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Home For Sale

Get Your House Ready to Sell: A Checklist

Remember the days when homes in the San Antonio area sold within hours of listing, and bidding wars drove prices up, up, up? In that market, homeowners didn’t have to work all that hard to make their homes appear attractive before putting them up for sale. Oh, how times have changed.

Now, sellers must work harder than ever to compete with others selling their homes. That means doing a lot of work on a house before that “For Sale” sign appears in the yard.

If you’re about to put your home on the market in the San Antonio area—whether you’re in Alamo Heights, Cibolo, Helotes, Schertz, or elsewhere—Space Makers Junk Removal has a checklist of things you need to do to get your house in list-ready shape.

Curb Appeal Original


Curb appeal—what buyers see as they pull up to a house—is very important, says realtor Jenny Hard, a member of Team Kristen Schramme Group of Keller Williams Legacy. “It’s the first impression that the home makes to a potential buyer,” she explains. “And if [a home] is not well-kept, then it sets a tone for that buyer, and they start to lower their expectations in a negative way.”

At the bare minimum, Jenny says, a homeowner should mow the lawn and sweep the front porch, including any cobwebs, wasp nests, bird nests, or bird poop.

If you’re putting your home on the market, try to go beyond the bare essentials. Here are some other things you can do to make sure you make a stellar first impression when potential buyers pull up to your house:


  • Rent or invest in a pressure washer to remove grime and mold from exterior walls. Repaint, if needed.
  • Wash the roof to remove debris and dirt that can make your roof look old or in need of repair.
  • Clean and pressure wash gutters to remove dirt, leaves, and mold stains.
  • Wash decks and patios. Repaint or stain as needed.
  • Pressure wash sidewalks and the driveway.
  • Repair, repaint, or replace a garage door that’s dented, faded, or out of date.
  • Repair or replace fencing.
  • Freshen up landscaping with mulch and new plants.
  • Mow, weed, and fertilize the lawn.

Front Porch


  • Shine all windows and replace or repair any torn or bent window screens.
  • Update out-of-style light fixtures, or give the ones you have a thorough cleaning. Replace bulbs.
  • Clean or repaint your front door in an inviting color. Polish or replace hardware on the door.
  • Give your mailbox a wipe down so it shines.
  • Put down a new welcome mat—but choose a mat that’s understated, not cutesy or wild.
  • Replace address numbers if they’ve faded—you want people to find your house!
  • Add potted plants or flowers to porches, especially around the front door.

clean living room


A house cluttered with furniture and the owner’s possessions is distracting to potential buyers, Jenny says. “Instead of looking at the layout and looking at the kitchen or that beautiful tile floor, they’re distracted with that pile in the office.” And then, she continues, “they start to think ‘this house doesn’t have enough space for us.’”


  • Remove about half (yes, half) of your belongings from the house. For things you’re keeping, rent a storage unit or pod, or ask friends, neighbors, or family to store items for you. 
  • Organize every closet and every drawer because people DO look inside them.
  • Organize your pantry and kitchen cabinets. Again, people WILL look inside them.
  • Clean out and organize your refrigerator and freezer, especially if those appliances are staying.
  • Rearrange furniture to make spaces look as big as possible—remove furniture and rugs, if needed.
  • Repair anything that’s broken—floors, carpet, windows, walls, appliances, etc.
  • Clear out and clean your garage, the attic, and the basement, if you have one. Clear out storage sheds. Call Space Makers Junk Removal for big jobs hauling off junk from these areas.

Clean Bathroom


The type of cleaning a home going on the market needs is not the same as everyday cleaning, Jenny says. Instead, homes about to be listed need a deep cleaning. “A deep clean doesn’t necessarily mean more cleaning done, it means different areas are addressed,” she explains, such as the grime inside the oven or the stains in the shower. Jenny recommends hiring a professional cleaner for this type of detailed work.

Whether you hire a professional cleaner or not, you need make sure that the areas of your home that a potential home buyer might scrutinize are impeccably clean.

