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Preparing Your Home For Sale

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I have recently sold several homes where the homeowners had lived there for decades.  I have been in my home for nearly twenty years and the thought of moving puts me in a panic (fortunately we aren’t going anywhere). For those of you with a home sale in your future start with the preliminaries:

Phase 1

1)         Declutter, donate, sell, eliminate. Go through your belongings and then go through them again. 90% of my clients tell me they brought “stuff” to their new home that they ended up throwing away.

2)         Rent a safety deposit box for your valuables and move them before your home goes on the market – why take a chance?

3)         Throw away all of the refrigerator magnets.

4)         Have your gardener spruce up your landscape, or better yet, contact me for a gardening recommendation.

5)         If you have a coin jar, cash the coins in.

After years of living in your home the transition to it becoming another family’s home has begun.  It’s time to prepare for real estate photography and showings:

Phase 2

1)         Personal paperwork – In today’s world, identity theft is a concern. Your personal paperwork should be filed away; it should not be on a bulletin board or readily visible.  This includes checks, bank statements, tax documents, etc.

2)         Weapons, guns and ammunition – If you have weapons, potential buyers don’t need to know.  The best option is to remove them or at a minimum they should be unloaded and hidden.

3).        Family photos – I typically recommend removing them; most home buyers and their Realtors will just be distracted by them.  Buyers need to imagine their family living in your space.

4).        Prescription drugs – should be hidden (not in the medicine chest).

5).        Declutter (round two) – Removing almost everything from the countertops makes the home appear more spacious.  Your fireplace is the focal of the room, not the collection of Limoges boxes lining the mantle.

Once I and my home stager meet with my clients, the list is customized. But for those of you thinking of selling and not ready to commit to a real estate agent, the above will get you started.

Related Post:  Why I fired my gardener  

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