Preparing Your Home

Although this is something we will help you with, you can get started with this process before we come in.

In every room, stand at doorway and look at the room through the eyes of a buyer. What do you see? Be tough on yourself: What can you live without while your home is on the market? Below is a list of improvements to consider:

  • Most carpets need to be cleaned.  Have them professionally cleaned before coming on the market.
  • Check all light fixtures. Are they working properly? Replace all burned out light bulbs. Look for dark hallways and corners and increase the wattage of bulbs in those areas. Make sure there are lamps with adequate bulbs in dark corners that are always turned on for showings.
  • Repair and repaint cracks on all walls and ceilings.
  • Repair or replace broken light switches and switch plates. Clean any dirty areas around them.
  • Keep all curtains and blinds open during the day to let in light and views. The extra cost of additional heating or air conditioning is a necessary cost of selling.
  • Reduce the number of pillows on couches to zero or two.  Remove all afghans and blankets.
  • Pack up all valuable items to protect them.  If necessary, take them to a safe deposit box.
  • Take a hard look at houseplants.  In most cases they need to be pruned and/or the number of plants reduced to create more space.  If plants don’t look healthy and are just barely clinging to life give them away.
  • Fireplaces need to be cleaned out.  Glass doors should be cleaned.  Mantels and hearths need to be cleared off except for a very few necessary items.
  • To create more space you may want to remove a chair, a loveseat or other pieces of furniture.
  • Pack up all collections (you’re going to need to pack them up sooner or later anyway).  They become a distraction for buyers from the desired focal point your home.
  • Reduce the number of books on bookshelves. Pack up extra books early!
  • Reduce the number of family pictures on shelves, pianos, and tables.
  • Reduce the number of wall hung photos and paintings in every room to one large piece on a wall or a small group of three. Make sure they are hung at eye level.
  • Be sensitive to odors, because buyers are!  If there is a challenge with odors in your home use room deodorants or disinfectant sprays (but beware that some buyers are sensitive to these so don’t overuse) and keep windows cracked open for ventilation even in very hot or cold weather.  There are great products in pet stores for pet odors, and many professional carpet cleaners have special ozone machines that can really help with difficult odors.  You can’t sell it if you can smell it!
  • Wash all windows and make sure they operate freely. If the seal is broken on a double-pane window, replace it now.
  • Repair items that are broken. This will show that your home is well-taken-care-of.  In most cases, buyers will ask for them to be repaired anyway, so do it now.
  • Don’t be afraid to move furniture from room to room.  That extra chair from the living room or dining room may just look great in the master bedroom.
  • In general, pack up the little things.  Little things create clutter and they need to be packed up anyway, so pack them up now.