How To Sell Your Own Home
23 Point Checklist  to Sell Your House
"The complete guide to sell your home for the most money on the timing that fits your plans”

The sale of your home isn’t quite as simple as sticking up a "for sale" sign and waiting for the buyers to come to you. Here is an overview of 50 things of the various steps involved in selling a property. You can use this list as a guide when selling a house or call a professional listing broker to take care of it for you.

I’ve included various marketing tips along the way that will be very helpful for you if you are selling your own home.


First, you need to learn about your motivation to sell, because this is the determining factor as to how you will approach the process.

Here's a list that will cover almost everything conceivable that may happen during the sale of a home. 


#1 The First Impression Counts! – What to do to sell your house

From the moment the prospective buyers drive up to your property, they are judging your home. I've seen personally when buyers don't even bother to come inside because they have already made up their mind at a first glance. Your front yard, your entrance and every single room or space in a home should be a “wow” of some sort, providing something that is beyond what’s expected to the prospective buyer. First impressions apply to each and every single room or space in a home as well.


#2 Appeal to everyone –  How to make buyers want your home! 

Try to appeal to everyone who might come through your property by using neutral designs throughout your house.. from the colors of the walls to furniture, even statues and paintings on the wall. You must remain neutral and not force a strong conviction that would only appeal to a smaller percentage of your visitors.


#3 You are selling a lifestyle..not a house –  Real Estate Selling Tips and Advice

From all my years of experience and talking to perhaps thousands of people about homes and real estate. I ascertained this concept which I found it to be true and factual over and over again. Most buyers are shopping for a new lifestyle...not a house. All your marketing materials should refer to this fact.


#4 Don't Take it Personal –  House Selling Strategies 

As soon as a house is in the market, it becomes a product and is all business from there. You can't avoid the emotional aspects of selling a home...but you better hide them well if you want to sell it for the most money at a timing that fit your plans.


#5 Be Committed To Getting Your Home Sold –  Tips For Selling Your Home

Selling a home with a "just testing the water" attitude will not lead you to a positive outcome. Specially when it comes to the pricing of the property. Every house has a reputation and you need to protect it. As you accumulate "Days On Market" your chances of getting your home sold for the highest amount it can bear is almost impossible. You will end up attracting only low-ball offers looking for a bargain as your home sits unsold with the appearance that "there must be something wrong with that property being in the market so loooong!". Commit to sell or wait until you are…


#6 Pricing Your Home To Sell – How To Determine The Price of a House

Know the facts and study it carefully . The pricing of your home should not be set on hope, automatic computerized CMA's and/or false homeowner illusions. The price of your home should be set by square foot comparisons, current local market conditions, major improvements or lack of , pending sales, sold comps and the number of similar active listings in the area. You need guidance, advice and direction from an experienced professional to set the right price to sell, follow their advice and don't look back.


#8 When To Sell and When to Fold – Best Time To Sell a House 

If timing is unimportant to you, selling it on the "right season" could bring you better results. In general, Spring marks the beginning of the busiest home-selling and home-buying season in most areas, followed by the Summer, Fall and Winter. If you are selling your home, finding the "optimal time to sell" should be considered, if you want to sell it for the most money. Beware that there are also other major factors involved on this. Competition numbers, local market conditions and local impact changes like a new plant or factory nearby...all or some may affect the timing when to put your home for sale. Your agent should advise you if you don't have any preferences, as they have their pulse in the local market and put your home for sale during the most optimal time.



#9 Curb Appeal Sells – How To Add Curb Appeal 


Potential home buyers form their first impression of a home from its curb appeal. Ideally you will want to get started cleaning up your yard a few weeks before you plan on showing your house. Plants and flowers need a little time to get them ready and give a good impression. You can't do this the day before your home comes in the market....really!


#10 Pressure Washing – Exterior House Cleaning 


The siding, the deck, sidewalks and even the driveway should be done carefully without damaging their surfaces and surrounding plants. Rent a power washer for a weekend and wash away!

 home sell

#11 Paint Front Porch & Front Door – Value of painting house before selling


Even if you don't have a front porch, at least you have a front door. Potential buyers congregate around this area while waiting for their agent to open the door. A "good feel fresh impression" in this area will put your house at the top of their list. Peeling paint and rotted wood? ..that will certainly put you at the bottom of that list.


#12 Pools, Hot Tubs and Garbage Cans – Does a pool add value to a home? 


If you have a pool, you need to stage it for fun and not stage it for endless work to the future buyer. Stage the pool area with clear water, lounge chairs and margarita glasses and NOT with vacuum hoses , nets and pool brushes thrown all around. Hide them all away! . If you purchased a Hot Tub for $5,000. . .NO you may NOT add $5,000 to the price of your house. .finally hide all garbage cans from view, they are not helping you if they are displayed all around the backyard. You are going for the "WOW" feeling...not the "YUCK" feeling.


