Peter's Blog


Get Your Home Ready to Sell, It Is Worth It

Get Your Home Ready To Sell It Is Worth It.

Simple, clean focus on the home

In preparing your house to sell, ask yourself over and over if your house looks like someone else's dream house.

Houses in move-in condition tend to be inviting to buyers; houses that are in like-new condition typically sell fastest and procures the best price because it outshine the competition.

With that in mind, here are a few things to consider as you look over your house when getting ready to sell:

Please know that in the interest of space, the information within this report is summarized to the essential suggestions, we do however also have a free report called, "Dressing Your Home For Success" and it would be our pleasure to forward a copy to you if you send us a quick email to or call our office at 1 (250) 213-9490.

Remember the sixty-second rule: that's all the time you have to create a good first impression! Mow the lawn, rake leaves, trim trees and shrubs that keep light out of the house, and remove dead plants. It will probably be easier to sell your house if the buyer can see it, outside and in. Pick up tools, garbage cans, hoses, toys, and building materials and store them neatly in a storage area. Replace broken or missing roof shingles, and straighten and clean the gutters and downspouts. Clean all windows and mend torn screens. Paint your house, if necessary. This can probably help improve curb appeal more than any other fix-up! If you decide against painting the entire house, at least consider painting the front door, window frames, and shutters. Seal or resurface the driveway and repair broken steps and walkways. Paint or replace your mailbox and post. Dress up the front yard with some simple landscaping.

Clean, Clean, Clean
Step back for a moment and look at your home as if you were seeing it for the first Simple, clean focus on the home time. Every room should be neat, spotlessly clean, dusted, and uncluttered. Steam clean the carpets and wax the floors. Wash the walls, windows, and light fixtures. Tighten loose stair railings and clean all woodwork. In the event that you feel a project of this magnitude is better left to a professional, ask your real estate agent to recommend a professional cleaning service.

Use bright light bulbs in the foyer and throughout the house. Fill the house with a pleasant aroma, such as berries in the summer or cinnamon in the winter, or some other fresh scent.

Living Room
Replace the carpet if it's old or worn. It costs money, but you may find that you will more than recoup that cost when the home sells. Patch cracks and nail holes in the walls, and repaint walls in neutral colors, such as white or ivory. Nail down creaking boards and stair treads. Lubricate any sticking or squeaking doors. Open all curtains, and replace them if they are getting old. Add lamps and lighting if the house is dark. Set out fresh flowers.

Rearrange or move furniture to make your rooms look more spacious. Discard worn furniture and move extra furniture to a storage unit. Remember, too much furniture and too many knick-knacks make rooms look cluttered and small. One or two decorative items per surface is plenty, so pack the rest away. Visit model homes for decorating ideas.

Kitchen and Baths
These rooms should sparkle! Clear off counters, and clean all appliances and fixtures. Scrub the floors and walls. Re-caulk tubs and showers. Clean these rooms thoroughly, and be sure they smell fresh!

Take those things to Goodwill that you'll have to discard anyway when you move. Organize shelves and straighten shoes. Be sure that sliding doors operate smoothly on their tracks and knobs on drawers are secure.

Utility Room
Dust and wash off lint from the washer and dryer. Dust and wash off the water heater.

Simple, clean focus on the home

Light and Bright


Do everything you can to brighten the interior. Replace wallpaper with white or off-white paint, and repaint shabby or dark walls. Open the blinds, and replace broken windows and window seals. Always maintain a comfortable temperature inside the house, even if you are away for an extended period of time.

Once again, we also offer a free much more in debt report about preparing your home for a successful sale at top dollar and in the least amount of time, please contact us by emailing if you would like to receive a copy.

Get Your Home Ready To Sell It Is Worth It.

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Peter Pfann,

CPCA, ABR, SRES, E-Pro, IMSD, Master ASA, C-CREC, Associate Broker.

Text or Talk To Peter @: (1) 250 - 213 - 9490

Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, BC, Canada, @ Fair  Realty Since 1986.

Regional office: 1540 Fort St Victoria, BC V8S 5J2



Peter and Linda, your posts are so helpful and educational, without sounding "preachy".  This is another winner.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

WOW!  What a PHANNTASTIC list for sellers to use in preparation for the big SALE!  I agree with your entire list.  You can never do TOO much to prepare for selling your home, that's for sure.

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) almost 9 years ago

HI Chris,

Thank you very much for kind words, we hope to be informative, you are right about the possibility of getting preachy so easily, please let us know if we ever do...

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC almost 9 years ago

Hi Debe,

you are too kind, and we love it when you use our slogan ..... it always brings a smile to our face. Thank you for your kind feedback.

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC almost 9 years ago

Peter & Linda - Thank you for sharing quality information and tips about preparing a home ready to sell.

