All in the Details: Small Steps for Selling Success

LKR Agent guest post by Verne Folkmann

When preparing your home for sale, it’s always good to get rid of clutter and clean…and then clean some more. I work with buyers as well as sellers, and here are some specific tips to help you see the place from a buyer’s point of view.

Imagine you are walking through your home for the first time. What are some small improvements that could have a big impact? Let’s start at the front door.

First Impressions

The front door is the first impression. Make sure the hardware is in good condition and brush away cobwebs and debris. Potted flowers add fresh curb appeal—but only if the plants are healthy. Landscaping should look well-kept: free of weeds and mulched with stones or shredded hardwood.

Main Floor

As you go inside, look up and down. Are the lights on? All the fixtures should work, and light bulbs should match; having a fluorescent alongside a regular bulb doesn’t show your home in its best light. Is the carpet in good condition? Replace worn carpet or give an allowance for the buyer to choose new.

Let’s step into the living room. The sofa and chairs should be scaled to the room so it doesn’t look too full. Some furniture is better than none, but too much will make your space feel small. Remove any extra items, like small end tables and throw rugs.

Moving into the kitchen, take stock of your appliances. Anything that is not working well should be repaired. Cleanliness really counts here, and all caulking and grout (in bathrooms, too!) should be looking like new. Can your buyer tell you have pets? Hopefully your home is free of pet odors, and Fido is staying with your cousin for the day.

Deck + Backyard

As you look out over the deck and backyard you should be looking through a clean window and a screen that isn’t ripped. Does the deck look well-maintained, or does it need to be power washed or refinished? Are there projects out here that are going to keep the buyer from exploring the rest of the home?


After touring the bedrooms, it’s time to inspect the mechanicals. Your home’s utility room should be clean and offer a clear pathway to the furnace, humidifier, hot water heater, and water softener. These may not be brand new, but they should look well-maintained. Finally, any and all cracks in the concrete or block walls should be filled with a clear silicone.

You’ve walked as an imaginary buyer through the whole home. Make a note of small projects and tackle them one at a time. Remember that your efforts may lead to a quicker sale at a better price!