What to do and not do when selling home

03/21/2014 12:00 AM

08/06/2014 10:26 AM

Planning to put your house on the market? Here are some things to do and some things to avoid before and after the sign goes in the yard.

Preparing to sell


Pay attention to the inside of closets. If you are leaving a house vacant for showings, be sure to paint the master closet. Paint will brighten the space.

Have heating and air conditioning serviced.

Have the chimney swept.

Make sure trees are trimmed. Seed bare spots in the yard.

Be sure there’s a flow of tone and color schemes throughout the house, avoiding giving people a jolt as they move from one room to another.


Skimp on the basement finish. Some people go less expensive downstairs, and it can feel like a different house.

Get really customized with your countertops.

Paint walls anything but neutral (which can be an appetizing latte or a gray).

When showing the house or taking photos


If the house is empty and you can’t get furniture into it, at least put something in a room, such as a potted ficus tree, to divert attention from such things as dinged-up trim.

For cosmetic problems such as scuffs on the wall, try Magic Eraser.

When preparing for a showing, take the trash out. Make sure there are no strong odors in the house, and go light on the pleasant fragrances, too. Heavy perfumes can kick up allergies or have people wonder what smells you’re trying to cover up.

Leave the lights on and/or the blinds open. You want the first impression to involve all the senses, not the Realtor fumbling for the light switch.


Leave toilet lids up.

Leave personal photos or other personal things out.

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