over and we are entering into the busy buying season. I have already been into a few homes that blew me away and even more that blew my mind at how they decided to show their homes. There are tips and tricks to make sure you nail that first impression. Believe it or not, soiled puppy pads all over the house is not the way!

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you think this is your time to move:

1. Clean & declutter

Make your move easier by beginning the packing process now.

  • Clear out all clutter and remove items you don’t regularly use.
  • Donate items that haven’t been used in the past 12 months.
  • Consider a temporary storage facility for bulky pieces of furniture, holiday decor, out of season clothing and any other items you don’t need. It will not be easy but showing your house not as lived in is better. They want to see the size room and your child’s play kitchen may not help do that.

When you clean, pay attention to small details.

  • Wash windows
  • Dust blinds
  • Launder curtains
  • Dust baseboards
  • Clean appliances
  • Straighten contents of your closets

2. Do a thorough inspection

This step will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises during the sale process and it is better to know ahead of time so you can plan or price accordingly.

  • Inspect your walls and floors for water damage
  • Check for plumbing leaks
  • Make sure your windows don’t have broken seals,
  • Check for any signs of insects or rodents

Once this step is done…fix them and disclose on the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement.

3. Make a great first impression

You only get one short for this so consider what your home looks like as you get out of the car:

  • Pressure clean the exterior , driveways and patio areas
  • Paint the exterior and front door if needed
  • Clean up and maintain the landscaping

4. Paint

While you might love your purple walls, there’s a good chance that most buyers won’t. Many buyers want to see a blank canvas where they can inject their own personality. In order to make your home appeal to the largest possible audience, paint your walls in neutral colors in a matte finish and be sure to repair any nail holes or damage prior to paint so the color is consistent. Also, be sure to clean up baseboards and trim. White always looks better than scuffed!

5. Show that you care

A home that is well cared for shows and makes the new buyers feel like they are making a good choice.

  • Finish any home improvement projects like that broken gate latch.
  • Light fixtures, bathroom mirrors, taps, shower heads and cabinet hardware can all be replaced for very little money and make a huge difference in terms of visual appeal. Replace any broken bulbs or fixtures. That leaky faucet will get called out so take care of it now.
  • Professionally clean your carpet and grout and remember to clean and grout your bathtubs. If the carpet can’t be cleaned consider replacing it. If you have cracked or damaged tiles fix those too.

6. Stage

An important part of showing your home is how you have it staged.  Staging can be done yourself or by professionals.


  • Limit the number of personal photos
  • Clear counter space and closet space
  • Eliminate furniture where appropriate and necessary
  • Consider hiring a professional Stager

7. Get your real price

Find out how much you should list your home for by asking for your agent’s advice. I would be happy to pull the comparable properties in your neighborhood and help you determine how much you can expect to sell for in today’s market.