How To Prepare For An Open House – The Curb Appeal Checklist

Curb Appeal - Your Open House Checklist

Selling your home is not a simple task.  Understanding that selling your home should not be about you, but about making a good impression to potential buyers.  While you love your home and have probably been in it for some time, try to view your home from a buyer’s perspective. Is your home as attractive as it could be?  How is the curb appeal, cleanliness, clutter, paint, décor?  When a buyer drives up to your home and is greeted by an unkempt yard and old paint-peeled shutters, they are already forming opinions in their mind of your home. This is why it’s very important to prepare your home for sale before putting it on the marketing and having your first open house.

Use this checklist to take stock of your home’s exterior and make sure it’s as nice outside as well as inside.

Check the Doorbell

It may not affect the curb appeal of your home but making sure your doorbell works is important and often overlooked.  Many times open house visitors will ring the bell before walking in.

Front Doors

Make your front door say  WELCOME.   Spruce it up with a little paint or replace the door handle so it’s shiny and new.   If it is an old door, think about replacing it with a new, energy efficient one.  All buyers want to make sure that the home they’re thinking of buying is not only safe but also energy efficient.   Don’t forget about your garage doors too.   Make sure they are in good working order.

Trim Trees and Hedges

If the foliage in the front of your home requires buyers to duck and dodge then it’s probably time to trim back trees, hedges and bushes.  Always make sure that there is a clear path to the front door.

Paint the Exterior

Most homes in Southern California feature stucco exteriors, however, if your home is painted and is beginning to look faded or the paint is chipping, then it may be time for a fresh coat.

Power Wash Your Patio

While buyers will only see the front of the house upon arrival they will always inevitably check the backyard.  Both back and front areas should be clean.   See if a power wash is needed,

Mow the Lawn

Make sure that your lawn (front and back) are freshly mowed and edged.

Plant Flowers

Adding pops of color with flowers can help boost curb appeal as well as make buyers feel welcomed.  Low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plants are best – especially in Southern California.

Clear Gutters

This one can often be overlooked.  If gutters resemble potted plants or are hanging lower than your roof line then it’s time to replace and/or clean them.

Check the Roof

A new roof is expensive, however a leaky roof can end up costing your more in the long run.  Take a look at your roof to see if there are any neglected repairs or have a roofer do an inspection for you.   A roofer can repair or replace areas that need attention.   It’s always better to get this one done before an inspector finds it and potentially destroys your sale.

Wash the Windows

Again, this is also one that is overlooked but goes a long way.  Clean windows and screens to show buyers that you have taken great care of your home.


Don’t forget about the driveway. Eliminate any stains or markings on your driveway.


What other items did you address when selling your home?  Let us know below.