Real Estate Sales Representative with RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage


We will be doing a series of articles on "Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience" and for your convenience you may follow the links below:

Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience (Part 1)

Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience (Part 2)

Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience (Part 3)

Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience (Part 4)

Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience (Part 5)

Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience (Part 6)

Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience (Part 7) 

Selling A Property, Is It As Easy As You Think?


It can be as easy if you follow these few simple steps that we will lay out for you here as a foundation.

As a homeowner, you play a very important part in the timely sale of your property, often times it is what you "do, or don't do" that will add up to additional dollars that you receive for your property, or dollars taken away.    

What is your part in getting additional dollars?  Your most important step will be to prepare the property for presentation to the Buyers.  First impressions are paramount and remember we never get a second chance at it. It is not only important to make a fantastic first impression to the Buyers but also to the Agent who will be representing you. You want them totally excited about your property.  Well let's begin.

JOB ONE- De-Clutter!!

Clear off your counters, both in the kitchen and washrooms. Tuck extra utensil bins, toaster ovens etc. away in the cabinets in the kitchen, in the washrooms clear off the hairspray bottles, q-tips containers and makeup bottles.  We want to show off space.

We know they are your favorite collections, your pride & joy, but you are going to be selling your house, not your belongings.  It is time to pack them up.  Why not now? You are going to be moving and taking them with you, so it will need to be done anyway.

Look around your rooms, are they filled with items that used to dazzle but have now lost their sparkle, if so throw them out! Are you housing plants that are looking a little lifeless? Throw them out!  Are your accent pillows faded and torn? Throw them out! Magazine racks filled with outdated, dog eared copies. You know the routine already, throw them out

If it doesn't add to the appearance of your rooms then it is detracting from them.  Put away or pack up all off season items ie Christmas lights still hanging if its summer, beach balls if its winter.   

TIP -  If you have a lot of extra belongings or furniture pieces that you can't bear to part with, but you know they are cluttering your house, consider renting a "pod". 
You can pack everything into it, the company will remove & store the pod for you, until it's time to deliver it to your new place where you can happily retrieve all your favourite things.

Okay, we are starting to make head way and seeing results.  Good!  Let's move on.

JOB TWO - Organizing!!

Closets are a must clear out & straighten.  Bedroom closets, hall closets and linen closets.  All of them need to be neat, organized and thinned out.

Down in the basement, go through the rooms with the same critical eye, clearing out as you go. You can do it and you're doing a great job so far!  Tidy up all the tools in the workshop, games & toys in the games room, laundry items in the laundry room and keep everything straightened up.

Don't forget the garage! Remember the place for the car?  Let's clear it all out of stuff you have been absent mindedly collecting over the years.  When showing the property it is always better to have the cars parked in the garage, allowing the Agent and Buyers to park in the driveway and feel like they have "arrived home"!

Let's go outside now, repeat the same steps.  If it is summer time, freshen your garden beds with new top soil, eliminate the weeds and any stringing looking plants.  Give plant pots a fresh coat of paint or buy new ones. If your steps or walkway is crooked, re-level it. Winter time? Keep your walkways clear of ice or snow and make sure all the outside lights are working and are nice and bright.  In any season, have a welcoming seasonal pot accenting your front door.  Speaking of the front door, does it need a fresh coat of paint, washing down or new hand set? How about the screen door, is it ripped and need replaced?

TIP - As you move from room to room trying to organize & de-clutter, carry a laundry basket with you, to hold the items you are going to pack or move to another room.

Right about now, you should be feeling pretty proud of yourself.  It looks better already now doesn't it? Don't you feel like you have more space and your home is more appealing?

Hold on though, we are not done yet

JOB THREE - The Great Big Clean Up

Do you need to give a few rooms a fresh coat of paint, are there any squeaky doors that need a shot of WD-40, dripping faucets that need new washers? Get that critical eye out again and let's take one more walk around looking specifically for things like that, small little irritants that you have become used to, but will bother the Buyer.   

Maybe you need to get even a bit more critical and look at the big irritants, the squeaky floors, wrinkles in the carpet where it needs tightened and even the musty odours or smells.  In a Buyers mind these repairs, small or large are going "ka-ching" in their minds and they are not adding up to more value for your home.   

Think of a builder's model home, simple decor, sparse furnishings and a fresh clean smell, giving that desirable effect.  That's what we are trying to accomplish here.  We want your home to be neat, tidy, spacious and free of bad odours.

Keep in mind as you travel through your home, that there will probably be at least three people walking through when it is up for sale; an Agent and usually a couple of Buyers.  Make sure there is enough room for them to easily move through your home without going out around furniture and plants.

Ok, you are almost there.  Bust out the hot soapy water, the window cleaners, toilet cleaners, brooms and vacuum.  Now do a good thorough cleaning top to bottom and let's make this baby shine!

Now, let's just take a couple of seconds and talk about your pet.  Whether it's a dog, a cat, a mouse or a rat.  They are not a selling features of your home.  Why lose a sale over them, the Buyer could be allergic or just plain scared of your pet.  Make arrangements for someone to look after them.

It may take a few weeks to accomplish all this and a lot of elbow grease by arm strong, but it will be well worth the time spent and you will reap the rewards of a quick sale and top dollar.

For more help in preparing your property for sale, watch the short little video on our web site, here's the link

Happy cleaning!


Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Scott Larson 08/15/2009 02:39 AM
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John Rakoci
Eagle Realty - North Myrtle Beach, SC
North Myrtle Beach Coastal Carolinas

Al and Peggy I AM seeing many Canadians, epecially from Ontario and Quebec, having fun buying a home. They are coming to the coastal Carolinas and buying a 2nd home. Seriously, RBC now has a significant presence in the area which has made the process much easier for Canadian citizens and me!

Aug 14, 2009 04:22 PM #1
Jim Hale
Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website


I've heard of 7 day "bankers hours" now....but a bank that goes to the point of being where its customers want to invest...priceless.


Aug 14, 2009 04:43 PM #2
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Al & Peggy, Perfectly written!  It's funny people live in their homes so long they don't see it as an outsider would.  And they can't get to cleaning it if the clutter isn't removed...pods and temporary storage units are wonderful.

Aug 14, 2009 11:13 PM #3
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Hello Al & Peggy, this is very good information, sellers would do well it heed your words of wisdom! Looking forward to the rest of the series...

Aug 15, 2009 12:55 AM #4
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

Al & Peggy--i think I need to follow your advice even though I am not planning to sell.  I might be able to find things more easily if I de-clutter, organize & maybe clean.  Good post.

Aug 15, 2009 01:51 AM #5
Toronto, ON

Al and Peggy - Great staging and decluttering article.  I look forward to the rest of your series.

Aug 15, 2009 06:02 AM #6
Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

Now you're talking my language !

I always try to make the process a fun time :o)

Nice post A & P !!!

Cheers :o)


Aug 15, 2009 07:25 AM #7
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Al & Peggy this advice may seem simple, but it is amazing how many Open Houses that I go to are cluttered and very unorganized.  Some times it is the most simple things that make the biggest difference.

Aug 15, 2009 11:26 AM #8
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

Are you talking about making it a fun experience for the buyer, the seller, or the Realtor? LOL

Aug 15, 2009 03:40 PM #9
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