Maryland Homes For Sale

Homeseller's Checklist



An attractive home, well maintained and sparkling clean, is most appealing to your potential buyers. The following checklist covers those items that influence a buyer most. We offer it for your consideration as you place your house on the market.


A pleasing exterior appearance is essential for that critical first impression. These simple suggestions will help "show off" your property to its best advantage.

  • Trim the lawn and keep it green. Shape up the shrubs and weed the flower beds.
  • Clear the entry by keeping the walks free of toys, bicycles, garden tools, leaves and other hazards.
  • Brighten the structure with a coat of paint or just a good cleaning. Replace screens if they are rusted or torn. Remove mildew or moss from walls or sidewalks with bleach and water or a commercial cleaner.
  • Add charm with flowers along the entry walk, in a pot by the door, or in cheerful window boxes.
  • Rid the driveway of grease stains with kitty litter or a chemical solvent.
  • Pick up all pet droppings and debris.
  • Tidy up the garage and show off its size. Get rid of everything you don't want to move.


Think of prospective buyers as your guests and prepare the inside of your house accordingly. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Perk up rooms with fresh paint. A modest investment in time and money can possibly add dollars to your final selling price. Sometimes just a touch-up will do. Choose light, neutral colors for greatest appeal.
  • Clean up clutter for appearance and safety's sake. Pay special attention to stairways, halls and children' s rooms.
  • Go on a kitchen campaign and keep it especially clean. The sink should always be clean and free of dirty dishes. Counter tops appear more spacious when clean and uncluttered. Freshly mopped floors and baseboards can help show off your kitchen area.
  • Make bathrooms sparkle by cleaning tile and porcelain. Commercial cleaners or vinegar will remove unsightly hard water stains. Replace any loose caulking or grout and, while you're at it, fix any dripping faucets.
  • Wash all windows and keep curtains and drapes crisp and clean. Vacuum blinds and wash window sills. Clear out closets to make them appear roomier. Add extra space by pre-packing out-of-season clothing.
  • Clean the fireplace and make a cozy, crackling fire. Or dress it up with green plants or dried flowers.
  • Roll out the welcome mat with a rough-textured doormat. It will help keep your floors and carpets cleaner during showings. And it says that you care about your home.
  • Eliminate odors by preventing them in the first place. Try to avoid cooking with cabbage, onions and garlic. Many people associate strong, spicy odors with uncleanness. Freshen the entire kitchen by sending a lemon through the garbage disposal. Sweeten the refrigerator with a box of baking soda.
  • Add special accents that make your house appear comfortable and inviting. An open cookbook on the counter, cut flowers in a vase, cookies or bread baking in the oven. Don't overdo, but think about things you have seen in attractive model homes that might subconsciously influence potential buyers.


  • Empty out the attic to display the full value of this much appreciated but often neglected storage space.
  • Clean and brighten the basement with light paint and large wattage bulbs. Drain sediment from your water heater to eliminate any rusty water flowing from the hot water taps.
  • Breeze through the patio and remove any unnecessary lawn furniture, hoses, sprinklers, and garden tools to make the yard look more expansive. If you have a pool or Jacuzzi, give it a thorough scrubbing and place a few pots of blooming plants nearby.
  • Hide debris in neatly covered trash cans.
  • Treat pets to a stroll while your house in being shown. Many people are afraid of or allergic to animals. By removing them, buyers won't feel hurried or nervous.
  • Turn off your television or radio. Potential buyers can look at your house quietly and without distraction.
Joanne Baker-Pruner