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Clean until you can’t clean any more

Of course you want every room to appeal to potential buyers, but it shouldn’t just be clean; it should be pristine. This means getting down on your hands and knees to scrub those baseboards, cleaning out the vents, and even taking a toothbrush to the bathroom tile. Buyers notice every little thing, and they aren’t too shy to pull out drawers, open cabinets, or peruse your closets, so don’t forget about those. To save yourself some time and make sure the job is done right, consider hiring a professional cleaning crew to come in and deep-clean your home.


Decluttering and cleaning are two very different things. Clutter can be anything from a shelf full of collectibles to a pile of magazines beside the couch, and everything in between. It’s all a distraction from the awesomeness of your home, so clean it up and find a new home for it all. If you’re unsure of what to do with collections while your home is on the market, box them up carefully and put them in storage for the time being. Move a few pieces of furniture into storage so that the rooms look bigger.

Re-home your pet

This option isn’t forever, of course, just while your home is on the market. Pets are lovely when they’re yours, but for buyers, they can represent damage, stains, and hard-to-get-rid-of odors. If possible, ask a friend to take over caring for your pet for a little while or hire a boarder to take him in. Remove all traces of him in the house, including the crate or dog house, food dishes, toys, and leashes.

Fix up the yard

Curb appeal will help attract buyers to your home, and it could actually add to the value of the house as well, meaning a return on your investment. In many cases, it doesn’t take much. Painting the front door, adding new exterior light fixtures, planting a few colorful flowers, and cleaning up the gutters are some of the most common DIY projects for the front of the home. Around back, you want to make sure the yard is nice, especially if you have a dog who likes to dig, and that any fencing you have is in good shape. Make sure you have a well-groomed lawn, prune your trees, and power wash the outside of your house.   When a home is properly staged and prepared for potential buyers, it will shine. Making sure your house is ready for visitors to walk through will help ensure a quick sale and will take some stress off your shoulders while the home is on the market, meaning you can focus on moving and getting your new home ready for your family.

Suzie Wilson

Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.