Part 1 – Selling Your Home: Preparing Your Home

Preparing For SaleSetting the stage for a successful sale takes an eye for detail — inside and out. And some old-fashioned elbow grease too!

The first step is to mentally move out of your house. That’s right — dissociate yourself emotionally from your home. You’ve already made the decision to move on, and now your house and your personal feelings, need to reflect that choice. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for someone else to picture living in your space and buy your home.
Here are a few guidelines to follow as you prepare your property for sale.

View Your Home as a Buyer Would

Start looking at your home critically, just as a buyer would, walking from room to room. Too many personal items scattered around the home are distracting. Remove photographs, displayed collections, precious heirlooms, faded artificial flower arrangements, trophies, and other items. This strategy paves the way for prospective buyers to start imagining their family occupying your property with their photos, their collections, and their personal touches.

Repaint & Neutralize Decor

Consider repainting to brighten the interior in such neutral shades as cream, beige or off-white. Replace outdated, torn, or faded window treatments. The same holds true for wall-to-wall carpeting. Replace it with a neutral shade or schedule a routine cleaning to freshen its appearance.

Repair & Replace

Outside and in — if it’s broken — fix it or replace it. Make certain light fixtures turn on; that there are wall plates over switches and outlets. Patch cracks. Caulk tubs, showers, and sinks. Bleach moldy grout. Fix running toilets and leaky faucets. Replace cracked ceramic tiles. Repair broken balustrades or stairs.

Take down and replace anything that is currently attached to the home and is to be moved with you. For instance, if the dining room crystal chandelier is your favorite family heirloom, and you’ll be installing it at your next residence, pack it up and replace it with another light fixture.

Cut the Clutter

Everyone has them — piles of magazines, newspapers, paperbacks, and circulars. Whether they’re in your living room, basement or garage, it’s time to recycle or donate. The same holds true for old toys, outgrown bikes, broken tools or broken lamps. Unsightly clutter can make a home look dirty, dull, disorganized, and small.

Kitchens & Baths

Remove items from counter tops and keep them spotless. Organize and tidy up drawers and cabinets to maximize their storage areas. Toss old toiletries. Neatly stack cups, glasses, and dishes. Discard expired spices or packaged foods. Imagine strangers opening each drawer and cabinet door and poking around inside — that’ll keep you focused on your task!


Pack away out-of-season clothing. Organize accessories such as belts, scarves, hats, gloves, shoes, handbags, sweaters, and other items. Make each closet a masterpiece of organization and looking as spacious as possible.

Moving? Learn the value of your home …