Home Seller Checklist

You’re in the process of purchasing a new home, and it’s time to sell your old one. You want to get the most money out of your sale in the least amount of time. This means you have to attract a number of potential buyers. So, where do you start?

Cindy Dassinger, a real estate agent in the Denver metro area, has a number of tips and tricks to help you quickly sell your home with less effort and maximum payoff.

Declutter and Depersonalize.


Having a clean home without clutter or personal items is more attractive to potential buyers. This is why you should remove the majority of items from surfaces in the kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms.

  • In the kitchen, leave out a soap dispenser, a paper towel holder and the coffee machine. (This means you need to get rid of that stack of papers that’s been sitting on your counter for a few weeks.)
  • Keep only a soap dispenser and clean towels visible in the bathroom. Hide those toothbrushes, toiletries and shampoo bottles.
  • Nightstands should only have a lamp and an alarm clock.

“The reason why new homes sell quickly is because they’re staged. They look beautiful and there’s zero clutter,” says Dassinger. “So when you walk in, it feels very comfortable, clean and organized. That’s not traditionally how people live, but that’s how new homes sell.”

Once you’ve decluttered your home, it’s time to depersonalize it, “because you don’t want to overpower your home with personal taste,” says Dassinger. Remove family pictures from around the house and instead hang large artwork or other pieces of color that stand out. Put away any personal knickknacks as well.

Keep it clean. 

No one wants to imagine living in a dirty house. So make sure you dust the furniture, wipe down countertops, and vacuum and mop the floors. Don’t forget to clean the baseboards – they’re easy to forget but washing them can make a big difference. And do an especially deep, thorough clean in the bathrooms — consider replacing that old shower curtain that’s been there forever. “You want the house looking clean and shiny,” says Dassinger. “It definitely attracts more potential buyers.”

Create a welcoming aroma.

Having an odor in the house, whether from pets or cigarettes, can be overwhelming and actually bring down the value by $10,000 to $20,000, according to Dassinger. “People immediately think that it’s going to cost them a lot of money to get the smell out of the house.”

However, don’t go to the other extreme by adding a lot of plug-in air fresheners, because that can also be overpowering. “The buyers may think that you’re trying to hide or cover up a bad smell,” says Dassinger. So, the best thing to do is brew a fresh pot of coffee, add fresh flowers around the home or even pop cookies in the oven when you know you’ll have potential buyers coming over.

Make it feel inviting.


It's important that the potential buyers are attracted to the home and feel welcome. You can do so by turning on all the lights and opening up the blinds to flood the house with as much natural light as possible. Have your ceiling fans on to make the rooms feel more comfortable. And make sure your house is cool if the weather is hot and vice versa. In the winter months you could even have the fireplace going to make the space feel even more homey and cozy.


Design great curb appeal.

Potential buyers will size up the house and everything around it as they drive up to it, so you want to leave a good first impression. You can do so by manicuring your lawn, trimming the bushes, planting fresh flowers, cleaning your windows and even power-washing the front porch. “And one of the best things that a seller can do is to repaint the front door because as people stand there opening the lockbox, they’ll notice how crisp and clean it is,” says Dassinger.

Get professional photos taken. 



Professional photos can make rooms appear brighter and larger and create a less overcast sky for outdoor shots. “I always say that having professional photos of the inside and outside of your home makes an entire world of difference,” says Dassinger. They won't break the bank, and potential buyers will determine whether they want to see your home based on the photos that are posted online.


Have an upgrade list.



If you’ve made any updates to the house, let your real estate agent know so they can add it to the property listing. List the item, the approximate year it was upgraded and the estimated cost. “So, for example, you could say: new roof, 2019, $11,750,” says Dassinger. “This list can help your house stand out outside the comps of your area and can bring you more value at the time of the appraisal.”

Want to make sure you’re covering all your bases? Don’t worry — we’ve created a downloadable list that you can check off as you go.

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