Naples FL Blog

Preparing Your Home For Sale
November 12th, 2008 4:33 PM

Over the last 30 years, I have seen a huge amount of homes and given advice to clients who have homes to sell.  This web site even has a page dedicated to preparing your home to sell with detailed checklists.  Clients will ask me "What can I do to get my home sold."  The number one thing any seller can do is to price their home correctly for the market.  The second thing a seller can do is make sure their home shows well.

Okay, so what do I mean by a home should show well?  It has to be C-L-E-A-N!  Years ago I told one of my Sellers to make sure their home was clean for the broker's open house tour.  These particular Sellers had a number of dogs.  By the looks of the inside of the home, the dogs ran the house.  I did not think that I had to give that Seller a definition of clean.  Boy, did I make a mistake.  The day of the broker's open house came, I opened the door to the house only to find that the house was still a mess and it looked like the seller had taken a dirty rag and moved the dog hairs around the dirt on the kitchen counter.

Clean means fresh smelling, uncluttered, sparkling, squeaky clean.  Get rid of all the junk on your kitchen counters, organize your clothes and your shoes in your closets, tackle your kitchen cabinets and organize them and your linen closets.  Buyers WILL look into your kitchen cabinets and closets.  Remember to clean your stove, especially your broiler pan.  ( I could write volumes on dirty stoves.)  Replace worn out throw rugs, put your "company" towels out in your bathroom, do not leave your clothes and dirty towels laying on the floors.  Pick up the toys.  Make sure your bathrooms are as clean as an operating room.  (I could write more volumes on things I have seen in toilets.) While you may have a more relaxed style of living, the way you sell a home may not be the way you live in a home.

Everyone has their own definition of clean.  When you decided to sell your home, it must be Real Estate clean to help it get sold.  With so many homes on the market all over the country, Sellers will have to put in some elbow grease on cleaning their homes or end up with a lower price on their home then they thought they would obtain.

I once had a listing that was a home whose occupants had gone through a divorce. Divorce listings can be very difficult to handle.  The ex-wife was living in the residence and had no motivation to sell. The ex-husband had the motivation as, if I remember correctly, he was the owner.  Needless to say, the ex-wife turned the house into a mess.  She drove across the wet grass of the front lawn to leave tire marks.  This home was a center entry Colonial.  When you opened the front door, you were greeted by dirty clothes leading up the staircase.  I won't even go into how the kitchen and bathrooms looked.  This home sold for far less than any other home in the neighborhood because of the way it showed.

There is a page on this site that talks about painting your home.  It is called, Should I paint?  It is a nicely written page.  There are days after I have shown places that desperately need a fresh coat of paint that I feel like coming back to my Website and erasing everything on that page and just putting these words: If you have to ask the question, should I paint before I sell, get the paint brush out!  Paint your place a neutral color and by neutral color I mean off white or white. 

In today's market your home will be in competition with many homes.  If your home is priced correctly and squeaky clean, you will have a much better chance of getting your home SOLD.

Recently I stumbled over a free on line service that will e-mail you reminders and appointments. You can access this free account at  

Sandy - your free personal email assistant

This free account could help remind you to not only schedule cleaning projects but also help you remember your daily tasks and appointments.  Let me know how it works for you. 

Posted in:General
Posted by Lynn H. Wilber on November 12th, 2008 4:33 PMPost a Comment

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