10 tips to prepare your home for sale

Preparing your home for sale is not an easy task.  Everyone tells you to get rid of “clutter” and some of the “stuff” they are asking you to remove is what makes it your home.  You are being told by realtors, stagers, and organizers that less is more, and you should depersonalize what you have worked hard at making your personal place.  That is a tough message to hear. It is your place, and you are surrounded by things you love and treasure.

The wonderful family framed photos, the magnets of your travels gracing your refrigerator, your good china in your curio cabinet – all bring you happy memories.  And, what’s worse is when you are asked to remove some of the furniture clutter, from side tables to corner cupboards.  It’s hard to not take it personally. It often feels like you are being asked to turn your home into a “house”.  And, to be honest, that is exactly what we are asking you to do.

To prepare your home for sale you want someone else to envision themselves living in it.  They don’t necessarily want to look at your life, they want to imagine their own.

Words from realtors

clients who have leveraged the efficiency and knowledge of ShipShape have found that the cost of decluttering, clearing out and properly preparing their home for the market is more than recouped when their home sells quickly and for maximum value.

Deb Evans, J Barrett Realty

I was recently working with a client (who was a little bit stubborn) and when I suggested some of her tchotchkes be packed in preparation for the move, she said “well, don’t they look nice there?”  And, the answer is yes, they do look nice there.  However, the less personalized the space is the better. 

Two of the most important ingredients in a successful house marketing campaign are competitive pricing and making a great first impression on prospective buyers. It’s not always easy to be objective when staging your home or evaluating its marketability.

Lynda Surdam, Coldwell Banker

10 Tips to prepare your home for sale.

  1.  Pack up most of your framed photographs
  2. Take off all magnets and information from the refrigerator
  3. Create a free space under the kitchen counter by packing up less used kitchen items so on photography and showing days, you can stash your above counter items underneath
  4. Pack your appliances that take up so much room but are only used once or twice a year
  5. Pack your small decorative items that are on your side tables & surface areas.  Leave a few bigger decorative items as long as they are neutral
  6. De-clutter your bookshelves and make them interesting by laying a few books on their sides, some standing and then one or two decorative items interspersed
  7. Store out of season clothing so your closets look less full
  8. Review your linen closet and take the opportunity to donate some of your towels/sheets if possible and then fold everything neatly
  9. Put some  children’s toys in plastic bins and store some in the attic or basement
  10. Review items in your coat closet and see if you can donate anything and if not, pack up the items you don’t need for the next few months

Our ShipShape team finds it very gratifying helping clients navigate this process.  The emotional process one goes through during a move (let alone the physical) is tough.  And, sometimes tougher than others.  Clients who have lived in their homes for 47 years and have full attics and basements, as well as bookshelves and corner cupboards stuffed with mementos, are holding onto lots of family treasures and items they have gathered over the years – and the special memories that they bring.  Downsizing is an entirely different challenge of letting go. 

If you aren’t faced with needing to downsize, just keep telling yourself not to take it personally and that your treasures are being packed away temporarily until you have the opportunity to make your new house, apartment, or condo your new home.