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Disconnect your Emotions
You need to think of your house as a marketable product. Your goal is to get others to see it as their future home. If you do not consciously make this decision, you can inadvertently create a situation where it takes longer to sell your property. After you have come to this state of mind you must take the next step and “de-personalize” it.

Make Your Home Anonymous

The reason you want to make your home anonymous is because you want buyers to view t as their future home. When a potential buyer sees your family photos hanging on the wall, it puts your own brand on the home and momentarily shatters their illusions about living in the house themselves.

Start by putting family photos, sports trophies, collectible items, knick-knacks and souvenirs in a box. You may want to consider renting a storage area for a few months and put the boxes in the storage unit. Do not just put the box in the garage, attic, or closet. Part of getting the home ready to sell is to remove all clutter from the house.

Unclutter the House

This may be eh hardest thing for most sellers to do because most sellers are emotionally attached to everything in the house. Even if you do not realize it after many years of living in the same home, clutter collects in such a way that it may not be evident to the home owner. Clutter collects in closets, attics, garages, counter tops, and even drawers. You want as much open clear space as possible, so every extra little thing needs to be cleared away.

You may want to let a friend or even your agent help point out the areas of clutter. We are here to help you!

Unclutter the Kitchen

Potential home buyers want to see a clean and clear kitchen to see how much countertop space is available and cupboard space

First, remove everything from the counters. I mean everything. That includes the toaster. Put the toaster in a cabinet and take it out only as needed. Find a place where you can store everything in cabinets and drawers. Of course, you may notice that you do not have the cabinet space to put everything. Clean those out as well. Put the items that rarely get used into a box in storage.

All potential home buyers will open all your cabinets and drawers, especially in the kitchen. They are checking to see that there is enough room for their stuff. If you kitchen cabinets, pantry, and drawers look too cluttered and full the potential home buyer will get a false assumption that there is not enough space or storage. The best rule of thumb is to have a much empty space as possible.

If you have a junk drawer, get rid of all the junk.
Be sure to remove large amount of foodstuffs and canned goods that are crammed onto the shelves or in the pantry. Try using as much of the foods that you have in your shelves or consider donating the items to your local food bank. Beneath the sink is a very critical area. Make sure the area is clean and clear and does not show signs of a water leak. This may cause the potential home buyers to hesitate in buying your home.

Closet Clutter

Potential home buyers want to see how much space the closets have. Get ride of as much clutter as possible. Go through the entire closet and donate the items you don’t want to Goodwill or put in storage.

When in doubt ask your Realtor if you think you are clutter free. We are here to help!

Furniture Clutter

Many homes are typically over furnished; too much furniture in a room gives the illusion of a smaller room space. Be sure not to leave too little furniture to make the room look empty. You want to view some builder’s models to see how they place furniture in their model homes and get some ideas on how to place your furniture.

Storage Area Clutter

Garages, attics, sheds and carports accumulate not only clutter but junk. Please make sure these areas are as empty as possible so that the potential buyers can see how much space is available. Remove anything that is not essential and take it to the storage unit or you may want to consider a yard/garage sale or donating the items to Goodwill. The VVA of America will even pick up all your donations free of charge. Visit for more information.


Do not do anything expensive such as remodeling. If possible, use the savings to pay for any repairs and improvements. Do not use your credit cards. Remember you may have to prepare to buy your next home in the future. You do not want to do anything that will affect your credit scores or hurt your ability to qualify for your next mortgage.

Plumbing and Fixtures

Having nice shiny fixtures makes a nice impression.

All your sink fixtures should look shiny and new. If this cannot be accomplished by cleaning, buy new ones. Make sure all the hot and cold water knobs are properly working and that the faucets do not leak. If they do, replace the washers.

Check to make sure that you have good water pressure and there are no stains on any of the tiles or bathtubs.

Ceilings, Walls and Painting

You may have to paint, especially if dirt has accumulated in spots or you have an outdated color scheme. Painting makes a home look fresh and new on the inside and never fails to impress.

Painting can be your best friend when selling your home. It is not expensive and you can do it yourself. Choose neutral colors such as off-white which helps your rooms appear bright and spacious.

Carpet and Flooring

You should have your carpets cleaned. If your carpets are very old and outdated, you may want to consider replacing them with something inexpensive in a neutral color.

Floor tiles should be repaired or replaced if broken, but to not spend a lot of money on anything. Your goals are simply not having any negative impressions upon those who may want to purchase your property.

Windows and Doors

Make sure to check that all of your windows open and close easily. If not, you may consider purchasing a can of WD40 which often helps. Make sure there are no cracked or broken windowpanes. If there are, replace them before you begin showing your home.

The doors should also be checked that they open and close properly without squeaking. If they do, spray WD40 on the hinges resulting the squeaking to go away. Also make sure the doorknobs turn easily and that they are cleaned and polished. This will make a positive impression to potential buyers.

Odor Control

If you a smoker, you are highly recommended to do the smoking outside. Nobody likes to walk into a smoke infested house. Remember that we want positive impressions. You may also purchase an ozone spray that helps remove odors without creating a masking scent. If you own a pet, chances are the pet may be the source of an odor that may be hard to rid of. In cases like this, there are some ways to tackle these odors by simply moving your pet to the outside of your home and to clean the affected areas with carpet clearer or ‘Febreze’, a fabric deodorizer.


Is your landscaping at least average in your neighborhood? If it is not, it is a good idea to but some bushes or flowers bunches and start planting. Do not plant trees. Mature trees are expensive and you will not see any of your investment returned. If you have an area for flowers purchase some matured colorful one and plant them. They will add a splash of vibrancy and color creating a favorable first impression. Do not but bulbs or seeds since they will not mature fast enough to create the desired effect and you certainly do not want a patch of brown earth for potential home buyers to view. Your lawn should be evenly cut, edged, well watered, and free of brown spots. If there are problems with your lawn you should probably take care of them before working on the inside of your home. This is because certain areas may need a re-sod and you want to give it a chance to grow so those brown areas are not immediately apparent. As a added bonus, you may want to give the sod or lawn fertilizer to help it grow faster and thicker.

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