A Practical Guide to Getting Your Home Ready for Sale!

If you have a property you are ready to put on the market, you know that there are going to be some things you are going to need to do, to get your home ready for market.

When we complete our Home Ready Consultation with you, we know all to well that our clients can often feel overwhelm after being handed the list of recommendations on their property report. So, to relive some of that overwhelm, we have prepared this guide to breaking down the enormous mountain that looms overhead.

We have created a Priority List of how to begin the process, as well as some valuable suggestions on how to mange the challenge.

First, notice I said Mountain – the first thing that we all do, is look at the entire picture and this is where we become overwhelmed. What we need to do is break it all down, and then prioritize what needs to be done first.

Begin your purge with your KEY rooms in your property and then work down from there. The KEY rooms are; Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen, Family Room (where applicable), Master Bedroom & En-suite (where applicable).

It is also important to focus your attention on anything you can see from your entry (including your entry).

Let’s Begin…

1. Create a Service Provider List

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Key priority items that are non negotiable always make the list.

This will streamline who is coming when and at what time. It will also help you to nail down your timelines and budget. This is crucial in getting everything done prior to listing. It will also help you to know what is achievable within your budget and timeline.

This way; you can co-ordinate you’re to-do-list, make arrangements with work and ensure that the family is well informed throughout the process. Especially if they have tasks that you have assigned them, they will be better prepared for any interruptions and become familiar with the schedule of events.

You will need to co-ordinate all involved during the Sweat Equity Tasks listed below.

2. Get Your Floor Plans Straight

Living Room Before
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Family oriented and showcased to sell!

Once your Property Stylist has identified what pieces need to stay or to go, then please remove items off site, so that you are well prepared for Showcasing Day!

This applies to spaces in your home that are overcrowded. If your Property Stylist is asking you to remove a portion of your furnishings to ensure a proper floor plan, then best case scenario is to have the furniture removed from the house completely. You don’t want the perception to be that you emptied the contents of your house into your garage or basement.

This task is easier done when most of the DE-cluttering has already been done, but this can be a high priority item to get done right away if it impacts getting help and working with other people’s timelines, so we have added this task to the top of the list.

If you have a lot of content on the furniture, place the contents on another surface and get these large pieces out the door and then follow the steps below.

3. Take the Garbage Out

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Time to recycle!

This is one of the first things to do in the DE-cluttering process. Why, because we don’t have to put much thought into things that clearly are ready for the trash. If it’s broken, out it goes!

This should be a fairly simple process, because we know that the simple answer is; that if it is no longer useful, it should be thrown out, donated, or recycled.

If you find yourself holding onto something promising that you will fix it, this is the time to seriously evaluate that idea.

You would be surprised how many people collect plastic, tin and paper. Take out containers are a big one on the; what gets stashed in the home list of things to purge. I understand that re-using is a very environmentally friendly thing to do, so perhaps consider donating these items to a school, library, daycare center etc… Or simply recycle them or pack them up.

Plan this around Garbage and Recycle collection times and get it to the curb OR get it into the car and to the donation center now. This may be an item that you add to your service provider list, as many charitable donation centers pick up household items for free. 

4. Remove Personal Photos and Collectibles

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Cute but Distracting!

This is another step in the DE-cluttering process. Most people know how important it is to remove personal photos when listing your property for sale, but if you are unclear, you can read our article for more information on this topic.

But basically put; it is all about emotionally detaching yourself from the property so that your buyer can visualize themselves living in your home – without distraction.

Collectibles are another thing that you should get packed up, why, because they could become damaged while people are touring your home and too many collectibles can be a distraction and appear as visual clutter.

5. Pack up your Seasonal Items

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Organized Closets Look Amazing!

Your buyers are buying the idea of functionality and organization.

Many of us tend to keep all your Winter and Summer clothes, in our closets, while some of us may rotate. If you do happen to have all your clothes in one closet (or several) then we suggest that you pack up your seasonal clothing and reduce the volume of clothing you keep out during the time your house is on the market.