  • Make kitchens and bathrooms absolutely spotless.
  • Don’t forget to clean inside cabinets and drawers.
  • Clean the inside of the fridge, the dishwasher, the trash can, the recycling bin, the freezer, the refrigerator, the microwave, the oven and the stovetop.
  • Dust ceiling fans, blinds, light fixtures, and baseboards.
  • Vacuum curtains or remove them entirely. Be sure you open window treatments before showings.
  • Steam clean carpet and large rugs. Replace or remove small rugs. Clean tile and wood floors.
  • Shine windows and mirrors.
  • Sanitize knobs, light switches, and outlet covers.
  • Clean out the fireplace, if you have one.

Extras Bedroom Original RESIZED-3


Most realtors recommend that sellers depersonalize their homes. That means putting away any items that keep potential buyers from imagining themselves in the space. Jenny says that “the whole goal is to not distract from the house.” You don’t want prospective buyers looking at your trophy collection instead of “that great fireplace or the views from the backyard, for example,” she explains. Instead, you want buyers picturing how they might fill the space.

  • Take down artwork (even if your kids did it).
  • Store away collections, medals, trophies, awards
  • Remove personal and family photos. Don’t forget the frames!
  • Remove your personal comfort items like throws or pillows.
  • Take magnets and to-do boards off the fridge.
  • Think neutral colors and décor.
  • Repaint walls a neutral color, if needed.

Depersonalized Living Room RESIZED-3


Staging means intentionally setting up the furniture and décor of a home to make it appeal to a wide range of buyers. “Staging,” says Jenny, “is very important because it makes the space look finished.” Realtors who stage will, for example, “do certain color palettes or a certain kind of style for the home,” or if the home is vacant, staging a home “helps a buyer come through and really visualize what that space is for.” Again, the goal is to help buyers imagine themselves in the home.

To stage a home after decluttering and thoroughly cleaning, consider these ideas:

  • Go with neutral color schemes in the décor. Use accessories sparingly.
  • Place furniture in arrangements that look “conversational.” For example, place chairs towards each other, rather than facing a TV.
  • Arrange accessories in groups of threes, fives, or sevens. Grouping things like books or vases in odd numbers makes a space visually interesting.
  • Light up the place. Replace dim bulbs in fixtures or put in brighter bulbs. Make sure your windows are clean and any blinds or curtains are open. Turn on lamps before a showing.
  • Freshen up accents like towels or pillows. If your master bath towels are discolored or frayed, for example, hang some pristine white ones instead.
  • Stage every room. An empty room makes it harder for buyers to imagine how they’d use a space. Stage an empty room as an office, for example, by placing a desk and chair there to suggest how that room might be used.
  • Set the table. Help buyers imagine having coffee and toast in the breakfast nook or hosting holiday get-togethers in the formal dining room.
  • Remove all traces of pets: bedding, dishes, kibble, toys.
  • Add small details, like a bowl of fruit or a vase of fresh flowers.
  • Make sure your home smells great, but avoid overwhelming plugins or sprays.
  • Hire a professional. If staging a home effectively seems beyond your capabilities, that’s when you need to hire a professional stager or turn to a real estate team like Team Kristen Schramme Group of Keller Williams Legacy. Professional real estate teams often have furniture and décor that they can set up in your home.

In fact, hiring a real estate team like Team Kristen Schramme Group makes the whole experience of selling a home successful and easier because, Jenny points out, “we’re going to be very thorough and complete through the entire process.” Each person on the team has his or her specialized job, Jenny says, “and when they’re in that job, they’re doing their absolute best, and as soon as they’re done, they pass it on to the next person.”

Real estate teams like Jenny’s frequently recommend hiring a junk removal service like Space Makers Junk Removal to help clients thoroughly declutter a home inside and out before listing it.

If you’re in the process of getting your home ready to list, Space Makers Junk Removal can help you improve your home’s curb appeal. We do yard debris removal, shed cleanouts and removal, garage cleanouts, and construction debris removal.

As you tackle decluttering inside your home, we can haul off old appliances, and we can remove any furniture, office junk, or electronics that get in the way of making your home appear spacious and appealing to buyers. Call us today at 210-405-1410 or text us at 210-791-7010 for "junk removal near me."