It can be a daunting task! These are the items that I feel are the most important for you to spend your time and energy on.

Read on for Sheryl’s Ultimate Guide to Preparing Your Home for Sale and getting the best sale price possible…

15843 Cobblestone Lake Lower Level LaundryRound 1

Up first, let’s start in the mechanicals room. Wipe down the furnace, water softener, water heater, and humidifier. Fill the water softener with salt, change the furnace filter, replace the furnace humidifier filter and clean or replace the condensation tube on your furnace. Look up and make sure there are not any cobwebs near the ceiling or behind the mechanicals. Sweep the floor, if needed.  We are selling these mechanicals with your home and we want them to look top notch! If your furnace has not been serviced in a while, now is a good time to do it. Check out our Vendor List for HVAC companies we work with on a regular basis.

Next let’s address some basic cleaning and organizing that can be done earlier on in the process:


The front door is the first thing people will see when they walk up to your home, so be sure to wipe down the door and all around it, including sweeping off your porch and removing any cobwebs.

For your interior walls, a fresh coat of paint is best for those high traffic areas, especially stairwells and hallways. Some marks can be wiped off or removed with a Magic Eraser. If painting is needed but not your thing, we have terrific handymen to recommend on our Vendor List.  It is important to clean all light fixtures, both interior and exterior. Replace any light bulbs that are burned out. While you’re up near the ceiling, make sure you wipe down all of the ceiling fan blades. Again, don’t forget to check for cobwebs.

Vents are another important thing as they provide air circulation throughout your home. Not only inspect your heat ducts, but also your cold air returns, which can be located by the floor or ceiling, or hiding behind furniture. If any vents show rust or are dented, be sure to replace them.  Bathroom vents should be cleared of accumulated dust. Don’t forget your exterior vents. Take a quick look around the outside of your home and make sure there isn’t any lint build up.

Click the link for a printable copy of Sheryl’s Cleaning Checklist

Round 2

Wash all windows, inside and out. Be sure to clean the tracks, sills and screens. Don’t forget the sliding glass door! If  you’d rather hire a window washer, we have a couple of companies we recommend on our Vendor List.  Vacuum, dust or wash all draperies and blinds. Make sure they are hanging level and in good working order, without tangled cords.  Carpet and HardwoodNext up is flooring. Be sure to inspect your carpet for stains. Remember to move furniture and household plants to make sure there are not stains hiding underneath.  Take a good look at any hardwood floors. Do they need to be cleaned, buffed, or refinished? Bono is a great product that will help make your floors shine! But if more is needed, refer to our Vendor List for recommendations. For vinyl floors with scuff marks, I recommend a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. And old toothbrush with a dab of toothpaste will scrub them out as well. Be sure to wash all rugs and mats as well.Take a good look at all of the wood surfaces in your home. Wipe down any interior doors, including the door frame, paying close attention to the grooves of any 6-panel doors. Old English Oil will do a wonderful job of making all of your wood look it’s best. Don’t forget the baseboards – be sure to wipe them all down and use a wood stain marker to cover any scratches.

Polish your furniture, including your kitchen table and chairs. Vacuum your lampshades and upholstered furniture. Wipe down all switchplates and doorknobs, as these surfaces tend to get dingy.

Click the link for a printable copy of Sheryl’s Cleaning Checklist

Round 3

Let’s focus on organization next. Remove items from all cabinets, wipe them out, and only put back what you will be using while your home is on the market. This is a great time to start packing away all of those extras. The same applies to clothes closets and linen closets. All cabinets and closets should only contain items they are intended for. We don’t want someone to find your crock pot in the linen closet and realize there isn’t space for it in the kitchen!

While in organization mode, step out to the garage. This doesn’t need to be overwhelming, just focus on the first 10 feet from the door going into the home.  Move your garbage cans as far away from there as you can. If your extra shoes and boots are usually waiting for you in the garage, find a new place to store them out of sight. Pack the ones you don’t need, and store what you do use in a closet.

Up next is the laundry room. Wipe down the exterior of your washer and dryer. Then take a look inside. You need to remove all of that build up in the dispensers and around the rim. If you have a front loader, make sure to clean around the gasket. Clean your dryer vent inside and outside, if needed. Don’t forget to clean underneath and behind the washer and dryer as an inspector will be looking there.

Click the link for a printable copy of Sheryl’s Cleaning Checklist

cluttered bathroomRound 4

Ready or not, it’s time to tackle the bathrooms. First off, clear the vanity of all personal items. You can display fresh towels and one decorative item to add color. Once again, remove everything from under the sinks and drawers, wipe them out, and replace only what you need. Remove things like the scale and toilet brush, and hide the waste basket under the sink. Thoroughly clean the toilet, paying special attention to wall and floor around it. Scrub the shower removing stains from shampoo and soap, clean the shower door track and clean and descale the shower head. Clean or replace any discolored grout and remove old caulk that shows signs of mildew or stains and replace with fresh caulk. Also, clean mirror, towel bars and toilet paper holders.

Your kitchen will make an important impression on your buyers so don’t skimp when cleaning this important room! Scrub countertops, sink, and faucet. Replace rubber gasket to disposal, if needed. Clean refrigerator, both inside and out. Don’t forget the bottom grill. Defrost your freezer, and keep it lightly stocked. Clean the oven, both inside and out. Don’t forget the broiler drawer and range hood. If you have aluminum filters, you can run them through your dishwasher. Microwave should be cleaned inside and out as well. Open your dishwasher and give it a good wipe down around the door and make sure the drain filter is clean. Use a stainless steel cleaner on all of your stainless appliances. For the cabinets, Orange Glow goes a great job of de-greasing and making them shine. Pay extra attention to the handles and drawer pulls.

Last, but not least, keep your home dusted and vacuumed, wipe up spills and pick up clutter so you are always prepared for your showing requests.

Click the link for a printable copy of Sheryl’s Cleaning Checklist

Read what Sheryl’s clients say about working with Sheryl and the Selling South of the River Team!
On-site Evaluation
Virtual Evaluation

Have a question?  Fill out our form below and I will be happy to get back to you!

[form ask-a-question]

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Tempor placerat pid penatibus eros facilisis rhoncus magna non sed dis risus. Ac ut! Vel vut enim porta lectus est habitasse egestas in. Augue dapibus odio! Rhoncus porttitor scelerisque sagittis, elementum magna, vut scelerisque enim elit parturient dignissim platea vel nascetur porta lacus mid odio, in ut, rhoncus, platea etiam enim quis integer placerat, mid, natoque, non scelerisque non!
Santa Claus
Turpis dis amet adipiscing hac montes odio ac velit? Porta, non rhoncus vut, vel, et adipiscing magna pulvinar adipiscing est adipiscing urna. Dignissim rhoncus scelerisque pulvinar?
Nisi mus sit lectus, velit tincidunt? Aliquam. Adipiscing a duis, enim purus dis, etiam odio auctor sed pulvinar proin dolor. Egestas dolor ridiculus elit lacus nunc quis aliquet. Aliquet et. Nunc et, tristique amet sagittis integer magna.
Please enter your name & email address to subscribe to our newsletter.