Tips for Sellers

You can significantly influence the selling price of your property by preparing before putting it on the market. Here are some suggestions to improve a buyer’s first impression of your home. Print this out and use it as a reference.


  • Remove clutter
  • Remove cobwebs from ceilings and corners
  • Remove paint splash on floor and cabinets
  • Clean and polish door hardware and handrails
  • Clean wall switches and outlet covers
  • Clean and tidy basement and attic storage
  • Add plants and flowers throughout the house

House Exterior

  • Sealed driveway
  • Weed-free driveway and walkways
  • Healthy, weed-free, and trimmed lawn
  • Trees and shrubs trimmed
  • Wash front steps and porch
  • Check front doorbell and bell light
  • Clean or replace welcome mat
  • Repair and repaint fences and gates
  • Clean gutters and downspouts
  • Clean or repaint siding
  • Wash windows and screens
  • Clean shutters

Living, Family, Dining Rooms

  • Repaint or touch up walls, ceiling and trim
  • Repair or replace damaged moulding
  • Clean and wax hardwood and vinyl floors
  • Shampoo carpet


  • Repaint or touch up walls, ceiling and trim
  • Clean drapes and bedspread
  • Shampoo carpet
  • Clean out all closets
  • Clear all bedroom furniture
  • Put away all clothing


  • Paint or wallpaper using light colors
  • Scrub tile, bleach, and repair grout
  • Check to see that drawers/doors open easily
  • Clean floor
  • Clean out medicine cabinet
  • Seal around tubs and showers
  • Replace old toilet seats
  • Replace shower window curtains
  • Put out a set of color coordinated bath linens


  • Paint or wallpaper walls and ceiling with light color
  • Clean floor
  • Clean cabinets and appliances
  • Clean out refrigerator and wash interior
  • Empty dishwasher and clean around controls
  • Check operation of all appliances
  • Arrange and clean food storage areas
  • Clean out cabinets and drawers
  • Neatly display dishes in cabinets
  • Clear clutter from counter tops
  • Check to see that drawers/doors open easily
  • Wash or replace curtains


  • Check operation of appliances
  • Clean all appliances
  • Clean and organize laundry area
  • Provide adequate light to area


  • Check operation of wall sockets
  • Remove oil and grease from floor
  • Clean and organize storage
  • Maintain noisy garage door opener

Selling Mistakes

1) Being Oblivious of Your Rights & Responsibilities

It is of the utmost importance that you stay well informed of the details of your real estate contract. Real estate contracts can often be very complex and confusing, and they are legally binding documents. It is important that you know what you are responsible for before signing the contract. Not being familiar with your contract could cost you hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on repairs and/or inspections.

2) Asking The Wrong Price For Your Property

It is critical the right price is placed on the property. Anybody selling a product obviously desires to get the most money possible for that product. Placing an excessively high price on a property often proves to be counteractive to this cause. Before you set your price you should go over all the area sales and comparables in that area. Have your agent prepare this for you and get a copy to look over yourself. A high listing price will often cause prospective buyers to anticipate more than what you have to offer, or even cause them to lose interest before they even view your property. As a result, overpriced properties have a tendency to take an unusual amount of time to sell, and they end up being sold at a lower price.

3) Only Using One Method Of Marketing/Advertising

There are many ways to market and advertise your property these days such as Open Houses, Classified Ads, Home Magazines, Real Estate Websites, Flyers, etc. Your realtor should employ a wide variety of marketing techniques. You also want to select a realtor that is going to be committed to selling your property; they should be readily available for every phone call from a perspective buyer. Most contacts are made during business hours so verify that they will be trying to sell your home during these hours.

4) Trying To Sell To Window Shoppers

It is important to be able to distinguish realistic potential buyers from mere window shoppers. Often times people who do not come through a realtor are several months away from buying, and are more interested in browsing the market than actually making a purchase. Many times they are not prepared to make a purchase because they have not sold their home yet, are not financially prepared, or they may even be unsure as to whether they want to relocate or not. Typically, a real estate agent should investigate a potential buyer’s credit rating, savings, and purchasing power. This will help keep you from wasting your time marketing towards the wrong people.

5) Not Preparing Your Home For Sale

The home needs to be made a presentable and as pleasant as possible when attempting to sell to prospective buyers. Be sure to make any necessary repairs and clean. A dirty home in need repairs will lower the value of your home and even turn away some buyers.

Check out our Sellers Checklist.

6) “Pressuring” while showing

Buying a home can be an emotional and difficult decision. So it is not normally a good idea to pressure or negotiate with prospective buyers while they are viewing your property. It is best to be hospitable and warm. Be helpful and receptive to any questions they may have.

7) Choosing The Wrong Real Estate Agent

Experienced real estate agents often cost as much as brand new agents. There is a greater probability the experienced agent may be able to fetch you a little higher price for your home, in less time with fewer hassles. It is important to take your time when selecting a real estate agent. Be sure to interview several agents. Selling your home often times the most important financial transaction that you will ever make.

8) Locking Yourself in

You should take your time when selecting a real estate agent. But sometimes it is possible to misjudge and select the wrong agent to represent you, or perhaps their first impression was good but they just have not followed through and are not meeting your expectations. In any case, you should have the right to fire your agent. Also you should have the right to choose another agent instead of just being appointed another one with out consulting you. Make sure you are in the “drivers seat” before signing a real estate contract.