Your home will sell. There’s no question about that – in today’s market or tomorrow’s good or bad. However, if you put your home on the market without preparing it for sale, you may have a long wait for an offer. You may also not realize your home’s greatest return on investments.

You don’t have to turn your pockets inside out to get it ready to sell. Some outlay may be necessary for painting, for replacing worn woodwork, carpeting, cabinet doors, or for repairing broken fixtures or appliances.

There are, however, many fix – ups that cost absolutely nothing – except a little time and elbow grease. These fix – ups will make all the difference in whether or not your home makes the most of itself.

Here are a few tips for getting your home ready to show itself off to your pocket-book’s best advantage.


  1. Spruce up all around the house. Keep lawn and shrubbery trimmed and free of bicycles and other clutter. Keep the garden beds weeded and mulched.
  2. Put a flowering pot on the front step and keep it watered and trimmed.
  3. Fill potholes in your driveways and tidy up walkways.
  4. Clean off your outdoor furniture, remove any rust (or toss out the rusted item).
  5. Clear out the garage of everything but cars. If yours has become a two car attic, throw out the excess.
  6. Straighten gutters, the TV antenna, the fence – and other things that sag.
  7. Fix doorbells, tighten loose doorknobs and oil squeaking hinges.
  8. Repair broken windows and shutters.

  10. Clean everything in and out of sight. Shampoo rugs and wax floors. Wash walls. Wash windows and clean blinds and draperies.
  11. Weed clutter out of closets and cupboards.
  12. Create space by storing some of the extra furniture you’ve found useful (bureaus, bookcases, storage chests, oversized chairs) but which makes a crowded impression.
  13. Place the remaining furniture so that traffic can flow easily from room to room.
  14. Unless you’re a skilled artist, scale down your personal artwork (portraits, landscapes), posters, signs, and family photos, especially in teenagers’ rooms. Create a feeling of spaciousness.
  15. Keep shades and draperies open, to admit as much light as possible, but screen our unappealing views.
  16. Let your kitchen look warm and welcoming, not a hectic workplace. Keep your sink shining and free of dirty dishes at all times.
  17. Organize cupboards.
  18. Clean the refrigerator.
  19. Keep counter tops clear, but not empty (as if unused); adorn them with your most attractive canisters.
  20. Completely degrease your oven. Let the kitchen smell fresh and fragrant (with cinnamon warming in the clean oven, if you have time).
  21. Remove debris (dust, flies, moths, etc) from all light fixtures.
  22. Keep the bathrooms scrubbed, tidy and equipped with fresh soap and neatly hung towels (matching if possible).
  23. Get rid of stains and install new washers on dripping faucets.
  24. Feature (with lighting or furniture arrangements) your home’s best characteristics (a fireplace, a picture window, a balcony, ceiling beams a kitchen eating area, etc.).
  25. If you’ve repainted (preferably in safe neutral tones), add bold splashes of color (with your brightest throw pillows, crockery, pictures, etc.)
  26. Place plants in strategic spots in any room – the bigger the more glamorous, if space permits.
  27. Light the whole house, especially dark corners and hallways.
  28. Hang mirrors where they will reflect outdoor light – as well as make a room look larger.