18 Month Checklist to Prepare Your Home For Sale

Selling your home has more work than you probably thought it does. But don’t worry, that’s why we’re here. Here is an 18 month checklist to prepare your home for sale. This is a list of items that need to get done when selling your home. Priorities the tasks in most demand for you and your home. One person may need more work in the kitchen and another on the exterior. Try to get the big projects done and out of the way first. That way towards the end when you’re probably running around crazy, you’ll only have the small tasks left to get done.




The exterior is the first thing that potential buyers see. You’ve gotta make sure your house is looking its best to be able to grab the buyers eye right away.


1. Curb Appeal


  • checklist to prepare your homeMake sure the front door, doorbell, welcome mat, mailbox, lighting, and address numbers are in good condition.
  • The siding and windows might need power washing.
  • Clean outdoor furniture.
  • Mow, water and fertilize the lawn. If there are dead patches, fill them in with some grass seed.
  • Trim shrubs, bushes, and tress along with raking the leaves.
  • Sweep the sidewalk, driveway, porches, and patios.
  • Place seasonable appropriate decorations and flowers.
  • Put away any toys and tools.
  • Clean up pet droppings.
  • checklist to prepare your homeClean the gutters and downspouts.


3. Updates and Repairs


  • Repair cracks in the driveway and sidewalks along with removing stains.
  • Make sure the roof is in good condition, and make repairs where needed.

2. Paint

  • checklist to prepare your homeMake sure the paint is fresh, this includes the trim, doors, shutters, and fences.
  • If the whole house doesn’t need to be painted, make touch ups where needed.


Take a good look at the exterior. Does it look appealing to you? Does everything look like it has a place. Do items look neatly arranged?


The interior is very important because this is where the buyer will start imagining themselves living in your house. Anything that can be tidied up or cleaned, do it. Make the inside as presentable as possible.

1. Clean / Dust

  • checklist to prepare your homeClean everything. Items in your house are going to require different equipment to properly clean. Make sure you know what goes with what.
  • Dust everywhere. Get a good duster, because chances are that dust has accumulated in multiple spots that are going to need a good dusting.
  • Make sure to dust the light fixtures and fans.
  • Get rid of all dust bunnies.

2. Declutter and Depersonalize

  • Remove any items that are not needed for decor or for use.
  • checklist to prepare your homeRemove unneeded appliances, toys, magazines, and pet items.
  • Start packing up all these items. Put them in boxes and store them.
  • Remove all family photos and personal collections.
  • Remove or hid your medications.
  • Secure your valuable items in a safe, including cash, jewelry, or anything you wouldn’t want to go missing.

4. Furniture Placement

  • Rearrange the furniture to maximize space.
  • Make the furniture look appealing to an outsider.
  • Remove any excess and over-sized furniture.

6. Fireplace

  • Clean the fireplace out.
  • Remove smoke stains from the wall and mantle.
  • Put new firewood in.
  • Make sure the screen is in good shape.
  • Clean the hearth

5. Lighting

  • Replace all burned out light bulbs.
  • Dust any light fixtures.

8. Kitchen 

  • Determine if the kitchen machines – blenders, canisters, toaster, etc. – are needed to be on the counter tops. Chances are, they don’t. They will just cause more clutter and make the kitchen look smaller.
  • checklist to prepare your homeMake it sparkle. Clean the sinks, appliances you keep out, and counter tops.
  • Make sure your hardware works, fix leaky faucets or damaged appliances.
  • Replace any knobs that are falling off or rusting.
  • New hardware can make the kitchen look 100-times better. This may not be needed, but keep it in mind.
  • For ceramic tile, scrub all the grout or stain it if it’s beyond cleaning.
  • Sweep, mop, and wax the floors.
  • Clean and organize the pantry, cabinets, and drawers.
  • Hang fresh towels.

9. Bathrooms

  • checklist to prepare your homeClean mirrors, glass, chrome, porcelain surfaces, and grout.
  • Replace the shower curtain.
  • Fix leaky faucets and unclog drains.
  • Replace caulking around the tub and shower if needed.
  • Put away any unnecessary items. The more items that stay are clutter, and will make the bathroom look and feel smaller.
  • Sweep, mop, and wax the floors.
  • Keep toilet seat lids closed at all times
  • Hang fresh towels.

10. Closets

  • checklist to prepare your homePack away anything and everything you aren’t going to use in the next few months. You want to show off your closet space and you can’t do that when it’s filled with all your stuff.
  • Organize the items you do keep. Put shoes on racks or bars.

11. Air Quality 

  • Does your home smell nice?
  • Bake cookies or put out air fresheners that don’t have too strong of a smell.
  • Open windows to let fresh air in.
  • Refrain from smoking in the house.
  • Make sure the vents are clean and dusted.

12. Flooring

  • Professionally clean all carpets. Carpets can be the hardest to clean yourself and buyers want clean carpets.
  • Sweep, mop, and/or wax hardwood flooring.

checklist to prepare your home14. Paint

  • Try to stay away from freshly painting your whole indoor house.
  • Touch up spots where needed.
  • Add drywall to sections where needed.

13. Furnace and Water Heater

  • Clean furnace and water heater
  • Replace as needed

checklist to prepare your home15. Pets

  • Relocate pets on the day of open house.
  • Keep the cat box clean daily, this will eliminate more smell.
  • Give your dogs a bath.

7. Door hinges

  • Replace or oil any squeaky door hinges.
  • When perspective buyers are going in and out of the rooms, they don’t want to hear the doors move.

checklist to prepare your home16. Show the Features

  • Remove rugs to show off the hardwood floors.
  • Open the drapes, curtains, and blinds to showcase nice views and the sunlight the house receives.
  • If it’s winter time on the day of your open house, have the fireplace running – make sure to keep an eye on it though.
  • Clean the backyard, pool area, and the pool itself.


  • Anything that you are boxing up from the inside, DO NOT put in the garage. The garage is just as important as the inside.
  • Declutter and depersonalize the garage.
  • checklist to prepare your homeBuyers need to see that there is enough room in the garage to fit their cars, they won’t be able to do that if your garage is full of clutter.
  • If you have too much stuff but no where to put it, think about getting a short-term storage unit.
  • Have a garage sale if you want to actually get rid of some of your items.
  • Clean the walls, shelves, and floor and remove cobwebs
  • Repaint and patch holes where needed.
  • Make sure the garage door opens and works properly. Does it squeak?
  • Wash the windows.

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Pricing Home For Sale

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The goal of these tasks are to make your house the most presentable as possible and make it appealing to perspective buyers. What would you want to see when you are looking for a house? The above list may look very overwhelming and long, but keep in mind that not everything listed will be applicable to you. Take this list and modify it to fit your needs. Get the big projects done first and then work your way to the smaller ones.

If you have any other tips you would like to add, comment below.

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Title Insurance

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18 Month Checklist to Prepare Your Home For Sale
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