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I’m Selling…What do I have to do to my house to get it ready?

You’ve decided to sell your home. Naturally, you want top dollar. You want to know what to do to get your house ready to sell…

The best advice is to consult with an experienced and professional REALTOR®. They will be able to guide you through the things that should be done and the things that must be done in order to sell your home for the highest price possible in the shortest possible time.

A local, professional will have current market knowledge and experience in selling homes in your area. They will be able to guide you so you do not waste time or money on things that will not improve your chances of selling and meeting your goal.

Here are a few things to think about when getting ready to sell your home.


One of the first things you should do is declutter your home. If you have several “knick-knacks” or “chachkies”, you should start carefully packing them up. After all, you are moving anyway; you might as well get started on the packing now.

If you have lots of photos and personal things around, start packing those items as well. Remember, you want the buyer to come in to look at the home, the floorplan, the flow, etc and to envision themselves living in the home with THEIR things.

Buyers sometimes cannot look past your items. They get caught up in looking at your things and feel like they are invading your space. They often cannot get comfortable enough to think about living in the home themselves when your personal things are all around. They can get distracted by too many things to look at.

Consider one vase of flowers or a set of three candlesticks as a centerpiece, for instance.


While you are at it, take all of the “amazing art masterpieces” your children have lovingly made for you which you’ve displayed on the refrigerator or other places around the house and carefully pack them up. You’ll definitely want to safeguard them for your future home!

Also, keep in mind that horizontal surfaces such as kitchen and bathroom counters and desktops should be clear. If you have several appliances and things out on your countertops, store most of them away. You want to showcase the space and counterspace in your house.

If you have lots of pictures hung on the walls, consider minimizing the amount to make the room look bigger, but balanced. Patch and paint any holes in the walls. If you have very bold colored walls or a “color wheel” of colors painted thru-out the house, you may consider painting the walls a neutral color to appeal to a bigger segment of the buyers. Neutral homes tend to sell faster. Potential buyers look at neutral homes as more “move-in ready“.

Make sure there is not too much furniture in the rooms. You want the rooms to look inviting, but not overwhelmed by furniture. You’ll want to showcase the size of the rooms. Store extra furniture pieces in temporary storage. Remember, you are moving anyway.

Deep Clean

Carpets should be steamcleaned or even replaced if they are not in great shape. The smell of fresh paint and/or new carpet is usually pleasing to a buyer. It makes them feel as if they are getting a home that has been cared for or newly updated. This creates value.

Clean the house. This seems elementary, but it is important. The buyers will form opinions (warranted or not) on the condition of the house based on what they see and/or smell. If you have animals, make sure you change the litter box or clean up the yard very frequently.

Cleaning the windows inside and out is often a great thing to do, as well. It will allow natural light to come into the house. Another thing…make your beds! Again, this may seem elementary, but it is also important.

Clean the front and back yards. Trim trees or bushes and remove any weeds. Sweep and clean the front entry and clean or even paint the front door, if needed. Curb appeal is very important, as it is the first impression when the buyers arrive at your house to view it.


Another possibility is consulting with a professional stager. Think of model homes. If you are able to, consider stopping by a Builder’s New Model Home Community to view how the builder staged their homes. It may give you some ideas.

After you leave the model home, go home and walk into your home and think about what you would do to stage your home. After all, the new home builders pay to have their model homes staged to showcase them and SELL them.

An experienced, local and professional REALTOR® will be able to guide you and help you make informed decisions on what things to do to get your home ready for sale.

Once you are ready, they will hire a professional photographer so they can showcase your home in the Multiple Listing Service (the MLS). Great listing photos enable the buyer’s agents and buyers to determine which houses they will actually go to view in person – and purchase!


Lisa Lehmann is a Broker with United Real Estate Southern Arizona in Tucson, AZ specializing in Residential Real Estate. Reach to her directly to discuss your real-estate plans at (520) 444.4180

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