Advanced preparation is the key to making the selling process smoother and more
efficient.  Before you put your home on the market, there are a few steps you should take to make sure it is ready to be seen by prospective buyers. 

  • Walk through the home and ask yourself, “Would I buy this home?” 
  • Try to remove any emotion and sentimentality you may have for the home and look at it objectively. 
  • Make a list of things you’d like to repair/change. 
  • Don’t make major changes that will cost more to do than you will get for them.  
  • Prioritize the list in relation to when the house is going on the market.   (Projects that require numerous resources such as contractors, remodelers, etc., should be first.) 
  • Prepare a timetable to have all repairs/changes made and stick to it!


A clean, neat home that looks nice and maximizes space will sell faster and at
a higher price.  Keep in mind, a small investment in time and/or money could make your home much more attractive to buyers.


  • Replace peeling and chipped paint with new paint (choose a color that sets the
    home apart, but doesn’t clash with the rest of the neighborhood).
  • Clear gutters and downspouts.  Make sure there is good exterior lighting and all
    walkway lights are in working order. Inspect and clean the chimney.
  • Repair and replace any damaged or missing roof shingles. 
  • Paint or stain worn areas on wood decks. 
  • Remove grass growing in concrete cracks. 
  • Clean grease and oil stains from the driveway. 
  • Clean all fencing; make sure it is secure, with no missing slats or posts.
Front Door
  • Polish hardware.
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint or stain to get rid of nicks and scratches. 
  • Clean storm door. 
  • Make sure the doorbell operates correctly.
  • Make sure there are no squeaks when the door is opened and closed.
  • Mow and trim grass; re-sod to make all areas look even. 
  • Be sure to water the grass on a regular basis. 
  • Prune any overgrowth. 
  • Remove or replace any dead or diseased trees, shrubs or plants. 
  • Weed flower beds.
  • Clean all windows inside and out.
  • Add a fresh coat of paint to trim and sills if needed. 
  • Make sure all windows open and close easily. 
  • Replace any cracked window panes or broken sills. 
  • Replace any window screens with tears or holes.
  • Clean floors and any rugs in entry.
  • Downsize clutter in every closet to make them appear spacious. 
  • Check to make sure lighting works properly.
Living/Dining/Family Rooms
  • Add a fresh coat of paint if necessary.
  • Repair cracks and holes in ceilings and walls. 
  • Make sure all wallpaper is secure. 
  • Repaint any worn or chipped woodwork. 
  • Clean draperies and blinds; make sure they open and close easily. 
  • Steam-clean carpets; clean any other flooring. 
  • Position the furniture to showcase the size and shape of the room. 
  • Remove and replace any attached items, such as chandeliers and draperies, that
    you will be taking with you in the move. 
  • Put away toys, hobby supplies and additional clutter.
  • Sinks, tubs, showers and counter tops should be clean and free of stains.
  • Repair leaky faucets. 
  • Remove grout and soap stains from tile. 
  • Replace any missing or cracked tiles or grout.  Caulk all joints. 
  • Check all fixtures, including heat lamps and exhaust fans, and make sure they
    are all in working order. 
  • Install a new shower curtain. 
  • Hide all supplies and clutter like toilet paper, shampoo bottles, cleansers
    and magazines.
  • Make sure countertops and sinks are clean and stain free.
  • Fix dripping faucets. 
  • Organize pantry and cupboards so they appear clean, neat and spacious. 
  • Make sure the refrigerator and freezer are defrosted and odor free.
  • Repair cracks in ceiling and walls.
  • Apply fresh paint if necessary. 
  • Make sure wallpaper is secure. 
  • Clean draperies and blinds; make sure they open and close easily. 
  • Put away clothes, toys and other clutter. 
  • Neatly make all beds.

Tidy Extras

  • Plant flowers to brighten walkways and enrich the entry.  Hide or remove any
    indoor plants that are brown or losing their leaves. 
  • Remove all fixer-upper cars, campers and boats from the property. 
  • The first thing people notice is the garage door.  If yours needs to be replaced,
    replace it with a sectional garage door with some interesting windows that make
    it stand out. 
  • Removing clutter is key.  Some sellers even rent a storage space to house some
    of their furniture, creating a sleeker, more spacious look. 
  • You can spruce up a kitchen by simply replacing cabinet knobs and drawer pulls.


