Plenty of sites have a lot of advice on how to properly sell your home, including this very one. You can find tips and tricks on almost any aspect of the buying or selling process. But when you’re selling a home, there are really only three absolutely essential things you need to do to your home, and that’s declutter, depersonalize, and clean, clean, clean. Here’s what to do in each of those steps to ensure your home looks its absolute best for when your real estate agent starts showing it to potential buyers.

1. Declutter

The first thing you need to do when you are going to sell your home is get rid of the clutter. This simply cannot be emphasized enough. Cluttered rooms, especially in a buyer’s market, are a great way to send people out the door and looking elsewhere. Cluttered rooms imply the home is unkempt and make any room look less inviting and smaller. In places like basements, it can also be suspicious, suggesting that all the clutter is blocking someone’s path to a thorough inspection, or covering up some sort of damage that wasn’t fixed. The very first thing you should do when selling a home is get rid of that excess clutter. You can either throw it out, donate it, or simply put it in an off-site storage container, but whatever you do, cut down the clutter.

2. Depersonalize

Yes, this is your home, but when you decide to sell it, you are also making the decision that it isn’t going to be your home for much longer. With that in mind, it’s time to make the home look good for the buyers, and not just for yourself. Start by clearing our any sentimental items that others may not like, including collections of strange things, big portraits of the family, and any height markers from when your kids were growing up. Next, it’s a good idea to redo any bold decorating choices, including old sentimental furniture, bright or strangely-coloured walls, and anything else that screams too much personality. By making these changes, you can help prospective buyers envision their future home rather than feeling awkward about being in someone else’s home.

3. Clean, Clean, Clean

The final step before you open your home for buyers is to put in some elbow grease and start cleaning. Unkempt homes don’t sell because they seem smaller than they are, but unclean homes aren’t sold because no one wants to take out a mortgage for a dirty home. Start by cleaning absolutely everything, from the awkward space behind the toilet to the inside of the oven. Steam cleaning the carpets is a great way to make the home look newer as well, as is putting fresh paint on any walls that need it. Expect to spend a lot of time cleaning when you first decide to sell your home, but be sure to keep it up throughout the sales process. After all, living is dirty, so be sure to clean up after yourself throughout the selling period.

Posted by Gurpreet Ghatehora on


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Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. Copyright 2023 by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. All rights reserved.

Listing information last updated on June 2nd, 2023 at 2:46am CDT.