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Kim Hotaling

Listing Checklist

Remove Clutter

  • Organize closets, cabinets and shelves.
  • Remove clutter from countertops, tables, mantels, and dressers.
  • Your goal is to make sure your personal items do not distract buyers from the features of your home.


  • Prepare yourself emotionally. Although selling your house is a business transaction, most home owners have a deeply personal and emotional attachment to their home.
  • Neutralize your personality and style. This enables potential buyers to visualize how their own style will look in your home.
  • Pack up or neatly store all your personal items. Remove family photos, mementos and knickknacks.
  • Minimize children’s toys and items belonging to your pets.


  • Ensure everything is clean and in good working order.
  • Address minor repairs on both the exterior and interior of your home. If you have too many minor repairs that have not been addressed, buyers begin to worry that your home may have more serious issues.

Deep Clean and Deodorize

  • Deep clean inside and out. Pay particular attention to front entry, this is the buyer’s first impression of your home.
  • Deep cleaning includes not only general cleaning of rooms, but also windows, blinds, baseboards, appliances (especially stove top and oven), furnace filters, air returns and vents.
  • Power wash exterior, refresh landscaping and make sure yard is in good order.
  • Eliminate smells from pets, smoking, cooking, shoes, etc. The goal is to neutralize any smells, not cover up smells. Too many “air fresheners” make buyers wonder what smells you are trying to hide. A sparkling clean home suggests to buyers that you have taken excellent care of your home.


  • Rearrange furniture so there is as much open, walkable space as possible. This will help buyers navigate through the room and visualize their own furniture in the space. It also makes your space fell bigger, especially when buyers tour your home with multiple people walking through together. 
  • Let there be light! Open all blinds and turn on all lights for showings.
  • The most important rooms in the house are kitchen, family room and primary bedroom/bathroom.


  • Provide a list of updates you have made to the home. This is used for marketing your home and demonstrates value when comparing to similar homes.
  • List any special features or upgrades. Premium lot or location backing to open space, schools, neighborhood amenities, etc.

Seller Disclosure

  • Review and complete seller disclosures.
  • Disclose anything that may materially affect the value of your home, especially if it is not readily apparent.
  • Verify smoke and CO detectors comply with the MD law.
  • Order HOA/Condo resale documents, if applicable.
  • Provide any documentation that is relevant to your home. For example, receipt and warranty information for a new roof or major appliance.


  • Keep your home “ready to show” and continue to address any maintenance issues as they arise.
  • Be flexible and try to accommodate all showing requests
  • Remove or lock-up values, cash, jewelry, medications and any hazardous items
  • Leave the house for all showings and if possible take pets with you