I recently contributed comments for inclusion in a book being written by Natalie Jones of HomeownerBliss.info and she kindly offered to write a guest blog for KDHouses.com! In it, Natalie suggests some "Must-Do" steps for homeowners to take, when preparing their homes for marketing and sale. Enjoy! - Kevin Deselms

If you’re planning to list your home for sale, carefully consider what you’ll need to do before opening the door to a single potential buyer. Most realtors would advise you to make a to-do list and check off each item before scheduling an open house. As you check off to-do’s, remember that it’s all about making a strong impression on buyers by showing them a home carefully staged to help them imagine it as theirs. Cleaning and decluttering are two of the more obvious checklist items; curb appeal is another. But there are many other preparations that need to be made if you’re to impress a discriminating homebuyer who will peer into every nook and cranny, open drawers, and nose into closets full of personal items. 

Bath and Kitchen Upgrades

In most houses, there’s a lot of value tied up in the kitchen and bathrooms. You can add to that and refresh things with new faucet fixtures, appliances, drawer hardware, and upgraded lighting. Consider replacing those old kitchen countertops with a nice faux marble or granite look, or a functional and attractive butcher block counter.

Paint That Sells

Most REALTORS®, including your agent Kevin Deselms, advise their clients that neutral colors are the most effective for selling a house. A nice beige or off-white won’t overwhelm someone or make it difficult for them to envision the space as they would decorate it. Neutral paint acts as an ideal backdrop, allowing buyers to focus their attention on the space rather than the walls. It’s part of keeping your decor as simple and understated as possible. Remember, you’re not trying to make a personal statement, you’re trying to sell a property.


Everyone’s home has its own unique smells. Unfortunately, sometimes those smells come from pet urine, stale cigar smoke, or a garlic-heavy dinner dish from earlier in the week. Visitors will notice unpleasant odors right away, smells that you might have become accustomed to. If necessary, ask a friend or neighbor to come by, give it a good sniff, and tell you what they’re picking up. You can then air out the place, light scented candles, and use baking soda liberally in the kitchen to deodorize your home. If you have a really stubborn odor, consider using vinegar to cover up the smell or lay out bowls of coffee beans, which have absorptive qualities.

Don’t Make It About You

Remember, you and your family aren’t the star of this particular show. No matter how great your vacation photos are or how cute your pets might be, that’s not what a prospective buyer is there to see. Take down the family portraits and the kids’ fourth-grade masterpieces just for a while. In fact, put away anything that could be a distraction. You can always put it back on the walls after your open house.

Clean and Declutter

A good cleaning and decluttering can make your home stand out. Consider having your home deep cleaned by a professional who can make the carpeting look like new and give your woodwork a nice shine. It’s well worth the investment. The average cost of a one-time cleaning for a home in Golden, CO ranges from $123 to $224. And don’t forget to declutter so buyers don’t get the mistaken impression that yours is a dirty or disorganized house. Go room by room and organize everything based on what you’ll keep, what you’re going to donate, and what’s to be thrown out. If you have piles of accumulated mail or credit card statements, decide what to do with them and make the piles disappear.

Curb Appeal

Nothing about a house says “check me out” quite like a beautifully maintained yard and exterior, a look that just grabs a passersby with real curb appeal. Sellers should keep the grass along the driveway and walkways edged and even and weed the lawn carefully. Keep the grass well-mowed but not so short that it becomes damaged. 

Entering the real estate market comes with a long checklist if you’re serious about selling. You have to make your property look absolutely pristine and too good to pass on. And don’t underestimate the value of relatively inexpensive improvements that can make an otherwise drab room look brand new.

Article provided by Natalie Jones from HomeownerBliss.info.