In the same way, go through your linen closet and pack up your winter sheets & blankets and try to live with a more limited supply for the time being.

This also applies to OVERSTOCK – we tend to buy in bulk a lot these days with the cost savings of Costco, so pair down and keep the essentials handy in a clearly labeled bin (which you can keep in a storage area out of site) and pack the rest.

6. Create Space in Cabinets

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Glass Door Cabinets Should Look Stunning!

It is important to ensure that your counter-top looks spacious but impressive! It should represent a lifestyle.

Many people think that because they are trying to feature counter space, that they need to clear their counter of all items. We say; that although ‘less is more’, ‘too little is not enough’.

The idea is; that you pack up your small appliances that you know you won’t be needing during the time your home is on the market, so that you can create room for your everyday items behind closed doors.

Just be mindful to not over stuff your cupboards, people are buying storage. This is especially important if your target market buyer is a family. 

7. Office Re-org

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Removing the cabinetry really opened up this space.

Since many of us work from home, and the paper does tend to pile up with a busy workload and the mere thought of having to organize your office during this hectic time, can be overwhelming in of it’s own. 

Although we have this listed closer to the end of the list, it seems that this task is never an easy one to deal with. To reduce some stress as you prepare your home for sale our suggestion is to piece meal this task. Work on your home office on a day to day basis.

Having said this though, if your home office is a disaster, and on the main floor, it then becomes a KEY room and so should be dealt with in the same way you would each KEY room.

Store paper in banker boxes and remove them from the house all together or store them neatly in an organized system in your storage room in your basement.

8. Cleaning is Your Best Friend!

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Don’t turn off your potential buyers with foul household odors

Seriously, don’t take this personally! Everyone has dirt to clean no matter how clean you are! Trust me on this one. I am talking about getting down to the nitty-gritty here.

Do such things as;

  • washing under & behind appliances
  • vacuuming furniture and or steam cleaning them
  • window washing
  • clean your window treatments
  • look up and get rid of cobwebs

The list goes one, so for more information you can read our entire article on this topic.

Plan your clean right before you list, before photos, and before your Property Stylist Showcases your home for best results.

Remember anything that is on your To-Do-List that does not get done, goes on your buyers To-Do-List.

9. Review your Property & Report

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Key priority items that are non negotiable always make the list.

This is a key component to ensure that you feel your property is ready for listing. Have a look around at everything such as;

  • Are all of your light bulbs the same colour or hue?
  • Are all of your light fixtures clean and bug free?
  • Are your appliances clean both inside and out?
  • Are you windows and mirrors clean to a sparkling finish?
  • Have you removed any odors that may be lingering?
  • Is all garbage, recycle and laundry baskets emptied?
  • Are you linen’s clean including pet beds?
  • Have you checked in with the temperature of your home – ensure it is a comfortable climate for your buyers when visiting or they will not want to linger.
  • Does your curb appeal – appeal?

10. Day of Showcasing!

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Vacant and ready to go
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The big day has arrived. This will have already been booked in advance and should be on your calendar and on your family’s calendar’s so that everyone is prepared. One thing I cannot stress enough, is to be fully prepared and ready for your Property Stylist to showcase your property on this day.

This means;

  • Be fully moved out (if this is applicable).
  • Have each room in the order your stylist has recommended (meaning all pieces that are to stay in this room are present and accounted for and all pieces are out of this room, that are to be gone).
  • Have the house clean.
  • Have all linens cleaned.
  • Have lane way or parking access for your Stylist and furniture movers.
  • Have a key or code accessible for your Stylist.
  • Have a point of contact for emergencies (if you are not available during the time your property is being showcased, have an alternate contact, or provide additional contact info should they not be able to reach you by phone) by phone, text, Facebook Messenger, email, or whatever you tend to respond to the quickest.

We hope that you have found this information to be helpful, and we wish you the very best in a Top Dollar, Speedy sale.

Remember, showcasing your property effectively is an investment from the perception of your buyer. 


Cindy & Gilbert

As always, helping you in caring for your Total Home!


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