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 out 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.