The Complete Bakersfield Home Seller Checklist

You’ve decided to sell your Bakersfield home. Voila! Here’s a handy checklist to maximize the cash flowing from your home sale. The entire operation can seem overwhelming but breaking it into small tasks will alleviate some stress.

You will notice a common theme throughout the checklist, which is eliminating clutter and keeping things clean and organized. You want buyers to envision themselves living in the home, not navigating a physical and visual obstacle course.

Although it’s included in the checklist, you should consult with a top Realtor® early in the process. A quick and painless visit can save you buckets of time and money, especially when it comes to repairs.  

Pre-Listing Repairs

No home seller wants to spend money on repairs. However, there may be a few lower cost issues that are begging for attention and worth every penny to fix. Since perception is often reality, the repairs with a high return on investment are the most visible.

Flooring – Ugly, worn out carpet or peeling vinyl will turn off a home buyer faster than slipping on a banana peel. A hodgepodge of colors will do the same. According to most estimates, you will double your investment on nice, neutral flooring wherever it’s needed, but the ROI could be more depending on the improvement.

Water Stains – The first thing a buyer thinks when seeing a water stain is, “has the leak been fixed and what else has been damaged?” Even if a leak has been repaired for a decade, that concern will bear more scrutiny than warranted and cast doubt in the buyer’s mind.

Landscaping – First impressions are critical, and curb appeal is first. Most people can water and mow the lawn, trim back overgrown shrubs, and throw in some mulch and flowers. If not, a basic gardening service is a relatively small cost compared to transforming the look of the home along with the mindset of the buyer.

Pet Damage – Like water stains, pet damage begs the question, “is there more damage that I can’t see?” Replacing a door or some baseboards is much better than having buyers wonder if there’s pet urine fermenting under the carpets.

There are of course potentially larger repairs like a dilapidated roof that should be replaced, but that’s a topic better left for a different blog post about home values. Here we’re talking about a typical home listing.

Pre-Listing Checklist

Prepping a house to sell for top dollar can take some work, but keep your eye on the prize! Follow the suggestions in our home sale checklist to cover all your bases.


  • Don’t be a lazy slob.
  • Deep clean everything and everywhere a human can reach.
  • Repaint bold colored rooms to neutral colors.
  • Pack away photos, knick-knacks, and unicorn figurines.
  • Remove or upgrade unsightly storage containers 
  • Replace dangling blinds and curtains.
  • Remove anything dated (paneling, wall length mirrors, thermostat, etc).
  • Wash all windows, even the ones to your soul. 👁️👁️
  • Shampoo the carpets but replace the nasty rooms. 
  • Minimize pet items during showings.
  • Organize or store away toys during showings.
  • Remove or rearrange furniture for optimal flow and floor space.
  • Minimize and prune houseplants.
  • Minimize wall art, especially the weird portrait of aunt Agnes.
  • Add lamps to dark spaces to improve ambiance.
  • Avoid using those potent air fresheners. A neutral, fresh scent will work fine.


  • Reduce stuff on counters to just a few items.
  • Minimize magnets, notes and photos on the fridge.
  • Remove area rugs between the appliances.
  • Clean tile grout where needed.
  • Clean the oven, stove and microwave.
  • Repair broken or loose countertop tiles.
  • Replace burner pans on the stove if worn.
  • Empty the trash before each showing.
  • Clean and organize the pantry so you look civilized. 
  • Pack away dishes, pots and utensils you can live without.
  • Replace ugly or dated hardware and spouses. 


  • Make beds before showings.
  • Clear off nightstands and dressers.
  • Store away personal items.
  • Hide very, very personal items.
  • Organize closets. 
  • Maybe donate some clothing.
  • Keep floors clean.
  • Minimize wall decorations.
  • Repair damage to walls.


  • Replace towels if needed.
  • Fold towels neatly on towel racks.
  • Remove any throw rugs.
  • Clean and organize cabinets.
  • Remove toiletries from countertops. 
  • Minimize essentials in the shower or tub.
  • Add a nice bottle of hand soap.
  • Coordinate all linens in one or two colors.
  • Clean or replace shower curtains.
  • Clean mold and mildew in the showers and baths.
  • Add a layer of caulking where it’s discolored.


  • Remove overgrown trees or wild limbs. 
  • Trim bushes away from walls and windows.
  • Add decorative bark, mulch or rocks to flower beds.
  • Remove hoses, debris, and maybe the garden gnomes.
  • Add or spruce up flower beds.
  • Replace unsightly front door hardware.
  • Repaint front door if needed.
  • Clean cobwebs from light fixtures.
  • Clean or pressure wash driveway, porches and sidewalks.
  • Repaint trim if needed.
  • Replace any rotten wood or teeth.
  • Paint or re-stain deck if needed.
  • Wash windows and screens.
  • Clean outdoor furniture.
  • No pet droppings during showings!
  • Clean out the garage and hidden secrets.
  • Clean and organize storage.

During Listing Checklist

Your house now looks like a million bucks, or more depending on the market. This section covers the essential steps to market and sell your home. 

  • Meet with your Realtor® at home to finalize any cleaning, repairs, or staging.
  • Review your Realtor’s comparative market analysis (CMA) to determine a listing price. 
  • Review and sign the listing agreement with your Realtor®. 
  • Agree on an escrow/title company to handle the transaction.
  • Complete seller’s disclosures to document general info and any known defects.
  • Provide your Realtor® with copies of front door keys for the lock box.
  • Prepare and accommodate photos and video.
  • Review your Realtor’s MLS listing for accuracy and changes.
  • For sale sign is installed in the yard, unless it’s not wanted.
  • Gather home warranties and manuals for the future buyer.
  • Property listing goes live on the MLS, social media, and property websites. 
  • Discuss buyer feedback with your realtor to make marketing adjustments.
  • Field offers, negotiate where needed, and go under contract. 

Post-Listing Checklist

This section covers the main steps to close the deal after you’re under contract with a buyer.

  • Allow home inspections, usually within 1 to 2 weeks of signing the purchase agreement.
  • Negotiate inspection items if needed.
  • Accommodate the appraisal if your buyer is getting a mortgage.
  • Negotiate appraisal result if value is low. 
  • Deal with the title company to resolve any title issues.
  • Review the settlement statement for accuracy.
  • Prepare for a final walkthrough
  • Sign closing documents to transfer ownership
  • Funds are disbursed to the seller and vendors. 
  • Schedule utilities transfer or shut off.
  • Coordinate with your realtor to provide keys and remotes.

Documents Checklist

Many of these documents were mentioned throughout the checklist, but here they are in one place, just like you should have them. 

  • Listing Agreement
  • Seller’s Disclosures 
  • CMA – Comparative Market Analysis
  • Listing and Marketing Materials
  • Preliminary Title Report (from title company)
  • Purchase Agreement
  • Seller’s Net Sheet
  • Closing/Settlement Statement
  • Documentation of upgrades for the appraiser, buyer, and disclosures
  • Warranties, manuals, and maintenance records for the buyer

Services Checklist

Here’s a quick list of the professionals you may need to hire. Contact Property Wonk for a referral in the Bakersfield area.

  • Realtor®
  • Handyman
  • House cleaning service
  • Landscaper
  • Painter 
  • Window washer 
  • Carpet cleaner
  • Mover
  • Psychiatrist?

You may feel listless after completing these lists, but it’s done! Cocktails anyone?

Selling your home can be challenging, but we’re here to help. 

Contact us for a custom home value or listing consultation with a top Bakersfield Realtor®.