Real estate & Design

Serving the south shore & cape cod, Massachusetts 

Lisa Mahaney

The Basics: Getting Ready to Sell Your Home
March 1, 2017


Making the decision to sell your home is a big one!  The thought of getting your home ready for resale can also be overwhelming.  That's why I'm giving you the basics for getting started.  It's actually pretty simple.  It can take a bit of time, but it's worth it in the end!


1. Declutter

Seriously, HOW did I collect so much crap?  I don't know, but we all do!  A huge part of staging a home is decluttering it.  It will make your space look more open and simply more appealing for a potential buyer!  Hide or store all the toys, the books, magazines, your mail, the shoes, the book bags.  Some clients have asked me, is it OK for me to stuff my closets full?  Absolutely--that's what closets are for!!  BUT, I have one rule.  ORGANIZE IT.  Organized chaos is what I call it.  Closets and basement are great places for storage, but do your best to make it NOT look like a complete disaster.  Disasters stress people out.  Put your stuff in boxes & pile things up nicely.  I don't really care if what's inside the boxes is organized, just make it look like it's nice & neat.  If you simply have too much stuff and you can't find hiding spots for them, box some of it up and bring it to a family or friends basement.  I'm sure they won't mind.  
  • Toys - this is a big one.  People with children have toys.  There is no way around this, but my recommendation is to contain them all in one place (a playroom or the child's bedroom) or hide them.  For people who don't have children, toys are overwhelming.  Again, organized chaos.
  • Kitchen & Bathroom Counters - get rid of it all!  Clear everything off of the counters.  Put some flowers or a nice decorative accent out instead of your face cream or bread.  And, I'm sorry, you will have to pull out your coffee pot every morning.  Oh, and organize the inside of your showers--people look in there!  
  • Furniture and Flow - some people collect shoes, other people collect furniture.  When someone walks into your home for a showing or an open house, it should feel open.  If you have to scooch between a table and a chair to get through the room, this means you have to open up the flow.  Reconfiguring furniture or removing it from a space may be necessary.  Most homes are setup for the function of a family's lifestyle, but when you're staging a home, function sometimes needs to be thrown out the window.  

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2. Neutralize 

The pictures of your kids are beautiful and your wedding photo is stunning, but you really don't want potential buyers focusing on that.  Let's face it, a buyer will start thinking about who lives there and start trying to figure out your story and what you're all about  "Oh yeah, it looks like they have 3 kids-- 2 boys and a girl.  I think the youngest a newborn...oh yup, I found the crib!".  Or "Do I know him?  Maybe I used to work with him...he looks so familiar".  Yeah, we don't want that.  We want them looking at YOUR HOUSE, not you!!  Take down those pictures.  Take them down.  All of them.  Make it hard for a buyer to make up a story about you!  Neutralizing also helps with decluttering (see point #1)!!  The bookshelves will look clean, the walls will be fresh and people won't be talking about you.  If your walls are now blank because they were filled with pictures of you and your family, take a ride to Homegoods and the Christmas Tree Shops and pick up a few pieces of neutral wall decor (mirrors are a great option)!  Neutralizing your space is a key element in getting your home ready for resale--in general, people who go into a home like to be able imagine themselves there, not the family that they just made a story up about.


3. Spruce up the Joint
Clean your house...that's all.  Clean it.  Vacuum, dust, wash the floors, wipe down the counters,.  
If your walls are dented and have scuff marks all over them, consider slapping on a fresh coat of paint.  If your carpets are nasty, rent a rug cleaner from Home Depot and clean them.  If you have larger projects that you know will help sell the home, try to get them done before the house is listed so they can be shown in the pictures.  
Kitchens & Bathrooms are what tend to get people most excited about a home.  These are great places to make updates before selling.  If your cabinets are outdated and tired, consider having them professionally painted.  We had this done our kitchen at our old home and it completely changed the look of our house (Shout out to Designs by Michelle for doing the work!).  I recently painted our bathroom cabinets and I love how they look.  It honestly was a pretty easy project, believe it or not.  Also if you have formica countertops a great way to freshen them up is with a countertop paint made by Rust-o-leum.  My brother-in-law did this at their house and it came out great!  http://www.homedepot.com/p/Rust-Oleum-Transformations-48-oz-Charcoal-Small-Countertop-Kit-258512/202885350

So there you have it--the Lisa Mahaney basics when it comes to getting your house ready to sell!  DECLUTTER, NEUTRALIZE and SPRUCE THINGS UP.  Having your house ready for a showing at any possible moment is hard and stressful, but taking these steps will help you (hopefully) sell your house faster!! 


Thank you for taking the time to read my very first blog post!
Lisa