77 Ways To Make Your House Stand Out and Sell FASTER!

So you've decided to sell your home. Congratulations on taking the plunge! With rates still being some of the lowest in history and the market in full fledge here in the Nashville area, it's a great time to list your home! My job is to help you sell it fast and for the best terms possible. There are a lot of houses for sale in Nashville, so the competition is steep, but one way, or rather 77 ways, you can help me help you is to go through this check list and make sure it's all complete before we list. Trust me, you'll be glad you did!

Let's take a look at the INSIDE:

  1. First, take a general look at your house from a buyers perspective. Stand in every doorway and see what your potential buyers see. Is there too much furniture? If so, remove it. Rent a storage unit if need be. Less is more.
  2. Is the furniture placed appropriately? Can a buyer see how THEIR furniture might fit in the space? Place your furniture in a way that maximizes the appearance of the size of each room.  I can get you in touch with a professional stager if need be. A couple of hundred dollars goes a long way for professional help...
  3. Remove any special items which are attached to the home (chandeliers, light fixtures, etc) that you'll want to take with you. Buyers won't want it if they can't see it.
  4. Remove all clutter. If you don't know if you have clutter, ask a friend... ask me, I'll be honest.
  5. De-personalize your home. You don't have to take down EVERY picture, but make sure the hallways and walls aren't covered with family photos.
  6. Store away religious items during showings. I respect every religion, but your buyer may not share the same beliefs and we do not want to deter a ready, willing and able buyer.
  7. Clean all dirt off the walls. I've found that using a "magic eraser" works really well.
  8. Repair all damage to the walls, including nail holes, nail pops, and any other damage, then touchup paint. A great product I've found and use regularly is called "Fast N Final" by DAP. It's inexpensive, drys fast, and will repair anything smaller than the size of a quarter.
  9. Brush away or vacuum all cobwebs. Spiders are scary!
  10. Wash all windows.
  11. Make sure all curtains and window treatments are hanging evenly and level.
  12. If you have heavily colored walls, you should consider repainting your walls to a neutral color. If you need help with color options, I can help.
  13. Dust off everything. Furniture, trinkets, picture frames, ceiling fans, light fixtures, etc. Anything that collects dust.
  14. Make sure all lights work properly. Replace any burned out light bulbs.
  15. Replace any tiles on floors and walls that may have become cracked or damaged if at all possible.
  16. Repair grout that has become cracked or is missing.
  17. Clean and or bleach tile grout that has become mildewed or discolored. There are some pretty neat grout magic type products out there that I've heard good things about. Check your local hardware store for options.
  18. Recaulk everything. Tubs, sinks, faucets, showers, even the wood trim work all around your house. You'd be amazed what a difference fresh caulk can make.
  19. Shine up all chrome and brass door handles and faucets. Barkeepers Friend should do the trick.
  20. Clean all mirrors top to bottom. Nobody wants to see toothpaste splashes!
  21. Polish your floors...and keep them polished.
  22. Have all of your carpets including wall to wall carpets professionaly steam cleaned, especially if you have pets or smoke in the house. Make sure they use an odor removing and neutralizing solution even if it costs a little extra. Smells are a major deterant to potential home buyers.
  23. If your carpets can not be cleaned to look nearly new, put come heavy consideration into replacing them. New flooring goes a long way.
  24. Once you've had your carpets cleaned and/or replaced, vacuum them regularly. Especially before each showing.
  25. Replace or remove any throw rugs that have become worn.
  26. If you have any faucets that drip or pipes that leak, fix them.
  27. Repair doors, doorknobs and/or hinges and latches that do not close and lock properly.
  28. Repair drawers and doors in kitchens and baths that do not open and close smoothly. Sometimes good old WD40 can be your best friend.
  29. Reorganize your drawers. Utensil drawers should have an organizer to seperate knives, forks, spoons, etc. Fold your handtowels and dishrags neatly.
  30. Reorganize your kitchen cabinets. Make sure your dishes and cups are stacked and aligned in order. Even go as far as making your spice labels face the front. You can never go overboard with neatness and organization.
  31. Reorganize the pantry. Again, face all labels forward and try to categorize like items.
  32. Wipe down all trashcans.
  33. Put a fresh trashbag liner in each trashcan before every showing.
  34. Take almost everything off your countertops. If you have a myriad of small appliances, put them away.
  35. If you must leave an appliance on the counter, clean it thoroughly.
  36. Clean out and deoderize the microwave.
  37. Wipe down the stove. If you have a coil top range, replace the coil liners. If you have a smooth top, use a ceramic top cleaner and remove all baked on dirt.
  38. Clean out the oven.
  39. Clean out the refrigerator, even if it's not included in the sale. Trust me, potential buyers will open your refrigerator just see how clean you are. Wipe down the outside as well.
  40. Clean out and reorganize all closets. Buyers will open/walk into closets. Go as far as putting like clothes together and stack shoes neatly.
  41. Speaking of shoes, spray some shoe deoderizer inside each shoe. You don't want those lingering smells around.
  42. Clear the countertops in all bathrooms. Put away toothbrushes, hair brushes, shavers, etc.
  43. Replace all toilet seats with new ones. It's inexpensive and effective.
  44. Tighten up any loose towel bars and toilet tissue holders.
  45. Clean out the garage. If your garage is supposed to hold two cars, make sure it's empty enough to actually hold two cars. Again, rent a storage unit to hold your "extra" belongings if need be.


