5 Steps to Make Your Home Move-In Ready

house checklist

When it comes to selling your home and boosting curb appeal to the widest range of buyers, consider everything from front curb to your back fence. When you begin to think of putting your home up for sale – think like a buyer.

Thinking like a buyer will help you make your home move-in ready for the right buyer (or in some cases, the backlog of buyers with multiple offers). The less they think they have to change, the faster you’ll get to an offer, and ultimately, a sold property.


Closets get cluttered. Extra furniture get crammed into corners. Bookshelves overflow with a variety of nicks and nacks. It is important that the potential buyers see your actual home and not the stuff in your home by clearing out the extras. Every closet in your home should show off the entirely of the storage space. Every room of your home should scream “possibilities” instead of “I can’t fit one more thing in here.” An option might be to rent a portable storage unit. Box up extras, and they’ll be ready to be delivered to your next home.

Clean out the garage

The future owners of your home want to know that their cars can fit into the garage. While it might seem harsh (and everyone you know uses the garage for storage), no one wants to see the garage filled to the brim with bike parts, boxes, and haphazard clutter. Remember that portable storage unit?

Neutralize your colors

It’s hard for potential buyers to see themselves in a home that has you written all over it. This goes for brightly painted walls, wall murals, and wallpaper trim. Since your home is soon to not be your home anymore, consider taking any brightly or bold-colored walls or those areas with specialty wallpaper or mural trim back to neutral. A simple beige satin wall paint with a semi-gloss white or off-white pain trim can do wonders for giving potential buyers the “blank canvas” feeling. You want future owners to be dreaming of picking out paint — not how to get rid of not-right-for-them color decisions.

Restore grout, tile, and natural stone

Have your bathrooms and kitchen counters lost their luster? You might want to look into having them refreshed (and it’s much less expensive than having them redone). For just a little effort, you can kick up the shine on your tiling and counters and get that long-neglected grout back to clean. That “exploding pizza” incident in your kitchen and that red hair dye on your white bathroom grout could be history in an afternoon.

Shine up those hardwood floors

Get those floors gleaming. Wash all surfaces with a simple mild, soapy water first. Next, use a hardwood floor polish to bring the beauty back — and all for under $40-$50 for the average sized home. Be sure to use the cleaners recommended by each product to prevent buildup and to keep the shine going through your whole listing. There’s nothing that can kill a deal like your perfect buyer thinking that they have to refinish a few thousand square feet of hardwood. Help them see hope, not hardwood-related dollar signs. A trip to your local home improvement store can yield some recommendations for your specific types of floors and the desired sheen you want to achieve.

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