Part Two: How To Actually Prep Your Home

Now that we’ve done all of the paperwork for listing your home, it’s time to get it ready.

De Cluttering

This is time consuming and can be a little tough. Remember, once your home is listed for sale, it’s a commodity. It’s not your home anymore. I know – ouch. Decluttering can be a cathartic experience…at least that’s what one of my former sellers told me!

Work room by room – it’s the easiest way. Start with the family living areas, then to the closets, storage units, garage, bathrooms then bedrooms. Save the kitchen for last.

Extra pieces of furniture, decorative vases and the like need to go to storage. You want potential buyers to see themselves in your home and you want to give them easy walk ways to move around.

Artwork, photographs and so on, especially family photos need to be taken down and the holes in the walls patched/repainted.

Closets need to be organized and neat because buyers will open EVERYTHING to see storage space. This is a great way to get rid of clothes that you don’t wear anymore and that your kids have outgrown.

Store unused kitchen appliances somewhere. Yes, you can leave your coffee maker and similar items out but you want to show off the counter space. It’s very important that your kitchen is neat, clean and uncluttered.

If your office is anything like mine, a good cleaning and organizing day is needed. Pack away all personal papers, bills, password books, checkbooks, passports and so on. If you want to get a small filing cabinet for all of that, go ahead. Just make sure it’s locking. You can store your small electronics in there along with other personal items like jewelry, medications, etc.

Keep your pool clean and your landscaping fresh by getting rid of weeds as soon as you can.

Homes With Pets

If you both work, this can be difficult but it is workable.

Trust me when I say that, even if your dog/cat/ferret is the sweetest thing in the world, it might not be with strangers. Dogs will defend their family and the last thing we need is for your pup to hurt someone.

If you are able, talk with your neighbors that stay home and see if they would be able to take your pups for a walk when there is a showing or put them in their crate(s). If that won’t work, perhaps doggie day care is the solution. Leaving them in the yard is a last resort choice as most buyers want to walk around the backyard.

Make sure you pick up after your dogs/keep the cat box clean. Pet urine is a tough smell to cover up so if your pets have had accidents in the home, please get the carpets professionally cleaned prior to listing!

Keep toys picked up, too.


In our first sit down, we’ll talk about neutralizing boldly painted walls and custom paint projects. Again, we want buyers to talk about the home as a whole, not just about that bright red accent wall in the bedroom.

Making Those Small Repairs

Remember those honey do’s? Now is the time to get them done. Missing outside light fixtures, cracked light switches and outlet covers, re-hanging closet doors, new shower heads – those are the types of things you’ll want to take care of. And you’ll want to keep up on those things as you’re listed. It’s not the time for new projects!

A final word -

Yes, this is the tough part. If you have children, it can be even tougher (more on that in a later blog post). But you can do it. Think of it this way – it gives you a BIG step up on moving day. Imagine telling your movers that everything is ready to go and all they have to do is load the truck!

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