Discuss: If you have a partner, discuss your goals and plans for selling this property. Sometimes we forget this important step and end up working in different directions.

Evaluate: There are several ways to tackle this step. We suggest shooting an informal video of your own home. Start at the curb, walk through the house, and walk the yard. Don’t forget to open closets, drawers, basements, etc. just like your potential buyers will. Now take the time to watch the video as if you are the buyer. We like to pretend that we are walking into a hotel room or resort rental. How does your home look? Every time you see something that looks like it doesn’t belong, stop the video and write it down. Make sure to write down something about those personal photos everywhere and that treasured art stuck on the refrigerator!


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Repair: Now is the time to fix all of those small (and large) items that you’ve been meaning to get to. Make a “to do” list. Hire someone to do the things that you cannot do. It’s not a bad idea to get a home inspection done now. That way you can avoid surprises when your buyer orders an inspection. Everything needs to work perfectly as designed.

Declutter: This step also requires that you pretend that you’re staying in a hotel. What do you absolutely have to keep close by so that you can get dressed and function? Everything else needs to be stored away. It’s a good idea to rent a storage space if you don't have a very large attic. If you use your own attic, remember that your storage is going to have to be NEAT! When you’re done, you should have only the essentials left in your home.

Depersonalize: Your goal here is to make your home feel inviting for SOMEONE ELSE to live in. Would you want to live in a house where someone else’s family photos are on the wall? Would you want to live in a house with a drum set if you didn’t play the drums? Again, pretend that you are turning your house into a beautiful hotel room. Carefully pack away all of your personalized items.

Clean: This isn't the kind of cleaning you do for an hour on a Saturday afternoon. This is the kind of cleaning that they do in the military from sun up to sun down! Your house needs to be spotless. You need to scrub baseboards, clean out cabinets, and wash windows. Clean, clean, clean… never too clean! Don’t forget outdoors. Your gardens, walkways, doorsteps, and garages need to be as clean and neat as your house.

Stage®: Staging® is like designing a set for a play or a movie. You need to look at each area and room and try to imagine what feeling it will evoke for a buyer. Do they want to curl up on that chaise and pull that soft throw over them and read a good book? Do they want to sip coffee at the café table nestled among the fresh blooms on the terrace? Your home should feel warm and inviting like a beautiful spa or resort. Take a deep breath… what does your home smell like? Plug in scented oil air fresheners in the kitchen with the cinnamon or vanilla to evoke visions of fresh baked goods from the oven.

Photograph: We HIGHLY recommend that you have your home professionally photographed. These affordable professionals bring high resolution cameras, wide angle lenses, and a wealth of knowledge and skill to capture your home at its best!

Show: Make sure to remove all pets for showings. Make sure shades are open, lights are on, and soft music is playing during showings. Have a nice color brochure of your home for buyers to take away with them. Good luck!