I’ve decided to sell my house. Now what?

March 18, 2020 | Most Read | By: Allison

Are you planning to sell your home in the future? Are you overwhelmed with where to start in your preparation? We can help!

According to local organizer and stager Kelly DeMaso of Simplified Organizing & Staging, the top three areas of a home that typically get the most attention from prospective buyers are the kitchen, bathroom(s), and main family room. So in preparing to sell your home, you will want to focus most of your efforts on those areas. At a minimum, Kelly says plan on decluttering, depersonalizing, and cleaning.


We always suggest spending the money for a professional deep cleaning. You want every surface of your home to shine – so make sure that grout is scrubbed, the windows sparkle, and the floors and countertops gleam. Buyers will have a tough time looking past crumbs and dog hair to see the real potential of your home.


Kelly suggests thinking of decluttering as simply pre-packing for the move. This is one less thing that you’ll need to do once your house sells. Declutter for set periods of time so the task seems less daunting. Keep in mind that many local charities will happily come pick up anything you wish to donate — and you get a tax break!


It’s also very important to depersonalize your home so prospective buyers can imagine themselves living in it instead of you. This means removing all personal photos and mementos, including diplomas, trophies, kids’ artwork etc. Remove all magnets from your refrigerator, take down any posters, and hide any collections.


If there is room in your budget for professional staging, we always recommend doing so. Research has shown that professionally staged homes sell 79% faster and for 17% more than non-staged homes. We’ve seen it firsthand! Even if you have a limited budget for staging, using it for those three key areas can have a tremendous impact.


Don’t forget about the exterior of your home when preparing to list. Many buyers will do a “drive by” to determine if they want to tour the inside of the home based on its curb appeal. In your home sale preparations, Houzz.com suggests power washing the siding and walkways, hanging easy-to-read house numbers, planting blooming flowers and fresh greenery, mowing/re-seeding/sodding the lawn and repainting/staining the porch floor as needed. Also, create an inviting backyard with a cozy outdoor dining area and a firepit – perhaps even hang a hammock.


Be sure every room in your home shows a purpose. Potential buyers won’t be too excited about your extra bedroom if it looks like a storage unit. Stage it as an office or lovely guest room to provide buyers with a vision for that room — one that adds value. If you have a small awkward space, turn it into a reading nook or a homework zone for kids.

Lastly, here are some other staging tips we love from HGTV.com:


Make sure your home is well lit. Increase the wattage in your lamps and fixtures, aiming for a total of 100 watts for every 50 square feet. Make sure you have all three kinds of lighting: ambient or general overhead, task, such as under-cabinet and reading, and accent on tables and walls.


To make a room appear to be bigger than it is, paint it the same color as the adjacent room. A seamless look will make both rooms feel like one big space.


If you have a pet, be on odor alert! Ask your agent or a good friend to give your home the “sniff test.” Consider steam cleaning any rugs in your home. Be extra vigilant about cleaning up after your pet while your home is on the market.

If we can help you prepare your home to sell, contact us! We’re happy to create a customized staging plan for your home. Even if you’re not quite ready to list, we are always happy to chat about ways to maximize your home’s potential.