Closing a Door

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Things to Consider Before Selling Your House

We know how stressful the thought of selling a home can be, but it does not have to be confusing. Our Home-Seller Checklist you will keep you on track and ahead of the game. While some of these tips are surprisingly easy others might take a bit more energy…but the payoff will make it worthwhile!


You want your buyers to love your house and make a great offer, so roll up your sleeves and check things off this Checklist! And, always remember we are here to answer questions and share ideas.

1. Find a Great Real Estate Agent

Think you can sell your home yourself, and pocket the cash you would otherwise pay an agent? This can be tempting, especially in a hot market. However, a “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) transaction is almost always a disaster. You are left to do the negotiating and must rely on your own skills to finalize the contract. This can leave the seller open to potential legal problems and a smaller profit in the end.


Put our 60+ years of combined negotiating experience to work for you. We know our market; we study the local trends.

2. Consider Your Curb Appeal

Curb appeal sets the tone for prospective buyers. You want to entice them to see more. The first impression establishes the expectation of what the interior will present.


– A watered and mowed lawn is always inviting
– Polish up the landscaping. Weed the gardens, remove damaged or dead plants and limbs, and
plant colorful plants as the seasons allow.
– Wash the windows and hose down the siding. Central Washington gets pretty dusty!
– Check for areas of raw wood on your home or decks. Maybe the whole house does not need
to be repainted, but newly painted trim and even a pop of color on the front door will freshen
things up!
– Is your mailbox looking rather weathered? It is a small item, but attention to the little things
can make a big difference.
– Replace furnace filters and consider having your HVAC serviced. This maintenance is
– Take a good look at your roof. If you see loose, damaged, or missing shingles, hire a roofing
expert and see what needs to be done… and get it done. The roof is an important part of your
home to keep healthy, and buyers almost always look at its condition.

3. Declutter Living Areas

Less is definitely more when it comes to getting your house ready to show. You want your house to appear to have plenty of space, and this includes cabinets and closets. Eliminate piles of mail or magazines, organize closets. Remember, buyers open cabinets and closets as they work on determining if your house will fit their needs.


Do a clean sweep of the counters, windowsills, and tables. Pack up treasures and extra stuff for storage. Do this before you list…one less thing you will have to do when it is actually time to move!

4. Depersonalize Your Space

The goal with this step is to create a blank canvas on which a prospective homebuyer will project their own vision of living in their new home. You will want to remove personal items and family photos, perhaps bold artwork and furniture.

5. Repaint Walls to Neutral Tones

You might love that bright green accent wall in the kid’s bathroom, but if it’s your potential buyer’s least favorite color, that could be a turnoff. Yes, paint is inexpensive, but it will be one more thing the buyer will have to do to personalize their new home. A light neutral color will allow buyers to imagine the walls with a color of their choice.

6. Touch up Any Scuff Marks

Even if you’re not doing a full-on repainting project, pay special attention to scrubbing and then touching up baseboards, walls, and doors to make the house sparkle and look well cared for.

7. Fix Any Loose Handles

The goal here is to avoid causing the buyer to stop and wonder what else might be broken. Replacing missing lightbulbs or fixing the little things like loose handles will make a big difference!

8. Add Some Plants

If you have a bit of a green thumb, add a potted plant or two. Healthy plants create a warm and welcoming environment. You might also want to consider a bouquet of flowers or bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter or dining table.

9. Conduct a Smell Test

Strong odors can turn off a buyer. We recommend having an unbiased third party in to try to detect pet smells or other lingering odors.


If the smells are pervasive, you might need to do some deep cleaning, because many buyers are on to “masking techniques” such as candles or plug-in room deodorizers.

10. Clean, Clean, Clean

…and then clean some more! You want your property to look spotless. Take special care with the bathroom, making sure the tile, counters, shower, and floors shine. Put the dishes in the dishwasher, wipe down kitchen counters and oven, and dust the coffee table! Dust everything…walls, ceilings, fans, A/C vents, molding, etc.


Pet owners need to be especially aware of cleaning up after those little family members every day!


You want your house ready to be shown at short notice, especially if no one is home during the day. Buyers are active seven days a week!

11. Hide Valuables

From art to jewelry, make sure that your treasures are out of sight, either locked up or stored offsite.

12. Plan For Your Pets

Does your kitty stay indoors? Does your dog have a kennel for the daytime, while you are at work? No one ever intends to let the indoor kitty slip out the back door! We do make notes for agents on tour, but sellers need to be aware that special arrangements need to be made for pets. Pets are part of the family, and we want to make sure everyone is safe!

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