Posted by John Pusa, Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest) almost 9 years ago

Working on just such a project for an out-of-town seller now. With a very small budget. Hopefully we can get enough pop to get folks in the door - and of course the price has to be one of the key factors. Fingers crossed :)

Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

Hi John,

Thank you for kind words of support, we appreciate it

Hi Karen,

Most issues are really a matter of time, effort and elbow grease. the motto of invest 1 dollar to gain 3 dollars in return, is key

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC almost 9 years ago

Linda and Peter:

Just like Karen, I am helping my out of state client prepare the house for sale.  So far he has a contractor who is refinishing all the hardwood floors, replacing carpet in the family room, painting inside and out and replacing dated light fixtures.  He will not be touching the kitchen, except to clean it.  This is a midcentury home and the kitchen still has the original avocado kitchen appliances.  We both decided that any one who buys the house will make changes to the kitchen, so we are adjusting the price to reflect the dated kitchen.  It take so much time to do all that you have suggested, but it will be worth the effort. 

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) almost 9 years ago

Hi Evelyn,

True enough, time is certainly a  big factor, specially when every aspect has to be coordinated between the owners and trades using time to your advantage is a bit harder when dealing with out of town owners and contractors, and it adds a lot to your duties, but as you say it is worth it and your clients will love you for it.

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC almost 9 years ago

There is a tremendous payoff for those who take the time to prepare their house to SELL. You nailed it!

Posted by Marge Piwowarski, Phoenix AZ Horse Property, LLC (Phoenix AZ Horse Property) almost 9 years ago

Linda and Peter! This is a list to hold on to! I think I will print this out and use it in my listing package. Instead of telling them I require them to do this I will say the Pfann Pfamily are the pros and "they" say....DO THIS!

Great list. Bookmarked!


Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) almost 9 years ago

I think I will clip this one and send it to some of my clients.

Posted by Tim Lorenz, 949 874-2247 (TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team) almost 9 years ago

HI Marge,

Thanks so much, the list is very much coming from past experieence and input by fellow realtors and stagers but mostly common sense, in our full report we have added a lot more detail for each and every room.

HI Deb,

you are giving us way to much credit, (keep going) no please stop it....;) as mentioned, it is pretty much comon sense, and lots of elbow grease the pay off is huge

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC almost 9 years ago

Hi Tim,

we hope you and your clients will have lots of fun and benefits from the list. thank you for your kind words.

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC almost 9 years ago

Peter & Linda,

Thanks for the great information very helpful and true. Tom

Posted by Tom Meyer (Exit Advantage Realty) almost 9 years ago

Hi Peter and Linda,

Great list!  I'm working with an out of town seller too, and it's hard to get them to see the value of spending a few dollars to get what they want.  They have already spent so much, but the last tenant left a mess.  The mess is cleaned up, but we still need paint and we have a laundry list of repairs.  Anyways continued success to you all! 

Posted by Jordon Wheeler, J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service (The Jordon Wheeler Group) almost 9 years ago

Peter & Linda - Wow, what a comprehensive list.  You are so right.  You need to look at your home from an outsider's perspective.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 9 years ago

Always good advice for the seller and it can't be shared enough; congrats on the feature.

Posted by Teral McDowell (Referral Patners LLC) almost 9 years ago

Peter & Linda,

This is so true, so many buyers know  from the first moment whether or not they want to look at the rest of the house or not. first impressions are lasting impressions. 

Posted by Joan Congilose, Helping Sellers & Buyers (New Jersey Properties) almost 9 years ago

Sellers have to realize an unprepared house will not sell as quickly and for as much $$$ as a prepared house.

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

P & L, this list should be given to ever seller before the listing agreement dries.  Simple, but so so important!!

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) almost 9 years ago

Peter and Linda, Good advice for sellers . Thanks for sharing the tips.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 9 years ago

Thanks for the great advice! I will certainly be using this list! Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Shelly Sierra (RE/MAX Masters) almost 9 years ago

Peter and Linda, very good points sellers need to know to get their home ready to sell.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA almost 9 years ago

HI Tom,

Thanks for visiting and kind comments

Hi Jordan,

Pictures of both your clients house as well as pictures of the direct competition will help a lot to make your suggestions have merit.

Hi Debbie,

thank you for feedback, being able to take a step back and understanding what the expectations of the buyers are does allow sellers to gain a huge amount of perspective.

Hi Teral, thank you for kind comments, much appreciated.

Hi Joan,

The old premise that many buyers decide that they like or dislike a home before they have entered is still very common, so making sure that everything is being done to make that 1st impressions are as good as possible.

Hi Mike,

Thank you so much we appreciate your suggestion to include this list with every listing. The list is pretty straightforward and and common sense.

Hi Gary,

so very true preparing your home for sale goes directly ti the bottom line, in addition in slow market segments, only the best prepared homes will sell at all.

