In November I wrote a blog on preparing your home for sale.  It is very important to go through your home room by room and remove items that clutter the room.  Your comforts in day-to-day living, may not be the best presentation for selling your home.

How do you figure out what stays and what should go?  Start one room at a time.  Take away knick-knacks, personal photos, and bulky furniture that take up too much room.  If you are having difficulty with this, enlist the help of your REALTOR®.  They can help or they should have a resource or team member that can come over and help determine what stays and what goes.  One thing to remember is to not let it get personal.  The advice you are getting is advice to help you present your home in the best possible light and sell it at the best price in the shortest amount of time.

So what do you do if you don’t have any room to store furniture or boxes?  If you don’t have a place to store extra items that you want to save for your next house, one option is to rent a mobile storage unit.  Many companies will deliver a unit for you to load and store items in and then they will pick it up and store it until you are ready to move.  Here are a couple of companies that explain how this works:

The best part about removing clutter and extra furniture is that you have begun the long process of packing.  When you pack and store items you are not using, it makes your final pack and move that much easier.

Low Cost Repairs that Increase Resale Value

Which repairs will give you the most return on your investment and help your home sell for more? 

HomeGain, a real estate marketing company, surveyed close to 600 real estate professionals to find out which home improvement projects give sellers the biggest return on their money.  Here is a list of seven projects and approximate cost for the Treasure Valley area (amounts are estimated). 

1.      Cleaning and de-cluttering. Remove any personal items, un-clutter countertops, organize closets and shelves, and make the home sparkling clean.

  • $150 Cost
  • $1,000 to $1,400 Return

2.       Lighting: Clean all windows inside and out, replace old curtains, update lighting fixtures, and remove anything that blocks light from the windows.

  • $350 Cost
  • $1,000 to $1,400 Return

3.      Staging:  Rearrange furniture, bring in new accessories and furnishings to enhance rooms, incorporate artwork, and play soft music in the background.

  • $450 Cost
  • $1,000 to $1,900 Return

4.      Landscaping/Yard:  Spruce up the home’s curb appeal in the front and back yards by adding bark mulch, bushes, and flowers and ensuring current plants and grass are well-cared for and manicured.

  • $350 Cost
  • $1,500 to $1,900 return

5.      Repairing electrical or plumbing:  Fix leaks under the sinks, remove any mildew stains, and ensure all plumbing is in good working condition. Update the home’s electrical with new wiring for modern appliances, fix any lights or outlets that don’t work, and replace old plug points with new safety fixtures.

  • $350 Cost
  • $1,000 to $1,500 Return

6.      Replacing or shampooing dirty carpets:  Steam-clean carpets, replace any worn carpets, and repair any floor creaks.

  • $625 Cost
  • $1,000 to $1,500 Return

7.      Paint/Touch up Interior:  Repair any damaged interior walls by patching all chips, holes and cracks; then touch up or repaint interior walls with neutral color.

  • $625 Cost
  • $1,500 to $2,000 Return

Excerpted from HomeGain’s 2011 Home Sale Maximizer

Portion of Article taken from National Association of REALTORS®, website

Here are a few great tips on creating an atmosphere that will impress buyers and make them want to buy your home.  Don’t forget, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.  Try to make the best first impression possible.  Follow these simple tips and create the competitive edge that may help you sell your home more quickly.

 Drive-Up/Curb Appeal

Trim trees and shrubs, clean out flower beds, and if you are listing in warmer weather, invest in a few flats of seasonal flowers. Paint the front door, make sure that the doorbell is working properly, wash the mailbox, keep the porch swept, and get an attractive mat for people to wipe their feet.


  • Make sure that your home is aired out and smelling fresh.  A lot of people will be turned off by even slight odors.  Eliminate odors, especially those caused by dogs and cats, soiled diapers, and/or cigarettes.
  • Wash all the windows, inside and out
  • If your carpets have not been cleaned for a while, get them cleaned.  Bare floors should be cleaned and waxed or polished.
  • Go through every room and pack up nick knacks.
  • Pack away some furniture to open rooms up and make them look larger
  • Put bright bulbs in every socket possible.  Make the rooms bright and cheery.
  • Clean out closets, cabinets, and drawers. Closets should look like they have enough room to hold additional items. Remove things from the floors.  Pack up extra items that you have stored on shelves so it looks more spacious.
  • If you have a wood burning fireplace, clean out the ashes.
  • Keep the kitchen sparkling clean. Make sure that all appliances are clean at all times. Straighten cupboards that appear cluttered.  Keep floors clean.
  • Take all unnecessary objects from the kitchen countertops.  Take pictures, magnets, messages off of the refrigerator. 
  • Make sure that any pull-down attic stairs, are working correctly. Make sure there is lighting in the attic.
  • Remove all unnecessary items from countertops, tubs and shower stalls in bathrooms.  Coordinate towels to one or two colors only.
  • Check caulking in bathroom.  Freshly caulk if it looks dingy or old.  Grout should be clean and in good condition too.  Make sure there are no leaks in the faucet or pipes.
  • Keep the front yard and sidewalk clean and uncluttered. 
  • Look at your home room by room.  Paint in neutral tones if necessary.
  • If you don’t service your HVAC unit once a year, have it serviced.
  • Check your crawl space and attic to make sure you don’t have leaks, water issues and any other problems.

Consider getting a home inspection prior to listing your home.  The inspector will bring up items that will need to be fixed and will crawl in the attic and crawl space.  You will have a list of items you know may be an issue with a buyer.  Getting an inspection early could save money on negotiations when you get an offer in.

Once your home is on the market:

When you leave the house in the morning or during the day, leave it as if you know it is going to be shown.

  • Make sure the home smells good.
  • Leave lights on and window treatments open to let in light.
  • Turn off television, but a radio station with a mellow music is nice.
  • Keep pets out of the house if possible OR at least out-of-the-way.  Some people are uncomfortable around animals and some may even be allergic to them.
  • Leave the premises.  Buyers are often intimidated if the seller is there and often rush through the house.  Put the buyers at ease by leaving.