Preparing Your Home to Sell

Preparing your home to sell

It is critical that you choose a Realtor that will tell you all of things you should do to prepare your home to sell. If you hire a good real estate agent and follow their advice, tips and tricks, you will sell your home for top dollar. Before you put your house up for sale, you need to deep clean, de-clutter and depersonalize it. When you are getting your home ready to sell, these are the basics and the best place to start.  We want to make your property look as much like a new house as possible. Our goal is to project a warm and inviting environment, as clean, spacious, and impersonal as we can so that potential buyers can visualize your house as their home, with their furniture in the living room, their art on the walls and their car in the garage.

Home selling preparation step 1

This can often be the most difficult step for some sellers because often they have an emotional attachment to everything in their house. However, you really need to get rid of the clutter because one thing I know for sure, a buyer's dream house does not include your clutter! It will help you to look at this process objectively and realize that your beloved napkin collection filling up a shelf of the linen closet is clutter from a buyer's perspective. Remember, the buyer is purchasing your house not your stuff, and you want him or her to visualize where they can put their stuff!

Preparing your home to sell step 2 

The best way to tackle the task of purging is to separate everything into 3 categories, toss, donate, and keep. Go room to room, basement to attic and toss all items that are broken, no longer working, or in a condition too poor to donate.  Next, items in good condition but you no longer want or need you can donate.  What is left is all that you want to keep.  At this point, whatever you don’t need for day to day living or will not be used to stage your home you can pack ready for when you move to your new home.  Rather than stacking these boxes in the garage or basement, I suggest you rent a storage unit and keep them there.  Always remember the objective is to de-clutter!

Here are some helpful room by room suggestions and guidelines.


Clear off the counters. Take everything off.  Yes, everything including the toaster. If you have a coffee maker you can keep that on the counter.  Put the toaster in a cabinet and take it out when you need it and that goes for all the other stuff you took off the counters.

No room for the toaster and other counter things in your cabinets?  Take all the dishes, pots, and pans that are in there which only get used occasionally and pack them.  Same goes for small appliances. Anything that is not getting tossed or donated pack in a box and put that box in storage, too.  And don’t forget the cabinet under the sink.  Keep only a bare minimum of cleaning supplies.

Do the same with your drawers.  Make sure they are not overstuffed so that things get stuck and prevent them from opening easily.  If you have a junk drawer, get rid of the junk.  You want to create unused space.

When you are finished your cabinets and drawers should be no more than 2/3 full.  Home buyers will snoop, they will open your cabinets and drawers, and they will be critical. The last thing you want a buyer to think is that there is not enough cabinet space in the kitchen for their pots, pans, appliance and cooking utensils.

Closet space

The last thing you want a buyer to think is that your home does not have enough closet space for their clothing and linens.  If that is the impression they get when touring your home, most likely they will move on with their search for another property.Closets seem to be a great place to store stuff.  Open the door, throw it in there, close the door and forget it until one day you open the door and an avalanche of clothes, shoe boxes, toys, pillows, towels, and other things fall down on you.  If this sounds even remotely like your closet space, you need to get busy.  After you purge and allocate to the toss and donate categories, pack away off-season clothing or any you do not use regularly.  Your goal is to end up with a half empty closet, tidily arranged.  De-clutter every closet in your home from the hall to the bedrooms, linen closet, and the pantry if you have one.


Same basic drills apply here as in the kitchen.  Clear off the vanities.  All cabinets and drawers should only be 1/2 full. Go through the medicine cabinet and dispose of all outdated medications and any items that do not belong there.  Clear out the cabinets and drawers.  The bathtub should only contain soap.  When a potential buyer opens the door to the linen closet she should find bath and bed linens neatly folded and empty space.

Basements, Garages, Storage

Basements, garages, attics, and sheds accumulate not only clutter, but junk. These areas should be as empty as possible so that buyers can imagine what they would do with the space. Remove anything that is not essential and take it to the storage area. If your buyers have lots of stuff, they need to easily see there will be available places to stash it!

Outside the House

The yard, patio or deck – clear away bags of potting soil, empty flower pots, and yard and garden tools.  Store tools in the shed or garage and pack up what you will not need.  Don’t overdo on the yard décor and furniture.  Keep it simple and spacious.

Furniture Clutter

Many people have too much furniture in certain rooms – not too much for your own personal living needs – but too much to give the illusion of space that a homebuyer would like to see. You may want to tour some builders’ models to see how they place furniture in the model homes so you get some ideas on what to remove and what to leave in your house.  Maybe you will even decide to hire a stager, or stage it yourself.

Take The Home Out of Your House 

De-personalize.  This is a step you should take as you go through the de-clutter process.  Pack away all family photos, memorabilia, trophies, collections, souvenirs, knick knacks or anything else that would indicate your personal brand. Always keep in mind as you go through the process of preparing your property for sale that your potential buyer needs to see your house as their potential home.

Need or want more information about getting ready to sell? We offer a free, no obligation room-by-room review of your home – no coupon required!

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