#13 Impress Them With Easy To Read House Numbers – How To Increase Home Value 


Nice brand new polished brilliant numbers are around five bucks each at Home Depot. Not only your house will be easy to spot from outside but, you will be above 90% of your competition with your new house numbers looking spiffy and ready to attract buyers. I saw many beautiful houses before with broken or rusted numbers that were too hard to read. Avoid the urge to paint them over and finish the job in 5 minutes with the “amateur painting frame effect” around the numbers.


#14 Impress Them with a New Mailbox – What home improvements add value to your house? 


Mailboxes are so overlooked by many home sellers. Another simple and inexpensive way to make a good first impression. Old beat up rusted, mailboxes with broken hinges gives only one initial buyer sentiment , “the homeowner does not care. . wait to see what’s inside!”



#15 Fresh Mulch and Grass Seeds – Sweat Equity To Increase Value 


This is more of sweat equity rather than monetary cost. One weekend of sweat labor could make a world of difference, Fresh mulch always is good advice when it comes to landscaping. Drop some grass seeds to those bald areas around your lawn and pull the weeds from your garden(s)


#16 Your Neighbor - Friend or Foe? – Neighbors sabotaging property sale? 


What if your neighbor still has Christmas lights hanging in the middle of July? or the grass gets cut only when one of their pets goes missing?. Curb appeal applies to your house and the houses around you, if you can control or your agent must act upon it. Offer them to pay for handyman services and get it done or ignore it and risk losing thousands of dollars at the closing table when you finally sell...Your agent should be the one approaching them with this script: " I'm selling the house next door and I have in my budget money allocated to prepare the house to sell. ...By selling our listing for the most money, your equity will benefit tremendously as well. I have some money left over to clean the common areas and I would like to include your yard to this ...would it be OK to take care of it . at no cost to you?"


#17 Don’t Ignore Your Roof – Selling house with old or new roof? 


If your house is 20 /25 years old and the roof was never changed, you may have to offer a concession for a new roof despite it's condition. Asphalt shingle/composition roofs last an average of 20 to 30 years. You better off facing that fact prior to selling it rather than later after a home inspection surprises the home buyer. This is how we can control a negative aspect in a house and turn it around as a positive thing. Potential buyers will always appreciate honesty and candor.


#18 A New Welcoming Mat at the Front Door – Preparing House To Sell Checklist 


Placed at your home’s entrance, a door mat is very inexpensive but critical when you want to make a great first impression. Avoid strong colors or funny slogans or designs. Stay as neutral as possible. You want it fresh, welcoming and new.


#19 Paint or Repaint Exterior Wood Trim – What Should I Fix Before Selling House? 


This is another chance to make a good first impression. A fresh coat of paint and some caulking is the best and quickest way to make your house look better.


#20 Your Fence Tells a Story –  How To Get A House Ready To Sell?


Don’t let the fence tell a false story of how you have maintained the property during your ownership. Fix it, paint it and use it as an statement that you kept the house in good condition. A broken dilapidated and unpainted fence says a lot about the seller and that is not going to help you get the most money for your house when you sell it.


#21 Rotted Wood - Rotted Results – Tips To Get Your House Ready To Sell


This is another area I see many sellers fail. Rotted wood at the base of an outside door tells also the same story as the fence. Wood rot looks unsightly to all buyers and cause them to wonder. . what else might be in disrepair?


#22 Have all Windows Cleaned Inside and Out –  Things to do before selling house.


Buyers need a clear view and vision before making the commitment to buy. Help them with a bottle of Windex.


#23 The Front Door Knob and Key Lock – Important things to do before selling your  house 


Perhaps, you have use it thousands of times. If your door knob looks scratchy, old and you have to wiggle the key to the right or to the left to make it work. . perhaps it's time to update it!

Now for the bad news, 

We've only scratched the surface...these 23 point are for the exterior of the house...the checklist for the interior is here:

Read our complete selling guide here


About the author: This information is being provided by Fernando Herboso. He is currently a broker owner for Maxus Real Estate Group (Herboso & Associates) located in Montgomery County - Clarksburg Maryland.

Servicing MD, DC and VA


If you are thinking of selling your home in Maryland DC or Northern Virginia areas and you need to maximize your net while avoiding problems at a timing that satisfies your needs..then you should contact Fernando by phone: 301-246-0001 or by eMail


Fernando has been in real estate since 1990 and has advised and helped sell nearly one thousand sellers from all walks of life.

Main website is


Read our complete selling guide here