Ready, Set, Sell

The home selling season will soon be upon us and many seniors will be thinking about listing their house for sale.  Whether downsizing or moving to a retirement community, while temperatures are still chilly outside, it is the perfect time for potential sellers to start thinking about how to freshen up their homes and start decluttering.

We all have junk but some seniors who have lived in a home for many years may have an abundance of knick knacks.

“Buyers want to see a fantasy version of your house, in which they can envision living,” explains’s advice column.

Realtors recommend using a checklist for decluttering;

Remove any personal items; photos and mementos should be out of sight.

Remove clutter from countertops, shelves and coffee tables.

Repair, remove or replace any broken items.

Keep the house clean.  A clean home is estimated to bring in about 3 per more than a dirty one.  It also gives the appearance of a well maintained home.

Remove excess furniture…taking out extra chairs can open up a room and create more space.

Minor repairs such as new caulk in the bathroom or replacing outdated light fixtures will make the home look fresh and neat.

If you have a two-car garage, make sure you can park two cars in there.

By getting the inside checklist done during these last few weeks of winter, there will be more time to attack the outside of the house in the Spring.  Curb appeal is important to a positive first impression.   Many buyers will do a drive-by inspection of the home before they even call a realtor, so make sure the outside is spotless.  You may even want to consider painting the front door and trim, an area that homeowners often overlook.

A well-maintained garden, fresh paint or a good washing down of the exterior can vastly improve curb appeal.  Make sure all pathways are in good repair and the driveway is properly maintained.  Also check that all outdoor light fixtures are in working order and gutters are free from debris that may cause problems during a Spring rain when you want to show the house.

By getting a good start now, your home will be ready to sell and you may be half-way to being packed up and decluttered before you have your first showing.