So you are ready to sell your home. Is your home ready to be sold?

As much as we would like to just pop our homes on the market and sell them right away, for the most part, this won’t happen. I did have the pleasure of selling a property whose owner worked at an art museum, and their home was consistently spectacular. I mean, it looked like a museum on the inside, I don’t know how they actually lived there. There weren’t the little velvet ropes across the chairs and couches, but almost. I did literally just put the home on the market and sell it.

Most of us don’t live that way!

Buyers do not have very good imaginations. I wish they did, and when I was a first time buyer I thought I did, but really I didn’t. I couldn’t see around the clutter, around the refrigerator crammed with football calendars, dentist appointments, and shopping lists. One friend who didn’t drink, and had never been a drinker, had the little sticker from a DUI attorney stuck to his fridge. I have no idea why. I might put a “Better Call Saul” sticker on mine for fun…

So one of the very first things to do before putting your home on the market is to de-clutter and minimize. Remove as much extraneous stuff as possible. Also de-personalize. Lose the 18 pictures of the relatives, all the high school trophies, etc. Buyers need to be able to see themselves in the space. Make it easy for them. If there is too much personal stuff and clutter, it makes it hard for them.

When you move the clutter, it is tempting to put it into the garage. This is often the wrong place. Women buy homes for the kitchen and the master bedroom/bath and closet. Men buy homes for the back yard and the garage. So if the garage is cluttered and full of random stuff, it doesn’t help you any. Put the extra “stuff” in storage, or if you must, in an unused bedroom. The kids can sleep in the back yard for awhile in sleeping bags, right?

The home needs to have great curb appeal. If you fail here, a buyer won’t even walk in the door. So cut the grass, pull the weeds, trim the trees… keep it nice. Both front and back! Yes, it may cost a little, but in the long run it will earn you extra money on the sale.

Suppose your home is vacant? Then hire a stager. Depending on what we agree upon when I list your home, I may be able to include staging services. I have a certified stager on my team, and she can either provide an inexpensive consultation and you can do the work, or we will bring in furniture and take care of everything. A staged home will sell in less time and for more money than a vacant or cluttered home.

I am an investor, and when I sell properties, they are almost always staged. It makes a real difference. And, having the eye of a professional to help, makes a big difference.