Home Selling Tips from Tina in Virginia

Real Estate Agent with Nest Realty


Tina's House Selling Tipspicture of child's toy vaccuum


1.  Trash cans out of site - all of them.  You never see a trash can in a model home.

2.  Toilet seats down at all times (except when in use of course!)

3.  Buyers want to see your house, not your deodorant.  ALL toiletries go under the sink - get a bucket or tupperware container to store your daily essentials to make morning get-ready-time easy.

4.  Everything off the kitchen counters.  Acceptable exceptions:  vase of flowers, 1 coffee maker (spotless), microwave.

5.  Now is not the time to save on heating and electric bills.  If buyers are uncomfortable when they walk into your home, they will remember that.  Keep the windows closed during showings as well to keep outside noises to a minimum.

6.  Fireplace - clean/spotless with a few neatly stacked logs inside.  Make sure moulding/tile around fireplace is clean and polished.

7.  Things to keep on hand:  Mr. Clean eraser (for quick wall touch-ups) and Clorox/windex wipes.  Keep them under each sink so they are easy to access for morning cleanups before leaving for the day.

8.  Lights on!  Make sure bulbs all work and fan blades are dust-free

9.  Front mat - get a new one.  Keep a pot of seasonal flowers next to the front door.  Door glass should be clean, front door in excellent condition and front door lock in good repair.  Your front entrance is your first impression - make it a good one.

10.  No coats, shoes hats in the foyer.

11.  Start thinning out and packing.  A good rule of thumb is 1 item per display shelf (exception is books).  Keep personal photos and mementos to a minimum - you want buyers looking at your house, not at your stuff.

12.  Sniff test.  Ask an honest friend if there is any kind of funky smell in your house.  If there is, this can usually be rectified by washing all curtains, towels and linens and using liquid fabric softener in the laundry.  Also, a quick spray around the house of Febreeze every morning does wonders.

13.  Now is not the time to try to become a gourmet chef.  Your kitchen is one of the most important rooms to a buyer and needs to be pristine.  Scrub the appliances inside and out so they look brand new.  Buyers will look inside cabinets and even the dishwasher!  Consider eating off of paper plates while your house is on the market.  

14.  Liquid Gold - one of my favorite products for making a home sparkle.  You can find it in the grocery store with the furniture polish.  Use it on your cabinet doors, slate, wood...almost everything except the bathroom fixtures.

15.  Yard - mowed and edged.  Trim around mailbox.  Throw a layer of fresh mulch in mulch beds.  No dead plants - throw them away (they're bad Feng Shui too).

16.  Have carpets cleaned.  Professionally.

17.  Pressure wash any mold/mildew on siding, decks, porches and fences. 

18.  If you have a decent stereo or TV with music on demand channels, put on a smooth jazz station at a low volume.

19.  Make sure all prescription medications, mail, sensitive papers and valuables are out of sight. Buyers are nosy and so are their agents.  This includes your listing papers!

20.  Refrigerator.  No magnets.  No pictures.  Nothing....nada on the refrigerator.

21.  Try to keep your car(s) out of the driveway.  An empty driveway is welcoming.  An empty driveway allows buyers to walk up to your home and envision it as their own.

22.  If you have company come for a stay, don't feel well and don't want showings or just need a "break" from showings one day, please let me know.  I understand that having your home on the market is hard work.

23.  Keep curtains open and blinds down and open unless they look out to something unsightly.  Make all doors easy to open and remove and bars/wood sticks from patio doors during showings. Put WD40 on sliding door runners so they open and close smoothly.

24.  Keep home computers shut down.  They can get loud and hot and also, it's a security issue.

25.  Make sure your address/house numbers are readily visible.  Buyers and their agents need to be able to find your home in order to view it.

26.  If you happen to be home during a showing, keep your lips sealed!  Buyer agents are pros at pulling info out of unsuspecting sellers.  Be VERY careful about offering up too much information and never, ever follow buyers around.  Take a walk around the block and give them their space.

27.  Remember, this isn't your home anymore.  It's someone else's...we just need to find them.                                                                                                                                                                                                     Tina


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realtor technology spotlight awardTina Merritt and her Associates. can be reached at email:  tina@nestrealtygroup.com or 757-287-6338.

Our Network consists of both buyer and listing specialists helping buyers and sellers in Southeast Virginia, Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Isle of Wight County, Hampton, Newport News and Poquoson, Virginia.  In Southwest Virginia, the New River Valley, Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Radford, Pulaski, Dublin, Floyd, Narrows, Pembroke, Pearisburg, Glen Lyn, Rich Creek, Check, Hiwassee, Indian Valley, Parrott, Newport, Shawsville, Pilot, McCoy, Long Shop, Fairlawn, Wythe, Draper, Willis, Sowers, Elliston, Eggleston, Ironto, Riner, Auburn, Rogers, Giles County, Montgomery County, Floyd County, Pulaski County.

Visit our website:  NestRealtyGroup.com


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Bob Harris
BHG Real Estate III - Charlottesville, VA
Charlottesville VA Real Estate


Great list. I'm copying pasting that for future use with clients. Thanks.

Mar 01, 2010 04:59 AM #1
Eleanor Thorne
Equity Resources - Cary, NC
Equity Resources 919-649-5058

Great List!  My mom was an agent. She gave her sellers (if they had kids) laundry baskets, and then taught them how to gather up stuff, and put it in the laundry basket - and put the basket in the back of the car, stacked in the garage, or in the floor of a closet!

Mar 01, 2010 08:25 AM #2
Troy Pappas
Safe House Property Inspections - Virginia Beach, VA
Virginia Beach Home Inspector

Wow, that's a very thorough list. I don't think I would even have thought of half of those items. I am going to copy that for my own records. Very useful information. Thanks Tina.

Mar 01, 2010 12:54 PM #3
Tina Merritt
Nest Realty - Blacksburg, VA
Virginia Real Estate

@Bob - thank you very much

@eleanor - i love the laundry basket idea! i usually try to take the kids aside and tell them how much i love their room and then talk about the importance of them helping their parents get the house sold.

@troy - as i'm sure you know, a clean home is usually a well maintained home. pride of ownership is essential when selling!

Mar 03, 2010 01:03 AM #4
Steve and Jan Bachman
RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax - Herndon, VA
Realtors - Northern Virginia

Well and creatively said Tina.

Hokie 1977.

Mar 11, 2010 10:11 AM #5
Tina Merritt
Nest Realty - Blacksburg, VA
Virginia Real Estate

@Steve - how could you tell I'm a Hokie too?????  ;-)

Mar 11, 2010 11:34 AM #6
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