Get Your Home Ready to Sell, Printable Checklist 2023

Preparing to sell your home takes time and involves a lot of moving parts. There are plenty of factors influencing whether or not a home sells and how long it takes. Having a checklist can help. We’ve created the one below and divided interior and exterior tasks, with recommendations on what to complete just before photos are taken for listing on the MLS and on thousands of additional real estate websites.

After taking a look at the checklist, keep reading for important home preparation advice.

Interview 2-3 Real Estate Agents

We’ve got a list of Realtor interview questions here, ready for you to ask sellers agents. Realtors have a thousand different approaches and strategies to sell their clients homes faster and for more, but some are more legitimate than others. We’d love it if you took a look at our home selling program and interviewed one of our top 1% sellers agents (who offer 4% max. commission, cancel anytime contracts, and increased marketing).

Prepare for the Home Energy Score

If you live in Portland, Milwaukie, or Hillsboro there is a city mandate for the owner of the home to purchase a home energy score before going on the real estate market. If the homeowner doesn’t order n energy score in advance, they can be fined $500 repeatedly. Now certainly, if you’re working with a real estate agent they will help you coordinate and order that score. But if you want to get a head start, you can make minor improvements to your home in advance to improve that energy score (we have a list of DIY efforts you can make here) and you can order that energy score anytime (it is good for up to eight years after ordering it). Our preferred home energy score provider currently charges $135 for a score and you can book and schedule it online.

Consider Having These Home Tests Done

Alright so while we don’t typically recommend having a pre-inspection done there are other tests and checks you may want to do prior to going to market. We’ve made a list of the most common local home hazards here. The reason we don’t recommend a full pre-inspection of a home before going on the market is the homeowner will be required to fully disclosure that inspection to the new buyer (any home inspections done in the last 3 years need to be passed to the new buyer). Formal home inspections can be a hundred pages long. Now the buyer will then also typically hire their own home inspection (regardless of the one you performed) and now you have two hundred pages or more of inspection pages against the house. In my experience if you order ten home inspections, you’ll get 10 different reports. But it is a good idea to prepare for potential issues.

We recommend visually checking the attic and crawlspace / basement for mold and pest intrusions. Also check for any potential water issues in those spaces you typically wouldn’t visit on a day to day basis. Know that most home buyers in our area will order a whole house home inspection, a radon test, a sewer scope, and if it is an older home they will test to see if there are any buried underground oil tanks. They may also look for asbestos and lead in the home. If you think you’re home may have one or more of these issues it might be a good idea to have a professional check it out before listing on the real estate market.

Printable Home Preparation Checklist

DONE * ✓ * EXTERIOR CHECKLISTComplete just before photos
Yard mowedX
All plants cut away from siding and roofX
Windows washedX
Gutters cleanedX
Power wash siding, driveway, and sidewalkX
Add a fresh layer of bark chips and/or gravelX
Remove vehicles and trailers from lotX
Test deck, fence, and siding
for soft boards or damage
Grind down or remove any
tripping hazards
Paint or stain any exposed wood on the home’s siding
Clean and de-moss roof
DONE * ✓ * INTERIOR CHECKLISTComplete just before photos
Put away any rugs if you have nice
flooring or if the rugs are too dark
Leave nothing on the floor that isn’t
furniture or a desired rug
Do a final declutter, leave no more than
three decorations per horizontal surface
Do a final wipe down after the deep clean
is complete
Leave all the lights on before the
photographer arrives
Open shades, blinds, and pull back
curtains before the photographer arrives
Remove all signs of pets—toys, beds, and bowlsX
Remove and stow away all portable fans, AC units, and heatersX
Remove all personal items, such as family
photos and awards
Deep clean—don’t forget to go the extra mile and wipe off glass light fixtures and clean ceiling cobwebs
Remove calendars and clocks from view
(doesn’t look good in photos)
Change out all dead or missing lightbulbs
Initial declutter—remove all excess furniture
and decorations

Know the Best Time of Year to Sell

The real estate market ebbs and flows, always in perpetual motion. Every year, we can see the overall market trend—buyer vs. seller, up vs. down—and within the annual trend, we also see seasonal highs and lows. Considering this, it’s important to choose the right time of year to sell, if you have the option. Seasonal trends are so important we write a month to month breakdown on the best time to sell a home every year. report on this every year. In short, generally the best time to sell a home is March through May.

Consult a Top Real Estate Agent for Advice on Your Home

If you’re considering selling your home in the next 12 months, we’d love to schedule a tour and come take a look. We can help with forecasting out the local real estate market and can give advice on any work that might need to be done to get your home on the market—like remodeling and prepping. We help homeowners choose updates that provide the greatest return on investment.

We charge a reasonable 4% total commission and provide effective, research proven home marketing efforts. Check out our services, then call our top 1% seller’s agents at 503-714-1111 or chat with the bot on our site. We look forward to connecting!

October 3, 2022

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

4% max to sell a home in Portland and SW Washington.
4.5% max to sell a home in Salem and Bend.
Over 2,000 homes sold.