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  • Make sure the first thing buyers see when they walk into a room is something visually pleasing, i.e. not a TV.

  • Odor-removers are far preferable to odor-providers such as candles or fresheners, which can be offensive to many buyers. Nothing works better than fresh air, and regular cleaning and vacuuming.

  • Remove any candles that have been used more than twice. Have a maximum of 2 per room.

  • Hide litterboxes in a laundry area or behind a cabinet in a bathroom. Wash pet beds (and pets!) regularly.

  • Ensure all light bulbs are the highest-wattage, soft-white or halogen and, if visible, globe-shaped. Ensure all available sockets contain bulbs. For dark rooms, use only light ivory or white lamp shades. Don’t forget porch lights!

  • Remove any unframed posters. Unframed canvases are okay.

  • Remove or store anything that is very personal—religious or cultural symbols of ANY kind, family photos, political books, medication bottles. If these items MUST be displayed, the best place for them is in the master bedroom.  Art of a sexual nature, regardless of pedigree, is never acceptable when selling a home.

  • Keep all periodicals in a basket, drawer or (best of all) a wastebasket.

  • Keep all wastebaskets out of sight.

  • Give kids one basket or bin for toys and store the rest in the garage (also in bins). The toys can rotate as interests change and buyers won’t have to trip over toys to get into the house.

  • Store all items that pose a security risk, such as bills, extra keys, etc. in a safe place.



The word “remove,” for the purposes of this list, means to place the item out of sight. Cabinets, closets and garages, if kept orderly, are acceptable new homes for removed items.
  • Angle blinds to reveal (or conceal) the view out the window, depending on the quality of the view. Leave treatments all the way open if they are dated or discolored, or if the view is incredible. Drapes should always be left open.

  • Where appropriate, try to leave the space in front of a window free of furniture so a buyer can walk up and look out.

  • Try to make the bathrooms appear as though no one has ever used them. Aim for the look of a nice hotel bathroom. Keep periodicals, wastebaskets, extra toilet paper, product bottles, toilet brushes, cleaning supplies, used candles, air freshener and Kleenex as out-of-sight as possible—perhaps stored in baskets in a cabinet.

  • Repair anything visibly broken or anything that will not pass inspection. Call ROI’s handyman, Ken, for an estimate.

  • If you do nothing else, have the home professionally cleaned. ROI is happy to provide this for our clients upon request.

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