Selling!The Dennis Difference December 22, 2020


Preparing your home to be listed for sale is a lot like preparing to host a wedding in your backyard.  You don’t have to make a seating chart or party favors but the tasks to ready your home sale are very similar.  In general, it comes down to cleaning, decluttering, repairing, and a little sprucing up.  We suggest focusing on the following areas to ensure that your home stands out from the rest!


Everyone knows that a clean home not only looks good, but also makes you feel good when you enter, and feelings are a HUGE factor when it comes to selling.  The first thing a person notices when they enter your home aside from the decor, is how clean it is.  So, preparing your home requires a deep clean and some serious decluttering. The American Cleaning Institute has some tips for cleaning when you’re trying to sell your home.  We couldn’t agree more!   

Each room needs to sparkle but each room is a bit different, requiring either more or less effort.  Whether you work from easiest to hardest or vice versa, make a plan and stick to it.  Staging your home is also something to consider and our friends at Instyle Home Interiors are a great resource for home staging advice.  


When a buyer is touring your home, the first place they want to go is the kitchen!  The kitchen is the main selling feature of your home because it’s where all the action happens.  Cooking, homework, meals, celebrations – they generally all occur in or around the kitchen, so it’s no secret that the kitchen could be a deal breaker or a deal maker!  

In order to keep it in the deal maker category, consider the following when tackling the kitchen:

              • Clean the inside and the outside of the cabinets and dust on top if there is open space above.
              • Throw out, make a donate box, or sell items you no longer need and don’t want to pack.  
              • Clean under the sink including the garbage can and the garbage disposal.
              • Polish any stainless steel and make sure any hard water marks are gone.
              • Clean the inside of the dishwasher- it sounds like a chore but it’s actually quite simple.  This article from Country Living explains how!
              • Clean the refrigerator and the freezer and toss out any outdated food.
              • Don’t forget the microwave and make sure to clean the top of the inside.  



The second place a buyer is interested in seeing the master bathroom but really each bathroom matters.  This article from Jaclyn Crawford over at explains the importance of the bathroom when selling your home but it’s clear that a clean bathroom is key, so keep these things in mind.

            • Clean the walls and patch any holes.
            • Paint the walls with a neutral color.
            • Dust and clean the light fixtures and replace bulbs with daylight LED lights.
            • Clean the inside and outside of the cabinets and get rid of any unnecessary clutter.
            • Dust the towel racks, toilet paper holder, shelving and decor.
            • Get the hard water stains out of the toilet bowl, tub, and shower.
            • Remove any broken or peeling caulk around the tub, shower, and sinks and re-apply for a fresh, clean look.
            • Wash any rugs and clean the floors.
            • Clean the tile grout and restore the color.



These areas are generally the easiest to clean and it’s a good idea to de-personalize so that a buyer can envision your home as their own.  To make the most impact in these rooms consider the following:

                  • Give all closets a serious going-through and get rid of, donate, or sell any items you haven’t used or worn in the past 6-12 months.
                  • Clean the walls and dust the ceiling fans.
                  • Patch any holes and paint the walls with a neutral color.
                  • Clean the carpets and vacuum.
                  • Dust and paint the baseboards.
                  • Dust the light fixtures and furniture.



Cleaning out the garage is a chore that no one really looks forward to but leaves you with a sense of accomplishment once finished.  Charlene Storozuk from Dezigner Digz explains the importance of a clean and tidy garage in this article she wrote for the National Association of Realtors.

                  • Declutter and get rid of any items you don’t need at your new home or don’t want to pack.
                  • Patch any holes in the walls and paint with a bright white color.
                  • Clean the floors paying special attention to any grease marks.
                  • Tidy up your workspace and put hand tools away and out of sight.




The exterior of your home is the first thing that a buyer sees and is the first impression that begins to formulate their opinion.  As such, it is important to get it in shape by making any needed repairs and cleaning. If you’re thinking about painting check out this article from Bob Vila on color choices that work well together and focus on the following to spruce up the exterior. 

                    • Pressure wash the house, driveway, patio, and fencing. 
                    • Clean the roof.
                    • Repair any damaged wood or stucco.
                    • Paint the exterior if it’s been more than 2-3 years.
                    • Clean out the gutters and downspouts.
                    • Sweep the sidewalk or walkway approaching the entry to the home.
                    • Clean the ceilings and remove any bugs and cobwebs.
                    • Wash the windows. 


The yard is the equivalent of a hairstyle and can really make a difference when it’s well kept and tidy.  Like the exterior, landscaping is part of the first impression and has the ability to make a buyer feel positive or negative. HGTV has put together this helpful list of things to consider regarding curb appeal and we agree.   


                • Pull any weeds in the flower beds, walkways, and patio areas.
                • Mow and edge the yard weekly.
                • Put down new mulch in the flower beds.
                • Add some colorful plants to give a splash of color.
                • Trim the bushes and trees to create a curated look and frame the exterior.
                • Check the sprinkler system and replace any broken sprinklers.



If you’re thinking about selling your home or have questions about the process, please contact us.  We pride ourselves on being a trusted advisor in all aspects of real estate and we would love to earn your business.