by | March 2015 | NAPLES DAILY NEWS | 0 comments

Most real estate professionals recognize the benefits of having an expert help prepare their clients’ homes in order to be listed to sell. Creating space by eliminating clutter and putting away personal effects is the most important way – besides pricing the property right – to accelerate the sale, as it allows prospective homebuyers to visualize how they would live in the home.

Remember, once you decide to sell your home; it becomes an “investment” and consequently should be treated objectivity like any other asset you’re trying to sell.

Movers typically charge by the pound and/or number of man-hours it takes to do the move. So get rid of the stuff you don’t use, don’t need and don’t want before you start interviewing moving companies.

And once you’ve selected a mover, don’t wait for the truck to pull up the driveway to start packing. Your home will show better with less stuff.

If you’re lucky enough to have found a new home to move into before you move out of your present digs, use the floor plan and/or blueprints to decide what will actually “fit” in your new home. Remember the old adage, “you can’t fit a square peg into a round hole.” In other words, if the sectional sofa won’t fit, you can’t take it with you.

When it comes to downsizing, leave the emotional baggage behind. If your parents saddled you with their heirlooms when they downsized – stuff you can’t get rid of because of guilt –why dump your own unwanted stuff on the next generation?

Call me cruel, but it’s time you to cut the umbilical cord. Tell your adult children to get their things out of your house, as you will no longer store their stuff; not in your new home, not in your garage and definitely not in an off-site storage unit.

When my siblings and I were in our 20’s and each owned our own home, our parents gave us a simple ultimatum, get your stuff out of our home in 48 hours or it’s gone

Of course none of us believed they would ever do such a thing.

If you’re considering shipping books, papers, photos and God-forbid, furniture and accessories to your kids, you’ll quickly change your mind once you realize how much it costs. If your kids really want that old bookcase and 20-year old mattress tell them to rent a truck, drive here and take it away themselves.

Sell Your Home? Here’s how:

  • Hire a professional organizer to help you put things in order.
  • Create the illusion of space by de-cluttering and organizing your closets. Hang clothing on matching thin velvet hangers, all facing the same direction, and make sure everything is put away neatly with nothing whatsoever on the floor.
  • Organize the linen closet and purge any old pillows, quilts and unmatched sets of towels and sheets. Fold the remaining items neatly to show off the space.
  • First impressions count! Give the front door a fresh coat of paint and plant some flowers along the walkway.
  • Have the windows professionally washed and carpets cleaned.
  • Check ceiling fans and chandeliers – make sure they’re clean and dust-free!
  • Rearrange the furniture to spotlight the views and increase traffic flow.
  • In larger rooms, turn one wall into an accent wall by painting it a different color than the rest.
  • Ditch the pics. You want the homebuyer to look at the home and not at the pictures and recipes on the refrigerator door. Enjoy these things in your new home; now is not the time to be sentimental.
  • Keep politics, religion and any personal preferences out of the picture by putting away any controversial photos, artwork, memorabilia, books and private items.
  • Pack up as many books as possible. Crowded bookshelves make a room look small, dark and cramped.
  • The easiest way to de-clutter is to get rid of every single magazine and newspaper (read or unread) immediately. Paper equals clutter.
  • Hide personal paperwork and correspondence. Given the chance, people will “sneak a peek.”
  • If you must accessorize, make it simple by grouping no more than three items together on a particular surface.
  • No plastic or silk floral arrangements. These are dust collectors and space hogs! Fresh flowers are always a nice touch.
  • Bake brownies the morning of an open house or use scented air fresheners to give each room a pleasant aroma. Homes that smell nice will leave a lasting impression. Homes were snacks are served will leave an even better impression.
  • Set the stage by turning on all the lights, opening the blinds and playing some soft background music; these little touches will help make your home memorable.
  • If a Realtor is showing your home, make sure you leave. As an extra ounce of prevention, take your computer, checkbook and jewelry with you during the open house.


Finally, if you’ve hired a real estate professional to list your home, trust him or her to know what’s best when it comes to preparing your home to be sold in a competitive marketplace.


Pack up “half” of everything that’s cluttering your closets, countertops, pantry, kitchen and garage, et cetera. Then pack up “half” of what remains. You’ll be left with a tidy home that will show well. Another benefit of packing up “half & half” is you’ll have a head start on preparing to move, which will ultimately save you time, money and aggravation.