Pre-Listing Checklist and To Do’s

“Show and Sell” Checklist

Thinking of selling a house and want to know how to get top dollar for your home? You should start by making sure it looks its best, both inside and out. The following checklist offers a wide range of items to consider in an effort to improve a buyer’s first impression. Remember, “The first impression is the only impression that matters”. While all the items on this checklist may not apply to your house, the process will help you develop an eye for the most attractive aspects of your home and what might need attention before making the move to list your home for sale.

Some Items to Address Before Listing Photos & Home Showings:

Getting Exterior Ready

  • Highly recommend pressure washing house, driveway, walkways, fences, patios, pool deck and pool cage
  • Highly recommend cleaning roof if there are any areas of discoloration or mildew
  • Repaint walls and siding, fascia or other woodwork if paint is faded, cracked or peeling
  • Repair any wood rot around fascia, wooden posts or exterior door frames
  • Wash all windows inside and out and replace any torn or missing screens
  • Trim trees, hedges and shrubs away from the home 
  • Remove all weeds from flower beds
  • Freshen up mulch around the entire yard
  • Weed and feed lawn
  • Replace any dead sod
  • Make sure the irrigation is in good working order to keep lawn lush
  • Replace any burned out landscape lights
  • Remove all clutter including garbage cans, garden tools, toys, etc. (should be placed in garage)
  • Replace or paint old or worn mailbox
  • Clear lakefront of any overgrown vegetation or grass
  • Pressure clean dock and make sure boat lift is working


  • Check working order of doorbell and exterior lights
  • Replace any worn welcome mats
  • Repaint front door if needed
  • Clear entry of any clutter


  • Repaint or touch up walls and ceilings if needed
  • Shampoo or replace carpet and/or wash and wax floors
  • Remove excess or unattractive furniture
  • Clean and dust curtains, shutters, blinds, etc.
  • Dust ceiling fans and lights
  • Clean fireplace, mantle, shelving
  • Replace any old or mismatched bedding and linens
  • Declutter closets to make them look larger
  • Replace any outdated lighting and ceiling fans – brass or gold is considered outdated


  • Replace leaking or outdated faucets and fixtures – oil rubbed bronze is most popular
  • Update cabinet hardware
  • Replace Formica with granite or quartz
  • Touch up paint as needed
  • Thoroughly clean range/oven, refrigerator and other appliances
  • Clear out and clean cabinets, drawers and medicine chests
  • Remove clutter from countertops
  • Clean tile and grout
  • Replace any missing or mildewed caulking

Pool and Patio Areas

  • Repaint decks areas that are worn or scratched
  • Replace outdoor ceiling fans if they are old and warped
  • Pressure wash the pool cage and patio areas
  • Damaged or worn pool finishes should be refinished
  • Replace or remove worn and broken patio furniture


  • Replace each and every burned-out lightbulb
  • Clear cobwebs from corners and doorways
  • Wash light switches, hand rails and doorknobs
  • Add “welcoming” touches: new potted plants, scented candles and so on

Before Every Showing:


  • Keep lawn freshly cut and manicured
  • Pick up any tools or toys
  • Put garbage cans in garage
  • Close garage door
  • Park cars on street or around corner


  • Clear clutter from counters and table tops
  • Turn on all lights, lamps and ceiling fans
  • Open shades and curtains
  • Give the house a pleasant aroma – fresh baked cookies, fire in fireplace, etc.
  • Set dining room table
  • Vacuum floors
  • Make all beds
  • Fold bathroom towels
  • Set thermostat at a comfortable temperature even if you don’t normally
  • Remove all pets from the house

House and Community Information (display in kitchen)

  • Average utility bills
  • Real estate listing sheet
  • Floor plan (if available)
  • List of upgrades you’ve put into the house (and dates, if available)
  • Map and/or list of community features and points of interest
  • Warranty information on appliances


Ask your sales professional to take a walk-through of your house and offer suggestions on how to make it show ready. There’s simply no better source of ideas for making a house more marketable.

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