Room by room seller to do list

I often have seller’s ask me what to I need to do to prepare my home for listing? Look at your home objectively INSIDE and OUT. I recommend you follow the information below. You may also schedule an appointment with me for a personalized staging consultation of your home.  



When preparing your living and family rooms its best to think “simple”. Less is more. A few simple things can make a world of difference. Keep in mind we want to showcase the room and not your items in it. You can enhance the room with a few simple items. 

  • Keep end tables free of any items
  • Don’t overcrowd a room with furniture; Remove extra items and put in storage
  • Toys should be stored out of sight
  • Pillows and blankets can be added for a “cozy” feel to a room



A dining room is a great place to set the stage. It can help buyers imagine themselves sitting down for dinner. That is what you want to accomplish. Helping buyers imagine themselves in your space. This is one important reason you need to de-personalize. A staging consultation is best to set the stage but here are a few simple things you can do.

  • Keep the table clear other than your simple staging items
  • Remove extra leaves in the table
  • Keep 4 chairs store any remainders
  • Bottom of the chandelier should be kept at a minimum of 60″ from the floor



The kitchen is an important space. It is also one of the most used rooms in most homes. While your home is listed you should be cleaning the kitchen daily. Spray out the sink, wipe down counters, and wipe the outside of appliances. Here are a few things you can do now to prepare your home for listing.

  • Clean the inside and outside of cabinets (buyers will open those cabinets)
  • Clear all items from the counter tops if possible
  • Clean the stove, oven, and microwave
  • Clear the outside of the refrigerator (it should be a blank slate)
  • Scrub the sink to make it look new (I can make recommendations on products that can help in this; I do not sell the products just have seen them work)
  • Repair/replace any broken cabinets
  • Repair/replace chipped counter tops
  • Repair/replace burners on the stove if worn
  • Clean tile and grout
  • Organize pantry; now is not the time to stock up on Costco items
  • Empty garbage before each showing even if just a small amount is in there
  • Remove any pet food/water bowls before each showing
  • Keep all mops/brooms put away



Bedrooms are another important showing feature. Creating a relaxing atmosphere can set the stage and help buyers picture a good nights rest. Here are some things you can do.

  • Remove everything from dressers/night stands except a lamp
  • Invest in a new bedspread or duvet cover
  • Organize closets. Everything should have a place. Remember buyers will open the closet door.
  • Keep closet doors closed
  • Keep floors clear and vacuum or sweep daily
  • Make beds daily; your home should be prepared for showing everyday
  • Repair any holes or damage to walls
  • Remove wall decor except for one piece (this piece should not be personal)
  • Store daily necessities in cabinets/drawers 



While laundry rooms can also be used as a mud room and can be labeled as a “messy” room in the house it is important to keep things organized. I like to use the phrase “organized chaos”. Let’s try to make the chaos of your laundry room give the feel of organization and ample storage space. 

  • Remove all clothing dirty or clean
  • Keep all surfaces clean and empty
  • Keep soap and supplies in cabinets
  • Keep floors cleared and mop regularly
  • Use high watt bulbs to make it brighter


Bathrooms are another important staging area of a home. One of the biggest complaints in a bathroom besides being outdated is not enough storage. There are things you can do in the smallest of bathrooms to create storage space without creating a feel the space is too small. We can go through this in detail at your staging consultation appointment.

  • Keep all surfaces clean and empty
  • Have a clean “display” bottle of soap
  • Purchase new towels and fold for staging (tips can be shown during staging consultation)
  • Limit linens to 2 colors max
  • Limit items in shower (Too many items make it appear you don’t have enough storage)
  • Replace shower curtain
  • Clean any moldy areas in the tub/shower
  • Replace caulking
  • Keep toilet lids closed
  • Hide garbage and cleaning supplies
  • Organize cabinets (Buyers open all cabinets and closets they should be kept neat)


Your exterior is very important as it the first impression that your buyer has of your home. A few simple things can make a huge difference on your exterior. There are many small staging techniques we can use to make the front of your home go from great to WOW!

  • Replace any rotten wood 
  • Power wash any dirty siding/gutters/stained concrete
  • Re-stain/paint deck/porch wood
  • Repaint front door
  • Re-seal the driveway if you have black top
  • Wash windows inside and out (I can make a recommendation for someone to do this for you 😉
  • Use outdoor furniture to show use of space
  • Outdoor pillows and throws create an inviting atmosphere



Let’s face it garages are dirty places. Our car tires, shoes, bikes, etc. all create a dirty environment. The most important part of showcasing a garage is storage. If you have no storage space it will be a red flag for buyers. Here’s a few more tips to make your garage look great.

  • Clean and sweep
  • Pack up any items that you can live without and/or items that don’t fit nicely into storage containers
  • Keep storage organized
  • Repaint walls or floors if they were previously painted

A well manicured lawn can make a huge difference in the curb appeal of your home. 

  • Do not allow bushes to cover windows
  • Prune bushes as needed
  • Weed planting areas
  • Put down fresh mulch
  • Keep the lawn freshly mowed and edged
  • Remove any dead plants
  • Add flowers/planters for color as needed (recommendations can be made for this during staging consultation)


You can click here for a printable checklist. To schedule a staging consultation of your home please send me an e-mail or call/text me at 708.268.0462. I look forward to helping you with all of your real estate needs.