Getting your home ready to sell can be a lot of work. I find that sellers who invest in curb appeal, clearing clutter, and cleaning windows help buyers fall in love with their house.

Curb Appeal. First impressions matter. Drive up to your home as if you were a new buyer. What do you see? Are the gutters full of debris? Is the driveway clean? Do your flower beds need some fresh mulch and a little trimming? Are there brown spots or unmanicured areas in the lawn? Now, walk to the front door. Does it need a fresh coat of paint or varnish? Is the hardware okay or does it look past its prime? Look up, are there cobwebs or nests in the corners of the porch? Remember, this is the location a buyer stands waiting for an agent to unlock the door. They have time to look around and notice these things. Make a ‘to do’ list – and get it done!

Clearing Clutter. Buyers want to imagine your house with their belongings. Clean out closets to show off how much space is available. The same goes for kitchen and bathroom cabinets. If you don’t use it every day, consider packing it up and storing it. You don’t really need 50 glasses and 30 plates right now, do you? Having less clutter and storing your excess items makes it easier to keep your home tidy and show ready!

Being organized helps you when it’s time to start packing. When you are getting ready to sell, it’s a great time to make three piles: keep, donate, and throw away. For the keep pile, consider storage bins or other helpful organizing gadgets. It’s okay to box things too, but make sure they’re stacked neatly in a closet. Clearly buyers know you’re moving!

Some sellers rent a storage unit, others use PODS (Century 21 has a special discount for sellers and buyers with PODS). A POD is a special container delivered by the company right to your driveway. You or your movers fill it up and the PODS service returns to pick up the unit and store it for you. This is also great if you have a home full of furniture. A staged home usually has much less furniture than one that’s lived in. Less furniture makes your rooms look bigger!  Remember to de-clutter and organize the garage too.

Don't forget the windows! Photo Credit: Tristram Brelstaff (CC BY 2.0)

Don’t forget the windows! Photo Credit: Tristram Brelstaff (CC BY 2.0)

Don’t forget the details. Deep clean your home. Are the light switches clean? Are there any burned out bulbs that need replacing? Are the baseboards or ceiling fans dusty?  Would a fresh, neutral coat of paint give your walls just the right touch? Have the carpets been cleaned? If they’re in bad shape, consider replacing them. Change those air filters and clean the return air duct grill. Buyers say they can overlook items like paint and carpet, but in reality a first impression goes a long way. When a buyer walks through the door and starts adding up money they’ll need to spend just to move in, it can hurt your home’s ultimate ranking on their list.

Clean the Windows. One final tip: have your windows professionally cleaned.  You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!  Your house will sparkle from the outside and the inside and sunlight will fill your home.

If you need recommendations on any service company or to get information on a discount for the PODS storage unit, give me a call.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Diane Lominac is an Associate Broker for CENTURY 21 Realty Partners in the Greater Houston, Texas area.  Diane is a Centurion® top producer, President’s Award winner, and Pinnacle Quality Service Award winner.  She’s a native Houstonian currently living in Montgomery County, Texas.  Diane can be reached at (713) 515-9775 or