Article Series

Tips for Preparing your Home for Sale

Article submitted by staff.

Denver, Colorado: Are you thinking of selling your home? Perhaps you are just thinking you need to scale down and/or update your current home. Either way, you may be wondering, “Where do I start?” For many of us, it can be a very daunting task to start removing clutter from our homes and organizing, whether to prepare our homes for sale, or to update them and stay where we are. From experience as a realtor, I want to share some simple and easy ideas to make your “home” work a little less overwhelming. This is part one of a multiple series articles specific to Preparing your home for sale.

Steps to prepare your home for sale
Your realtor says, “you need to depersonalize your home and get rid of the clutter!” Easy for them to say when there are many years of accumulation to consider. Do not despair it is doable. I always say the only way to eat an elephant, is one bite at a time. The only way to de-clutter and organize a home surpassing normal tidiness is to take it one room at a time.

Start by looking at the whole of the house and decide which room really is the absolute worse for appearance, if someone were to visit. My first room anyone sees when they walk into my home is the living room. Begin by standing back and looking at the whole room first. What stands out as the worst unsightly area? Is it the pile of newspapers and mail beside the recliner? Perhaps everything is beginning to fall off the coffee table onto the floor. Whatever it is, you get the picture.

Begin with that area and start sorting out the heap. Have a trash bag nearby. In addition, as you handle each item and sort, you may end up with several separate stacks of things. Once you have sorted thru the whole heap then begin to decide what to do with what you have left, but say to yourself it cannot go back onto the coffee table or sit next to the recliner etc.

It is helpful to be open-minded and really consider if you need the item any longer, or if you can give it to someone who will enjoy it. Maybe you will choose to donate it or designate a place where it really belongs. Examples: Your Sunday shoes do not belong under the dining room table but rather put in your closet. Additionally, the photo album on the sofa goes in the cabinet in the hallway. Whatever you decide be decisive and clear the piles.

After you have gone thru all the areas in the room you are working in, and finally have removed all clutter, then take the time to dust, vacuum and clean the room thoroughly which includes underneath the furniture. Pull it out; it is amazing what we find underneath things and under furniture cushions. Perhaps you want to move the furniture around into a better fit, you will want to take away any furniture, pictures, photos and collectibles that overwhelm the room that you can live without until the house sells. If you are just not using them anymore then consider donating them to charity.

The room should look spacious and airy, that if anyone walked in, they can imagine their own things in the home. Remember even if you decide to stay in your home, it is good to do these steps. Next, you will want to move onto the next room, by following again the same steps.

A living room should have all tabletops clear of any books, magazines, toys etc. If you choose to have floral arrangements or a decorative sculpture on a lamp table or coffee table, be sure it is the right size for the table and do not add anything else. Make sure the colors compliment the furniture and other décor in the room. When you look across the room, you should be able to see open space between furniture and the walls. The key is spacious and airy.

Once you finish a room maintain it on a weekly basis, and move to the next room when you are ready. It is good to focus on the most seen rooms in the house first, like the kitchen, livening room, dining room, master bedroom and bath etc. I would do them in the order of importance and that includes the worst ones first. This does not mean to try and finish them all in one week either.

If you are someone that works five days a week at a job away from home you will be doing most of this in the evenings and on the weekends. Remember one room at a time and pace yourself this is not a race. The more thorough you can be in each room the better and you will be happy with your progress there really is a good feeling about having a clean and tidy home without the clutter.

Future topics will be the Kitchen and Bath in this series of Preparing Your Home for Sale. Please contact me for more information on selling your home, and what it will need to be ready to for your local real estate market.