Great job! But before we can get your potential buyers to come inside, we have to get them to WANT to come inside. So take a good look at the outside of your home and let's get to work:


  1. Re-mulch all of your landscaping.
  2. Trim all shrubs.
  3. Install some landscape lighting and up-lighting. It gets dark at 5:00 in the winter and the warmth outdoor lighting will provide at night will really attract buyers. There are inexpensive solar options at the hardware store if you're on a tight budget.
  4. Trim away limbs from trees that are hanging over the roof.
  5. Clean out the gutters.
  6. Cut the grass and edge your lawn. I recommend a landscaper to get that professional look.
  7. Repair cracks in the driveway.
  8. Clean up spills in the driveway.
  9. Repair any cracks in the mortar of the brick.
  10. If your home is painted, touch up paint areas that need touching up. If the whole house needs to be repainted, consider having it done.
  11. Clean any mildew of the siding.
  12. Pressure wash and reseal all decking areas if it's been more than a couple of years since it was last done.
  13. Repair or replace screen doors that do not slide easily.
  14. Repair doors, doorknobs and/or hinges and latches that do not close and lock properly.
  15. Insure that all outdoor lighting is working properly and replace any burned out light bulbs.
  16. Fix leaky or loose hose bibs.
  17. Wash all windows.


It's SHOWING DAY! You've done great preparing your home for sale. Now just follow this quick list before EVERY showing for maximum results:


  1. Air the house out. Open all windows for as long as you can with the HVAC system circulating to get some fresh air flowing through the house. This will help to remove musty and offensive smells.
  2. Avoid cooking strong smelling meals right before a showing. Instead, bake some chocolate chip cookies. Hey, they smell great and will be a great treat to come home to!
  3. Avoid spraying perfumed house sprays. Instead, use neutral deoderizers if need be.
  4. Put the toys away.
  5. Make the beds as close to hotel quality possible, tight and neat.
  6. Sweep and vacuum floors and carpets.
  7. Shake out the throw rugs.
  8. Wash and put away all dishes.
  9. Wipe down all counters and sinks.
  10. Clean all toilet bowls.
  11. Hang fresh hand towels, put out new soap and make sure the toilet tissue is full.
  12. Put out fresh flowers.
  13. Put out water and cookies. Some of your prospective buyers have been out all day by the time they see your home and a snack and water will make a great impression.
  14. Cut the grass if it's summertime and been more than a week since the last cut.
  15. Take the pets with you if at all possible. If it's not possible, make sure they are in a crate.

That's it! There's 77 there, I counted! I know it may seem like a daunting "honey-do" list, but the cost and effort will be modest in comparison with the return on investment you'll receive and the speed in which we'll find a buyer.

I'll help you with everything else from pricing your home appropriately, to marketing it effectively, to negotiating the best terms possible with a buyer and getting you to the closing table.

For a no obligation analysis of your home, give me a call at 615.307.0771 or email me at holly@nashvillehomes.org.