Selling Advice 101

Preparing Your Home for Market
When you sell your home, you don't get a second chance to make a first impression.
So it's important that your home be ready to show at any given moment.

Getting Started:

  • ˇ New in 2009 from the City of Austin-Homes over ten years old          must have an energy efficiency audit performed BEFORE the
      sale is complete.
  • ˇ The names of the Austin Energy approved contractors may be
       found at www.austinenergy.com/go/ecad.
  • ˇ Sweep the driveway and walkway.
  • ˇ Mow and edge the lawn.
  • ˇ Clean the front door and entry.
  • ˇ Clean off kitchen counters to make them appear larger.
  • ˇ Clean out the closets.
  • ˇ Scrub all sinks and toilets.
  • ˇ Wash and/or vacuum all floors.
  • ˇ Clean all windows.
  • ˇ Clean the gutters.
  • ˇ Make minor repairs (ex. Fix door bell)
  • ˇ Paint where necessary.
  • ˇ Replace loose or damaged roof shingles.
  • ˇ Plant some inexpensive plants.
  • ˇ Clean out the garage.
  • ˇ Wash the dog.
  • ˇ Change A/C filter.


  • ˇ Make sure you clean off all kitchen counters and put away  
      any appliances. This will give the impression that you have   
      more counter space.
  • ˇ Clean and organize your closets. Buyers will look in them
      and this will also give the impression that the closets and  
      storage areas are larger.
  • ˇ Changing the A/C filter will improve air flow and freshen the
      smell of your home. Keep your house clean!

Home Sale Maximizer

The first thing to do is separate yourself from the personal feelings you have about the house–it's not a home now, it's a commodity you intend to market.

Try to evaluate the house as if you are seeing it for the first time. If you were a buyer, what would you think about it? What changes would make immediate improvements?

Here are a few tips:

  • ˇ Pack away most of your family photos. You want buyers to
      imagine their possessions in the home.
  • ˇ Pack up the bulk of large, personal collections, so that
      buyers don't get so interested in looking at them that they
      forget to look at the house.
  • ˇ Remove excess furniture to make rooms more spacious.
  • ˇ Clean and organize the closets. If you must, store boxes in
      an out of the way location, but renting a temporary storage
      unit instead helps you de-clutter every part of the house.
  • ˇ Remove area rugs if they expose nice hardwood floors.
  • ˇ Add fresh flowers or plants to your homes décor.
  • ˇ How about fresh paint. Are walls in the house dingy, or the
      colors dated? 
  • ˇHome odors are a turn off. A professional carpet cleaning
      will freshen the air.
  • ˇ Vacuum the A/C registers.
  • ˇ Remove pet bedding to the garage or patio.
  • ˇ No smoking inside…most buyers are offended by stale
  • ˇ Don't forget about curb appeal. Every house is different. But
      taking the time to prepare the house may put extra dollars in
      your pocket, and in less than normal time. Plus, a great first
      impression is often enough to make a buyer more lenient
      about minor repairs that may be required.
  • ˇ You want them to fall in love with the house as soon as they
      step inside.

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