Getting Ready to Move? How to Market Your Home ~ Part One

Services for Real Estate Pros with Westbrook Realty

   prepare house to sell bonnie westbrook real estate blog                                                                                     Getting Ready to Move ??

This is a Primer on what to do  as soon as you  decide to sell your home, BEFORE you call the Realtor to consult about listing it.


I know this is a difficult assignment but you really have to do this.  Visitors to your home are not sentimentally attached to the evidence of day to day living and family life, as you are.  Their eyes won't mist over when they see the evidence of your late dog's scratches on the door nor will they appreciate the Christmas tree that is still up in July.  If you remember back when you moved into your new home, you had all kinds of plans for improvements you would make.

Then life gets busy. Your kids get into sports, your Mother gets ill and you have to  take care of her, and then your spouse discovers get the picture.  Not much of the wonderful home improvements on your wish list gets done and here you are, 10 years later with basically the same home you bought but it looks a little tired.behind the camera bonnie westbrook real estate blog

Taking pictures is a great way to see your home as others will.  When we live there,

it all becomes background, we don't see the flaws or the junk anymore.  We have selective blinders on that prevent us from seeing the tow feet high stack of magazines as clutter.  To us, it is reading material we plan to get to some day.

  Take notes on what you see that needs to be removed, cleaned, repaired or

updated and  make a plan TO DO IT!


 No. 2      Pack up all the out of season clothing, equipment, ANYTHING you don't need on a daily basis and move

 it to a storage unit, garage or designated spot in  the basement.  You are going to move, right? Then get all

your extra STUFF out of there.

This includes the "collections," the kids' old toys, broken items that you will fix stuffed closet bonie westbrook real estate blogsomeday (yeah, right), hobby

items, old albums, cds, to-be-completed projects, furniture that is not moving with

 you, and the stack of vacation T-shirts you never will wear. I'm sure you get the

general idea.  The house should start to look like when you moved in and there

was plenty of room for all your things. This is what you want buyers to see:





 No. 3     CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN as if Queen Elizabeth  is coming for a visit and you want

everything to be absolutely perfect. You cannot clean too much.  I know 99% of queen elizabeth bonnie westbrook real estate blog

us do not live in houses this clean but this is how it has to be, if you

want your home to sell quickly and for the most money. Square those

 corners, clean all the light fixtures and make sure they have 75-100

watt bulbs in them.

Regrout the tub and sink area if they need it.  Clean the windows,

inside and out, screens included. Clean the carpeting or rugs.  Now,

relax a little because Part Two is coming up.....Part Two of How to Market Your Home coming soon.


          The View from Here  ~ Bonnie Westbrook's Grand Rapids Real Estate Blog 

                           Grand Rapids Real Estate is Our Real Job  

                                   Copyright by  Bonnie   Westbrook                                                                                                                                                                                                      

                                          Contact us at : 1-888-240-1968 x 0    

                                               Website url: Terry              


Photos from flickr by summer anne -My closet   / behind the camera by thinking  in reverse /Queen E. by

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Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher
Bonnie, That is such excellent advice!  I wish homeowners would remember to remove the things they can into storage and make their homes light and airy.  Great post.
Dec 22, 2007 11:44 AM #1
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT
Bonnie, Great advice.  People could get so much more $$$ in their pockets if they did this and asked their Realtors to inspect their homes after the clean up.  I did this with one client and came up with a four-page list of items to address (this was after she thought she had cleaned and stored everything away).  There is a world of difference between a home that is cleaned up and ready for company and one that is staged to sell.  I tell my clients that their homes should look like hotel rooms, surfaces with the bare minimum on them, no personal artifacts, and minimal furniture.  Yes, it is uncomfortable to live that way, but if someone offered you tens of thousands more for your home, would it be worth it?
Dec 23, 2007 01:51 AM #2
Robert L. Brown - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic
Martha Stewart eh? Maybe Oprah Winfrey for me and i do get the "picture". So many people miss this mark. Looking forward to pt 2..
Dec 23, 2007 03:54 AM #3
Terry & Bonnie Westbrook
Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner - Grand Rapids, MI
Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re

I agree now how do you convince the sellers to CLEAN, CLEAN,CLEAN. It is the smallest amount of money for the greatest amount of gain.

Dec 23, 2007 08:26 AM #4
Bonnie & Terry Westbrook
Westbrook Realty - Ada, MI
Grand Rapids MI Real Estate

Carole: Thanks for being the first to comment.  Yes, most selling clients do not understand how empty there home must be.

Gail: You are so right!  We are starting to see this trend of clients calling months before they are ready to list so we can tell them what they must repair and do to market their home for top dollar.

Robert: Oprah would be good, I'll include her next time!

Terry: I guess TELL THEM,TELL THEM, TELL THEM, which is what I'm trying to do.  Yes, cleaning is the least expensive chore to do and the least likely to be done!

Dec 23, 2007 08:50 AM #5
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker
Do you actually take out a visitors eyes and use them?  Or does the home owner get to pick the set of eyes to plop in? Doesn't that hurt and is it safe? Does her or she get to use your eyes on the tour too? Neat...wonder if i have the right tools in the jeep to perform that little operation (digging thru sign riders, measuring wheel and week old bologna sandwich in back of jeep)
Dec 27, 2007 02:39 PM #6
Bonnie & Terry Westbrook
Westbrook Realty - Ada, MI
Grand Rapids MI Real Estate

Andrew: Laughing so hard, my side hurts. Personally,I would pick Elizabeth Taylor's, she used hers to great advantage and she doesn't do movies anymore so....maybe she wouldn't mind. 

 My English is apparently a little off for the literally minded.

Dec 28, 2007 04:41 AM #7
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Grand Rapids MI Real Estate
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