Preparing to List - Clean, Declutter, Stage

Blog Post Image
Home Improvement

A clean, decluttered, staged home is a necessity to selling in today's real estate market.  The home will photograph better which will drive more showing traffic and will result in higher purchase price offers as sellers see the true potential of the house as their home.   Joyce Team will complete a walk-through with you at the time of the listing appointment to make suggestions specific to your home, but here are a few best practices to get you started.  

A good, deep clean

Vacuum, wipe off the counters, yeah, yeah, yeah. NO! We are talking about a DEEP clean. 

Grand Entrance

Sweep the entry way, remove any leaves, check for spider webs, clean the door and door handle and windows. Trim trees and shrubs. It is amazing how much your curb appeal will increase without overgrown landscaping.  

Scour your shower.  

Everyone peeks behind that pretty shower curtain. Bathrooms sell houses.  


Ideally your house should smell like nothing.  DO NOT smoke in your house prior to putting it on the market.  DO NOT use air fresheners, a good smell to you may not be to someone else and an air freshener leaves buyers wondering what smell other smell you are trying to cover up.  Keep any cat liter boxes clean and out of sight.  

If you aren't a person who is capable of deep cleaning, and not everyone is, hire a professional to get down on their hands and knees and SCRUB.  The investment of time and money will be returned in your home's sale price. 


Remove all personal pictures

People want to picture their family here, not yours.  If you plan to patch and paint the nail holes, great.  But it is better to leave the nails in (as a last resort), than to have holes in the wall.  Perhaps the new buyer's can hang something in the same place.  The other option is to replace all personal pictures with scenery shots of stock photography.

Box up knick knacks

Surfaces should have a maximum of 3 (non-personal) items
Clean out closets, cabinets and shelves to leave "space".  People will open these hidden spaces and if they are busting at the seam, the house will feel small and like it will be soon outgrown.  


Our experience is that buyers will generally walk into a room and make at least one comment about the space.  What comment do you want them to make?  Make sure your prospective buyers aren't distracted with these basics to home staging.   

1. Clean out the closets now. You'll have to before you move anyways.  Leave some empty hanger and shelf space to highlight the storage space.  You should have already done this in the "declutter" step above anyways.  

2. Brighten up the spaces with light bulbs, the brightest ones you can buy for your fixtures.  

3. Remove any dark or heavy blinds and curtains to let the natural light shine in. Make sure your windows and screens are clean too to maximize natural light.