Checklist marked red with a red pen
Wendy Gimpel
Wendy Gimpel

Checklist – Before Putting Your House on the Market

The housing market can be brutal, so if you are getting ready to put your house on the market, you should go in armed with the best information and preparatory measures you can. Selling your home will be a significant investment in your time, particularly if you are hoping to get top dollar for it.

A lot more goes into successfully selling a home than tossing up a cheap “for sale” sign in the yard, holding an open house, uploading a few pictures, and making a Facebook status about it. You will need to take a look at several things to make sure not just your home, but you are ready for potential offers. 

Use A Great Agent

There is no getting around it. Leveraging a quality real estate agent’s skills can bring you much more than their potentially higher commission rate. A great agent will not only conduct the market analysis you need to get maximum value from your house, but they will screen potential buyers and offers. Even if a great agent has a 2% higher commission, if they get you an 8% higher price than others, you’re still ahead.

Spruce Up

Make sure you’ve got excellent curb appeal, front yard, and back. Many prospective buyers will simply drive by if they feel the seller couldn’t be bothered to cut and edge their lawn, pressure-wash the siding, or clean their patio furniture. 

Pare Down The Stuff

Less is more when you may be hosting an open house or showing your home to potential buyers. Make sure you’ve swept counters, tables, and closets for any clutter that the buyers may find. Donate it if it’s not moving with you, or pack it up if it is.


Decluttering should continue with your personalized decor. Personal items, family photos, art, and unique furniture should be removed and stored. Your potential buyers can be distracted by too many reminders that they are in someone else’s home, and they may have trouble picturing themselves as the new homeowners.

Soften Your Flair

If you have a bold design taste, or perhaps you’ve chosen some “unique” interior colors. Do a quick repaint to something more neutral. You may need to prime first if your paint choices were unique enough, but it can save you a possibly turned-off buyer.

Knock Out The Easy Stuff

Many potential buyers are just going to wander around and look at cosmetic stuff, so make sure none of that is left unattended. These will be things like scuff marks on tile and wood surfaces, paint marring in areas of contact, light bulbs, switches, outlet covers, loose handles, and so on. Buyers that see simple things that are neglected will wonder what else has been.

Take A Whiff

This is the standard sniff test. Your home should pass it. The challenge is, you can’t smell your smells, even after quite a while away. Bring in a couple of third parties, like a friend or family member, to come in and sniff around. If there are any rogue odors, handle them. 

Clean Then Clean Again

You will need to clean, deep clean, and deep, deep clean everything in preparation for your listing. Even when you pass the smell test, you want the home to be spotless for potential buyers. You might not be good at it, but luckily some people will clean for you in exchange for modest payment! However you do it, get it clean, your listing is worth it.

Stillwater, MN Real Estate Agent

If you are looking for the perfect home in Stillwater or the surrounding areas, Wendy Gimpel Real Estate is here to assist you. Wendy is a knowledgeable agent with more than 20 years of experience who can help you navigate the demanding real estate market. Wendy’s honesty and savvy attention to detail are what make buyers and sellers want to work with her. Contact Wendy today to see what is available.

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