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Expert Advice | Prepare Your Home to List

There are certain things homeowners can do to prepare for selling their home that will greatly impact the marketability and selling price. Here is some expert advice on how to prepare your home to put on the market.

If you are getting your house ready for photos and showings then your motto should be “Less is More.” You are moving anyway, so this is the perfect time to get rid of the stuff you don’t want to take with you. Take one room at a time and go through every closet, drawer, and container. Look under beds and behind furniture. Cabinets under the bathroom sinks are often full of multiple bottles of cleaning solutions. If you looked now my guess is you’ll find duplicates plus a few almost-empty bottles just taking up space. I guarantee you’ll be surprised how many cleaning items you have under sinks, above the washer and dryer and in the garage.
Get rid of clothes you haven’t worn in a year and those extra pairs of shoes you hate to throw away because you paid a lot for them but you still don’t wear them. Have a yard sale, give it to neighbors or donate it—just get rid of it.

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Here’s where some of my clients may raise their eyebrow or roll their eyes. Most of us have family photos all over the house—hanging on walls or in cute little frames. Pack all of these now because you know you want to take them to your new home. Yes, even the wedding portraits and baby photos. There actually is a very good reason you are doing this and it’s not so the prospective buyers can visualize themselves living in your house with their own photos. It’s because personal photos are a huge distraction. We as humans are relational creatures and we like to look at photos of other people. As soon as we do our brain is trying to figure out if we know that person or recognize the face. As soon as that happens the focus is off the house and on the person in the photo.
No Animal Heads or Bodies on the Walls! This can be more offensive to a homeowner than asking for them to remove their kids’ baby photos. I understand this is a trophy that represents a lot of skill and effort, however besides being a huge distraction it can be offensive to a prospective buyer. Take them down and give them to your mother or best friend to store until you move.
Minimize the College Branded Items. We have serious football rivalry in our state and emotions can run very high. Don’t let your life-sized poster of your favorite coach cost you a the best offer on your home.


Buy some cheap plastic containers that are stackable and a large pack of tissue or packing paper from Wal-mart. Remember that someone (it might be you) will be lifting and moving the containers so don’t pack them full of heavy items. Books and anything made out of paper is heavy. Stack your containers in your garage. Prospective buyers know you are moving so seeing your containers stacked neatly in your garage is not a turn-off.
If you have already purged and you are still finding that you have too much furniture or accessories in certain rooms then rent a storage unit for the items that you are going to move to your new home but are not fitting with your “Less is More” motto.

Deep Clean
This is probably the single easiest and cheapest thing that you can do to put yourself one step above your competition. I tell my clients that their home needs to be the cleanest it’s ever been when we put it on the market. Most of us overlook the dust on the ceiling fans and dirt on the baseboards because we see it every day and it just kind of blends into the rest of the house. Not true for prospective buyers looking at your home. My advice is to hire a professional—it will be worth it. I always make sure I have at least 3 names of individuals who are trustworthy and do a great job. Deep cleaning literally means that the house should be cleaned everywhere—caulking around tubs and showers, baseboards, corners, shower doors, ceiling fans and light fixtures. One of my clients recently told me she put all the globes on her light fixtures in the dishwasher and they came out sparkling!

You are guaranteed to be a few notches above your competition if you follow these steps!
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