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Preparing your house for sale


As a real estate agent and broker for the past 15 years, I have prepared just about every type of home for sale, ranging from foreclosed and distressed properties to million dollar listings. Below are the top 10 must do things to show the property well and get top dollars.


  • 1. Declutter and declutter – less is more. If you have lots of furnishings and decorations, store some of them. Have a garage sale or donate some of them! Unless you are a hoarder, I would suggest you get psychological help before you put your home on the market.
  • 2. Cleanliness is next to godliness- nothing is more of a turn off to buyers and to agents than a dirty, sloppy, and smelly house. Make sure all bathrooms and kitchen look and smell clean, clothes put away, beds made, closets and pantry organized. Buy plug-in air freshener in each bathroom, kitchen, each bedroom and at entry and pick a soft gentle scent, and not one strong and will give buyers a headache!
  • 3. Fix those broken items – buyers will nit pick your home if they see things that need repair such as ripped window and door screens, holes on walls and ceilings, missing fence slats, cracked tiles or warped baseboard. Get a pest and home inspection so you know the condition of the house and fix those items called out for repair especially Section 1 (dry rot) repair. The items not repaired will be a bargaining chip for buyers to reduce the price of their offer
  • 4. Change the carpet – if your carpet is older that 8 years old, matted, tattered at some areas, or need to be stretched, or worse with pet urine and poop stain, it is time to replace that carpet with new one. Lifespan of carpet is 8 -10 years. If you have pet stain, no amount of carpet steam cleaning will remove the odor and stain as it is already embedded in the carpet backing and padding, and even worse the plywood subfloor. If you don’t want to change the carpet in this condition, then you are cheap, you will not sell you house, and you are wasting your time and your agent’s time
  • 5. Send your pets away – or put them in their kennel when prospective buyers are coming. Nothing is more intimidating when your hyper chihuahua is jumping on a buyer or a cat is scurrying away during a visit. Some are even allergic to them like me!
  • Paint your walls – the smell of fresh paint gives a great impression to buyers of newness. Stick to neutral colors like khaki or beige. Baby blue, pink, purple, harvest gold, avocado green, or any obnoxious colors will turn off most buyers.
  • 6. De- personalize – if a section of your house looks like a shrine or a church, or a hallway way filled with family photos, or your kitchen still has flower-themed wallpaper and matching drapes, it’s time to take them down! I am a Filipino American and was raised Catholic. When I walk into a typical Filipino or Hispanic home, I feel like I’m walking into a makeshift Catholic Church with several crucifix on the wall and a host of statues of saints. Your home should appeal to the general population.Let there be light – open the blinds, pull up the shades, and draw back curtains and let natural light come in. Change all the burned out bulbs, turn on all the lights when holding a open house.
  • 7. Let there be light – open the blinds, draw the curtains, and pull up the shade. Let as much natural light flood your home to create a bright and cheery atmosphere. Dark spaces feel gloomy and depressing. Replace allthe burned out light bulbs. All the lights and should be turned on when holding an open house.
  • 8. Modernize – if you still have that Brady Bunch style harvest gold appliances and have laminate countertops it’s time to replace them with stainless steel appliances and quarts or granite countertops to give your kitchen a modern clean look
  • 9. Staging – hire a professional stager to if you are selling a vacant home. A staged home creates a lasting first impression with buyers and is a proven method to sell it faster and at a higher price than compared to a vacant property.
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