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We have decided to sell our home. What comes next?

Once the decision is made to sell your home, the big question is – what now?

Most homeowner’s are interviewing two or three Realtors to potentially list their home.  I would say that I get hired because of the answer to their first question:  “what do you want us to do?’  I have a reputation for breaking records in communities and I think its a direct reflection of how we present and market the house.

How to Prepare

  1. The Edit – What does your family value and what is important?  You will need to go through each room and closet.  Make three piles: keep, maybe’s, and get rid of.
  2. Declutter –  After the edit, you need to determine what will be used for staging, what to pack up for the move and what to give away or donate.
  3. Pre-Packing – Pack up the items that you will be keeping but that arent needed to present your home in its best light.  Store them neatly in the garage or get a storage unit.

Determining Your Demographic

This is an important step.  Do you have a big house with lots of bedrooms in a neighborhood with great schools?  Chances are your home will sell to a family.  Are you in a patio home close to shopping and restaurants?  The chances are your demographic is empty nesters.  Are you in a high-rise condo with no maintenance?  The chances are your demographic is young couples or active adults (55+).  Maybe you live in a community of all one-story homes that can fall in a few different demographics.  We actually have access to this exact data.  Once we know this, we can start space planning and arranging the rooms to best appeal to that demographic.

Whole House Edit

Do you have features or items that are outdated?  Draperies, valances, lighting or things that dont quite go with today’s lifestyle?  These are easy to remove or replace.  Depending on how far you want to go, paint, countertops, cabinetry refinishing, and flooring also make a dramatic difference and it will show in your final net proceeds.

Organizing & Cleaning

One of the absolute most important things is to have a clean and organized home.  Buyers will open cabinets, closets, shower curtains and even the refrigerator.  Its important to have the pantry clean, the kitchen drawers clean and everything organized not just free of crumbs.  Another thing is that a clean and fresh house makes up for a lot of outdated things.  Dont forget the front yard and backyard.


I often suggest, especially if you’ve been in your home for a while, to do a home inspection.  This way you will have all of the little stuff repaired ahead of time and you will give the appearance of maintaining your home well.  At least twice now I have had clients that caught a potential disaster ahead of time.

Life Stylizing

I like to refer to this next step as Life Stylizing rather than “Staging.”  We arrange the rooms to best suit the purpose of the buyer you are most likely to get.  For example, are kids rooms needed?  Is space for an office ideal?  Does additional family space appeal to your buyer?  Its important that each room serve a purpose so that the homebuyer can envision themselves there.  Now we get to work space planning and arranging.

The Fluff

The fluff is the final detail.  Think pre-planning on what you want in your new home.  Adding big accessories rather than a bunch of little stuff.  New updated lighting is important for coziness and low lighting. New bedspreads in the bedrooms (especially in the master), on-trend pillows on the sofas, artwork, an afghan or two,   If you have your new home picked out and know what you want to get rid of now, go ahead and buy now if it will fit the theme.

You’re Ready!

This is my area of expertise and I know you will get at least $10,000 more than the last home that sold in your neighborhood if you follow my advise.  We would love to have you as a client.  Call us if you would like an estimate of the current value and what we think we can sell it for if you follow our advise.  More on selling your home with Stacy Sheeley.