Hi Gita, thank you for kind words of support.

Hi Sheila, thanks and we hope the list benefits you and your clients.

Hi Micheal, we think that most sellers understand the need for completing most of the suggestions on the list, if and when they have difficulty completing the suggestions, we need to make it easier to get the work done.

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC almost 9 years ago

All great advice.  Before I list a home, I don't take pictures until the sellers get it ready to put on the market.  To get the best price, they must clean and declutter.

Posted by Nancy Timberlake, REALTOR - Southern Maine (RE/MAX Shoreline) almost 9 years ago

Peter and Linda thanks for sharing such a great blog, you could make it into a hand out for every seller thinking of listing. Have a great weekend.

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) almost 9 years ago

It definitely IS worth it!  Spend the time NOW to make the house a "Dream House", or spend lots more time on themarket!

Posted by Julia Maher, Connecticut Home Stager (Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes) almost 9 years ago

Pfanntastic list Peter and Linda....These days,it is not that it will neccesarily help you sell at a better price, but that if you don't do these things, it may not sell at all.

Posted by Howard and Susan Meyers (The Hudson Company Winnetka and North Shore) almost 9 years ago

Good advice.  Sometimes it's hard for sellers to hear, but definately can help their bottom line

Posted by Susan Lehmkuhl, Associate Broker (Buy and Sell Smart Realty, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Awesome posting, thanks so much and have an awesome day in real estate!

Posted by Michael L. Brownstead, ABR, GRI, MRP, SRS, 1SG US Army (Ret.) (Keller Williams Realty) almost 9 years ago

Hi Peter and Linda, This info is invaluable to Sellers today. It truly is VERY important to have the condition of the home be as best as it can be before it goes on the market.  Congrats on this very feature worthy post!

Posted by Cindy Westfall, ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate (Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon) almost 9 years ago

I especially liked the way you emphasized CLEAN...I like to smell the pine sol or the Lysol when I enter. It just reinforces something in us that says something good. I suppose it supports the newness/freshness we all come to expect and want in anything we consume or purchase.  BTW...A house should be near perfect if soliciting top dollar in my opinion.  Good post and hosts thank you

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 9 years ago

HI Nancy, Scott, Julia, Howard and Susan, Susan L, Micheal, Cindy, Richie,

Thank you so very much for all your kind word, feed back and support, we do very much appreciate it so much. clearly for home sellers reading this article and the comments made by so many of our peers, it can not be said enough taking the time to properly prepare your home before you try to sell is more important now than ever before.

The pictures we used in this article, are from a property we recently listed, and for which the seller (by herself) spend considerable time and effort in prepraring her home, and it shows very very well.

Generally the feedback we have reeived on that home ranges from, awesome, spotless, very well cared for, professionally staged, etc etc. But the fact of the matter is that this was done by the seller, and nobody else.......... just effort, energy and thinking like a buyer, as in what would a buyer think if?

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC almost 9 years ago

Peter and Linda,

You did a great job writing this blog. It surprises my that sellers need to be reminded to ready their home for sale. Fixing, organizing and simplifying! Great post. I have reblogged it!

Posted by Todd & Devona Garrigus, Broker / REALTORS® (Garrigus Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

HI Gerrigus,

Thank you so very much for reblogging, we appreciate it very much, we hope it brings you the desired action.

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC almost 9 years ago

It is vital that the home is made ready to be placed on the market before it goes into the MLS - great post!


Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) almost 9 years ago

Great tips and great information. I find more sellers are willing to do what it takes now to get homes market ready since they've witnessed friends and neighbors sitting on homes for months. Even when folks start out agreeable though, there inevitably comes a sticking point or two...and I try to counsel that buyers will remember something that really turned them off, so you're only as good as that "broken something" or "cluttered family room" that sticks with the potential buyer.

Posted by Charlie Dresen, Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro (Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty) almost 9 years ago

HI Barbara-Jo,

Thank you so much for for yur valued insight, yes listing before the home is ready to be sold is really shooting yourself in the foot in today's market.

HI Charlie,

so true, today it is a bit easier to explain the real problem with not ptreparing a home for sale, but on the downside the money and motivation to make the needed effort is lacking a bit as well, often because all the hard work often just means that they are holding the value rather than improving the value (at least in the sellers perspective) in a slow and declining value market place.

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC almost 9 years ago

These are terrific tips for sellers! You can never do too much to try and improve. You're completely right when you say you only have 60 seconds to make a great impression! Great post!

Kenai Peninsula Real Estate

Posted by Chris Druesedow (Five Star Realty) almost 9 years ago

Hi Chris,

Thank you very much for visiting and your kind feedback and welcome to our Active Rain community, let us know if we can assist you.

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC almost 9 years ago