What do I need to do to get my home ready to list on the market?

The Atlanta In-Town real estate market is currently moving very quickly. Even homes in less than perfect condition often go under contract in a few days. These market conditions can cover up the failings of some bad agents out there, and its possible that sellers are leaving some money on the table by not presenting their house to potential buyers in the best possible condition. No matter what the overall market looks like at any given time, it is still very important to follow some best practices for getting your home ready to sell. When buyers grade your property against competing homes on the market, you want to be at the top of the class. 

Want to sell your Atlanta home quickly for top dollar? Here are some tips to get your home in prime go-to-market condition. 


Buyers need to be able to imagine living in the home. Get rid of anything highly personal. This includes photos. Go ahead and pack anything you do not use on a regular basis. Every surface needs to show off its potential, especially in the kitchen. Get all of the magnets off of the refrigerator, and get the counter tops clear of anything that doesn’t absolutely have to be there.


Everything in your property must sparkle and shine. Pay special attention to windows and appliances.  Wipe all doors, walls, and surfaces. Spending a little money now to clean or replace broken and worn out finishes or items (carpets, window treatments, etc) can make a huge difference in the sale of your property. BEWARE OF SMELLS. You live there and may be accustomed to it, but I walk into houses on a daily/weekly basis where the first impression I have is of an overwhelming or offensive smell. Eliminate (not cover up) pet, smoke, cooking, and other strong odors. If I bluntly tell you that there is a smell, don’t take offense. If I caught it, potential buyers will too.


First impressions are lasting impressions. Touch up exterior and interior paint. Pay special attention to the front door and area immediately inside the entry. PLEASE work with me on color selection. I know what buyers like to see when they’re shopping for a new home. Hot Pink and Neon Blue are not on that list.


Squeaking doors, leaking faucets, broken windows, missing tile, cracked light switch covers? Your home needs to be in good repair. Make an effort to tackle all of those little projects you’ve had on the back-burner. If you do not have the time or skills, it is well worth it to hire a handy-person to spend a day in your home. We work with several great professionals who do good work that we can recommend.

Front and Back Yards

Act like you are competing for the “yard of the month” title. Lawn, shrubbery, trees, flower beds, sidewalks, and driveways… Everything should be neat and trimmed. Plants should be living (I’m not judging whether or not your thumb is green here, but that dead plant that didn’t survive the winter isn’t helping the curb appeal of your house). Fencing should be in good repair and gates should all be in working order.  Adding some seasonal flowers is a great way to add some visual interest to your yard.

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Scott Crumley

Atlanta Real Estate Marketing and Sales Consultant. Father to two redheads, husband to another. Writing about Real Estate, Life in Atlanta, and happenings around the city.

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