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Open House Checklist for Preparing to Sell a House

  1. Plan Ahead
    • Browse each room and rate your home from a buyer's perspective when considering different homes for sale.
    • Weigh the options of hiring a professional home inspector and making repairs as needed.
    • Have a yard sale! Sell, donate, or throw out any items you do not need.
  2. Clean & Organize
    • Do a complete cleaning of your entire home.
    • Consider doing a steam cleaning of your carpets and drapes.
    • Do a thorough scrubbing of the tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms.
    • Deep clean the hardwood floors.
    • Get rid of the spider webs and the dust bunnies
    • Removed the oversized furniture that may clutter the home.
    • Rearrange furniture in the rooms to present the most space.
    • Fix any holes/cracks in the walls that you've been putting off.
    • Painting the walls in neutral colors will display your home nicely.
    • Clear the small appliances, toys, magazines, and pet items from view.
    • Remove any personal items (photos, medications) from view.
    • Clean and organize the room closets.
    • Empty out the garage and store items off the premises.
    • Valuable items, cash, jewelry, and important documents should be safely secured.
  3. Maximize Curb Appeal
    • Clear out the gutters and downspouts.
    • Edge the walkways. Mow, water, and fertilize your lawn.
    • Rake the excess leaves after you've trimmed the bushes and trees.
    • Paint the exterior of your home. Don't forget details such as the trim, doors, and shutters.
    • Inspect the exterior of the home and the roof so you can make any repairs.
    • Mend any cracks that you may have in the driveway or sidewalks.
    • The siding, eves, and windows should be power washed.
    • Be sure to stow away and toys or unnecessary items from the lawn.
    • Plant vibrant flowers in the yard or flower beds. Use flower pots on the porch.
    • Clean up any pet droppings that your four-legged friend may have left behind.
    • Sweep the walkways and the entryway to your home.
  4. Kitchens & Bathrooms. A must!
    • Mop, scrub, clean, and polish all floors.
    • Be sure to clear off the countertops. (Clutter is bad)
    • Dust and clean the appliances and fixtures.
    • Clean out and organize the pantry, the cabinets, and drawers.
    • Leave the toilet seat lids closed.
    • Fresh, clean towels should be hung.
    • Update or replace any outdated hardware or cabinets.
    • Redo the old caulking that is around the sinks and bathtubs.
    • Scrub off any stains that may be in sinks, toilets, and bathtubs.
  5. Have A Comforting Feel
    • Have refreshments out to offer.
    • Keep the televisions off.
    • Do not smoke in the home.
    • Light some scented candles or bake some goodies.
    • If it is a nice day, open the windows to let some air in.
    • Have the blinds/curtains open to let in some light.
    • Turn all of the lights on and replace bulbs with high wattage incandescent bulbs to brighten the rooms.
    • Have a place to keep your pets on the open house day.
  6. Show Off Your Home's Assets
    • If you have hardwood floors, remove the rugs to show them off.
    • Any decks or porches should have furniture and potted plants/flowers.
    • Check your fireplace to be sure that it is functional.
    • Pull back the curtains to show off nice views of your area.
    • Make sure that the pool/spa area is clean.
  7. Spread the Word about Your Florida Real Estate
    • Inform everyone, family, friends, and neighbors of the time and date of the open house.
    • Advertise your MLS listing in the local newspapers, real estate publications, and on free sites such as
    • Have an exclusive broker's open house to let agents in your area know that your home is available and have refreshments ready.
    • Open House signs should be put on the front lawn and nearby intersections with directions to your home.
  8. Make Your Open House Count
    • Have a fact sheet with your contact information and a description of the home's features for every visitor. A home flyer is available at
    • Have the visitors sign a guestbook or open house sign in sheet.
    • Be sure to have important documents available such as homeowner's associate rules, inspection reports, and purchase offer forms.
    • Show them why you love the house!