Now that your house is ready to be put on the market, it is vital that it is priced so that it sells at, or close to, your asking price and so that it sells quickly.  Houses are a market commodity that should therefore be priced at market value.  A common definition of market value is “What a ready, willing buyer will pay, at a price a seller will accept.” In order to determine the market value of your home, your Realtor will do a CMA, or Competitive Market Analysis, of your home.  The CMA compares your home to other houses in the area in terms of square footage, amenities, condition and relative age.  You may want to provide your Realtor with a list of items about theproperty that you feel are major advantages.

When Setting the Price, Keep in Mind:

  • The asking price is not the same as an appraisal price.  An appraisal value is what the lender will loan someone who wants to buy your home.  It may not reflect the market value of the home.
  • List price is not permanent.  It may change and you should be prepared for negotiation.
  • Overpricing will make your home sell more slowly, causing you to spend money to keep it in “selling condition” for a longer amount of time.
  • Interest rates may also contribute to the price set on your home.
  • Location is a large factor in figuring out a realistic price for your home. The same home in a different neighborhood would have a different price. 
  • You can make the price a little bit higher, but add that you will pay closing costs or give an allowance to the buyer for fixing the roof, etc.
  • It is also important to be clear on what exactly is included in the sales price. Any exclusion (such as removable fixtures, decorative lighting, draperies, appliances, etc.) should be written into the contract.


It’s true what they say about first impressions; they really are important.  Now that
your Realtor is actively marketing your home and will soon be bringing potential
buyers to view it, the home should be ready to show at all times.  In addition to the
steps you’ve already taken to get your home ready to be put on the market, here are
some extra tips to help ensure that your home makes the best possible impression
at showing.

General Tips for Showing Your Home

  • Make the home welcoming and inviting by keeping it clean and tidy. 
  • Have everyone in the home make their bed every morning. 
  • As soon as you are finished with dishes, place them in the dishwasher or stack them neatly in the sink. 
  • Once again, keep the home clutter-free.  Buyers won’t purchase a home they can’t see.  Get rid of anything you don’t need or use. 
  • Eliminate bad smells by bathing your pets, cleaning out cat litter boxes frequently, shampooing the carpets, dry cleaning your drapes, emptying trash and ash trays often and refraining from cooking fish and other strong-smelling foods. 
  • Introduce good smells such as flowers, potpourri and air fresheners.  Baking a frozen pie is another clever tactic some sellers use to make the home seem cozy and inviting. 
  • Let plenty of light in.  Brightness improves a home’s atmosphere. 
  • Make sure the temperature is comfortable. 
  • You may want to set the dining room table to display a homey environment. 
  • Hiring a cleaning service once a week will make it easier to keep the house in “show condition." 
  • During a showing, you may want to leave so that the buyers can feel free to ask the Realtor candid questions. 
  • Be courteous, but don’t force conversation. 
  • Turn off radios and televisions; they can be distracting. 
  • Keep pets out of the way. 
  • Don’t apologize for the condition of the home.  If there is a problem, pointing it out will only emphasize it.

15-Minute Checklist 

Your Realtor has called and will be arriving in 15 minutes to show your home.  
Here is a quick checklist to make sure you’re ready.

 •  Pick up debris (newspapers, clothes, etc.).
 •  Turn on lights and open curtains. 
 •  Tidy the kitchen: 
      __counter tops 
      __take out trash 
 •  Tidy the bathrooms:
       __flush toilets
       __shine fixtures 
       __hang towels neatly
       __empty trash
       __wipe counters 
•  Make beds. 
•  Close garage door and turn on garage lights. 
•  Make sure outside walkway and entry porch are clear of debris.



 Contact Us

Do you have a question about buying a home or selling yours? Or, if you have any other questions or comments, then feel free to e-mail or call using any of the information below. You will get a response as quickly as possible.

Jacqueline Wittmuss, Broker
Phone: 512.892.4663
Direct: 512.917.1717
JW Properties
5611 Hwy 290 West
Austin, TX 78735
Phone: 512.892.4663
Fax: 512.892.4680

The information herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, no investigation has been made to determine the accuracy of such information. No person or entity should rely on the accuracy of this material without conducting a thorough, independent investigation of same. JW Properties has no liability expressed or implied relating to this information.


Jacqueline Wittmuss, Broker
JW Properties
Jacqueline Wittmuss, Broker
JW Properties
Ph: 512.892.4663Fax:512.892.4680
5611 Hwy 290 West
Austin, TX 78735 US
5611 Hwy 290 West, Austin, TX78735
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