Q: We are about to put our house on the market. We have lived there for over 10 years and have several children, pets and all that comes with it. What should we do to get it ready to sell?
A: The first thing you should do when preparing to sell your home is to have a conversation with yourself. You are now a ‘guest’ in your own home. You do not live there anymore. Someone else is going to be living in the house. What would a hotel room look like? A short-term apartment? That is what your home should look like. Remove most pictures from walls, heavy drapery from windows, knickknacks sitting on table tops, and extra chairs and tables. Organize your closets and pantry so that they look spacious. It needs to almost look like you aren’t living in the home. I can’t tell you how many times buyers have looked at me and said, “I don’t think they could be out of here in a month” because so many of the owners’ personal belongings still fill the home. Many buyers cannot imagine a home with their own furnishings in it because they can’t see beyond the current owners’ décor. You can look online for home staging ideas, your Realtor can assist you in deciding on what stays out and what should go away, or you can even hire a professional stager to give it the ultimate appeal to buyers. The rule to remember when you are decluttering to sell your home is: less is more.