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Your Complete Checklist for Showing the Best Home on the Market

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

Clean home ready for Open House

Photo Copyright : Monika Mlynek /

First impressions count. Your home has just one chance to make a great impression with each potential buyer. And a little effort can make a big difference.

Buyers are using online searches not only to select homes to view, but to eliminate those that don’t look appealing. Are you willing to run the risk of losing a potential buyer because your home lacks “web appeal”? See this slideshow - Tips to Selling Your Home.

We can help you ensure the best photos and showings for your property. Follow this checklist to prepare your home for sale and make it the best one on the market.


Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Whether online or in person, the first side of your listing that buyers will see is the outside. That’s why curb appeal is one of the most important things to consider when selling your home. And the good news is, small and inexpensive updates to your home’s curb appeal can really make a big difference.


  • Repair any damaged roof shingles, gutters, and siding.

  • Repair and repaint fences, decks, windows, shutters, and screen doors.

  • Check caulk around windows and doors. Follow manufacturer’s recommendations to re-caulk if needed.

  • Repair major cracks in sidewalks and driveways.

  • Repaint or restain lawn furniture.

  • Discard old or broken lawn furniture, flower pots, and hanging baskets.

  • Clean gutters and downspouts. Clear them of debris if necessary.

  • Clean and dress up your mailbox.

  • Sweep walkways, patio, decks, steps, and porches.

  • Wash exterior windows.

  • Have chimneys and flues inspected and cleaned if necessary.

  • Clean your swimming pool until it sparkles.


  • Prune and trim trees and shrubs.

  • Rake leaves and pick up fallen limbs.

  • Replace dead or diseased plants and shrubs.

  • Start a compost pile or place debris at the curb for pickup.

  • Clean out flower beds and plant seasonal flowers.

  • Add fresh mulch to beds and gardens.

  • Mow and edge your lawn.

  • Water your lawn, trees, and shrubs (if needed).


  • Shine hardware on the front door, outside lighting fixtures, etc.

  • Place a doormat at your entrance.

  • Add fresh flowers or potted plants around the door.

  • Add visible house numbers.

  • Test the doorbell to make sure it works.


Make Your Home Sparkle for that next Home Showing

The whole idea in preparing your home for sale is to present a clean, spacious, clutter-free home that potential buyers can see themselves living in. That may sound daunting, especially if you’re in the process of moving, yourself. But just take this interior home staging checklist one at a time.


  • Add a fresh coat of interior paint in light, neutral colors.

  • Clean upholstery and polish wood surfaces.

  • Wash and deodorize all carpeting.

  • Wash draperies and blinds.

  • Clean all light fixtures and ceiling fans.

  • Clean windows inside and out including glass, frames, and ledges.


  • Clean bathrooms thoroughly including floors, walls, fixtures, and tiles.

  • Clean kitchen ceiling, cabinets, sink, and appliances (inside and out).

  • Wax and polish kitchen floors.

  • Clean out the attic, garage, workshop, and basement spaces.

  • Clean out closets and straighten clothes, shoes, and other articles.

  • Organize storage areas, including pantries, linen closets, laundry rooms, and medicine cabinets.

  • Clean your fireplaces.


Make Any Additional Repairs

Being proactive about home repairs means you can solve many problems before your buyer ever sees them. If you have time before putting your home on the market, consider which repairs are easiest to do this season. But whether you handle repairs yourself or need to hire help, try to tackle as much as you can before your listing goes live.

  • Repair any toilet, sink, or faucet leaks.

  • Caulk and grout tiles (if needed).

  • Repair or replace any broken appliances.

  • Repair any doors, cabinets, or windows that do not work properly.

  • Patch spots on walls and ceilings (if needed) and repaint.

  • If pests are a problem, be sure to have the issue inspected and treated prior to market.

  • Make sure the furnace, HVAC, and hot water heater are in working order.

  • Check for water under the house.

  • Inspect and repair damages to drywall.


Appearance is Key

Tidying up can feel like a lot of work. But once you have a plan in place, and you practice it pretty regularly, it will feel like less and less work every time—because it will be. Make surprise home showings a breeze by staying on top of this last checklist.


  • Rearrange your furniture and remove “extra” pieces to make rooms appear larger.

  • Remove clutter from all rooms, bookshelves, and countertops to provide an open, spacious feel.

  • While you’re at it, remove any loose or personal paperwork, magazines, newspapers or mail that is visible on countertops, tables, or desks.

  • Remove any extra appliances from countertops in kitchens, bathrooms, dressers, and vanities.


  • Replace light bulbs and add lamps to brighten dark rooms.

  • Remove any unpleasant odors throughout the entire house and deodorize.

  • Clean and put away all dishes, pots, and pans.

  • Clear your refrigerator completely of messages, photos, and magnets.

  • Straighten children’s rooms and store all toys.

  • Pick up after pets. Better yet, hide as much evidence of pets as possible.


Add Any Final Touches Inside

Were you the type of kid that did extra credit just for fun? Then these last few to-dos are for you!

  • Replace throw rugs or house plants that look shabby.

  • Add fresh flowers or potpourri.

  • Add decorative pillows to sofas and beds.

  • Replace the shower curtain.

  • Add coordinated towels and accessories in the kitchen and bathrooms.

  • Open curtains and windows for daytime showings.


Are You Ready for Buyers?

At EXP Realty we know that nothing is more important than pricing your home. But making sure your home is in optimal showing condition will set it apart from your competition. And in many cases, it’s the difference between a timely sale or a long, drawn-out process.


All real estate is local. In order to make confident real estate decisions, we believe it is important for you to have timely and neighborhood-specific information. If you would like more information about buying a home in NC, our experts at EXP Realty are here to help. Contact us today to speak with a EXP agent about buying homes or land in North Carolina.

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