Home Staging Checklist

Making Your Home Look Its Best


Basement, Attic, Garage

Clean out attic, basement and garage and dispose of everything that you are not going to move.
Package everything that you won't need until you're settled in your new home. Make sure there is ample lighting in the basement stairway.
If the basement is dark and gloomy, paint ceilings and walls a light colour. If undeveloped, paint the floor.
Repair cracks in basement floors and walls with a ready mixed grout (concrete).
Wiping clean the furnace and hot water tank will make them appear newer and well maintained.
Wash down the garage floor and clean any oil stains with a chemical absorbent.
Stack stored items neatly against walls to make the rooms appear larger.


The kitchen is the most important room in the house. Make it bright and attractive. If dull, paint or re-stain cabinets, put up attractive new curtains or blinds.
Clean the ventilating hood in the kitchen. Thoroughly clean to remove any odors especially around trash containers and areas where food is stored.
If the kitchen floor is badly worn, consider new flooring. Light colours and simple patterns are best.
Remove small appliances from your counters (toaster, coffee maker, etc.). Clean counters make a room look larger.


Repair dripping faucets and unclog any plugged drains.
Hang fresh towels and use a deodorizer in the bathroom area.
Use special cleaning products to remove stains from toilets, tubs and sinks; keep sinks and mirrors shining.
Replace old caulking around bathtubs and clean tiles so they sparkle (purchasers always check the shower).

Living Areas

Have all plaster in top shape. Cracks, nail-pops or visible seams are easy to repair.
Check ceilings for leak stains. Fix the cause of the damage, repair ceiling and re-paint.
In painting and re-decorating, always stick to conventional white and easy-to-work-with neutral colours.
If you have a fireplace, clean it our and lay some fresh logs in it to make it look inviting.
Wash windows both inside and out. Replace any broken or cracked glass.
Replace all burned out light bulbs. Use brighter bulbs in all general lighting areas.
Make the floors shine and have carpets professionally cleaned – repair any creaks (drive two long finishing nails at opposing angles through the floor and sub-floor into the joist).
Straighten up closets – get rid of excess – store out of season clothes so closets look larger.
If doors stick slightly, rub a block of paraffin against the surface that shows signs of wear.
If sliding doors stick, rub the tracks with paraffin or candle wax. Lubricate any squeaky hinges.


Invest in landscaping where it can be seen first. A well manicured lawn, neatly clipped shrubbery and cleanly swept walks all create a good first impression.
Cut back over-grown shrubbery that looks scraggly or keeps light out of the house.
Paint your house if necessary. This can do more for sales appeal than any other factor
In winter, walks must be free of snow and ice (liability may also be a concern).
Inspect the roof and gutters. Any missing shingles to replace? Are gutters clean and downspouts attached?
Consider putting flowers outside the front door if it's not in perfect condition (very important for first impressions).
Repair any broken outside steps.
Keep lawn closely cut and edged. Clean the yard; store toys, bicycles and tools away.

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