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How To Prepare for an Open House

Get It Sold, Sharon Zunkley shares15-tip checklist on what to do before opening your house to buyers.

PHOTO

Host of Hgtv's Sabrina Soto helps two homeowners unload their cluttered home.
Tip: Print out this checklist, and mark each item off as you get your house ready to sell.

  • Use "home wash" (a hose attachment available at home improvement stores) to clean the outside of the house.
  • Clean rain gutters as well as outside windows and screens.
  • Make sure the front door is inviting. Paint it if needed. Also, replace any outdated outdoor lighting fixtures.
  • Buy new house numbers if the old ones are dated or faded. Be sure buyers can see the new ones from the curb.
  • Buy a new welcome mat.
  • Eliminate half of your belongings as clutter can cost a sale. Rent a storage unit or portable pod for extraneous pieces of furniture or knickknacks. Another idea is to ask a friend if you can borrow some space in his or her garage.
  • Organize all closets and drawers. Buyers might look there.
  • Make any necessary repairs so that buyers don't have to add that to their list of expenses.
  • Rearrange furniture to make rooms appear as large as possible.
  • Make every surface shine, from ceiling fans to baseboards. Don't forget interior windows, mirrors and floors.
  • Scrub every inch of the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Depersonalize each room, removing photo frames and posters or artwork.
  • Buy new linens and pillows if necessary. Be certain they are a neutral color.
  • Buy air neutralizer and spray it often.