The Seller’s Checklist: Getting your home ready for the market

Getting your home ready to sell can be extremely overwhelming and frustrating, but it really doesn’t need to be!  Some of the stress can be alleviated by keeping yourself on track, by taking the time to decide what needs to be done before starting the process.   Below I have included a simple checklist of basics that should be checked and fixed before the first day of  your listing.  Using a checklist, like the one below, should  help you to keep focused and track of things that need to be done and those that already have been completed.  It will also help you to decide who to assign tasks to and/or who to hire for getting your property ready.

Here it is and I hope it helps!



Floor coverings

  • Dirt or stains cleaned? (This includes carpeting, tile, linoleum, laminate, hardwood, etc.)
  • Is there excessive wear or damage? If so fix it!
  • Are the area rugs clean and stain-free?

Walls and ceilings

  • Dirt, fingerprints or other stains cleaned.
  • Nail or thumb-crack holes, tape residue repaired.
  • Cracks, chips, water damage repaired.
  • Is there a need for repainting or new wallpaper? If so consider neutral, light colours.


  • Dirt, fingerprints or other stains cleaned.
  • Repaint if necessary.
  • Do they open/close easily without squeaks?
  • Are the latches/handles secure and working properly?


  • Glass sparkling clean/chip and crack-free?
  • Do they open/close easily?
  • Are the latches/handles/locks secure, working properly?
  • Make sure to clean any dirt and fingerprints from frames or sills.
  • Are the screens clean and without holes?
  • Are storm windows in good condition?

Window coverings 

  • Dirt or stains cleaned.
  • Replace any with excessive wear or sun damage.
  • Do they open/close easily, and is hardware working properly?

Lighting (lighting makes a room feel more inviting)

  • Are all bulbs working and proper wattage?
  • Ensure any broken switches and exposed wiring is fixed.
  • Are your table and floor lamps working properly?

Pet areas

  • Ensure that they are clean, organized, and odour-free.

Entryways and hallways

  • Are they clean and free of clutter or obstructions.
  • Welcome mat(s) clean and inviting.

Closets and storage areas

  • Ensure that they are clean and well-organized with clutter and excess junk removed.
  • Hang clothes  neatly and not jammed together.
  • Shoes and boots neatly stored/stacked.


  • Every surface sparkling clean.
  • Countertops organized, all but daily use appliances left.
  • Refrigerator spotless inside and out? Is it organized, free of spoiled food, defrosted and do all the lightbulbs work?
  • Oven/stove top cleaned?  Don’t forget the burner trays!
  • Sinks clean; faucets working properly and leak-free.
  • Garbage disposal in good working condition.
  • Cupboards/pantry spotless, and organized.
  • Dishwasher clean and stain-free.

Living room, dining room, bedrooms, den and study

  • Everything thoroughly vacuumed & dusted.
  • Excess furniture removed for roomier atmosphere.
  • Remaining furniture clean and in good repair.
  • Wood and other surfaces clean and polished.
  • Bookshelves neat, organized and clutter-free.
  • Children’s games/toys stored neatly.
  • Fragile items removed and stored.
  • Smaller valuables removed/locked away.
  • Window coverings open for views and sunlight.
  • Mirrors clean and in good repair.
  • Ashtrays cleaned and kept out of sight.
  • Fireplace clean, logs/kindling stacked neatly.

Bathrooms/powder room

  • Every surface sparkling clean!
  • Countertops organized, free of clutter.  Make sure to put out some fresh soap!
  • Sinks spotlessly clean, and faucets working properly.
  • Tub and shower surfaces clean.
  • Towels stain-free and hanging neatly.
  • Shower curtain clean and in good repair.
  • Toilet extra-clean and working properly.
  • Closets organized and clutter-free.
  • Medicine cabinet clean with personal items removed.

Basement, furnace room, garage, attic storeroom

  • Clean and well-organized.
  • Clutter and excess “junk” removed.
  • Remaining items stored/stacked neatly.
  • Everything thoroughly vacuumed/dusted.




  • Exterior surfaces clean and in good condition.
  • Is the front-door exterior clean, does it look inviting?
  • Eavestroughs and downspouts cleaned and in good repair.
  • Do your gates open and close properly, and is the hardware working?
  • Fences/decks in good condition?
  • Sidewalks and walkways in good repair?
  • Driveway clean, in good repair?

Yard and environment

  • If it’s winter are the driveways and sidewalks clear of snow, ice?
  • Are the lawns mowed and edged?
  • Repair any large bare spots.
  • Leaves removed from lawns and flower beds.
  • Trees pruned, hedges trimmed.
  • Flower beds weeded and tidy; dead plants replaced.
  • “Junk” and scrap removed.
  • Lawn furniture clean, organized, good repair.
  • Bicycles, children’s toys stored neatly and out of the way.
  • Firewood organized and neatly stacked.
  • Dog runs secure and yard free of “doggy deposits”.

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