Today I thought it would be a good idea to talk about things that you can do as a homeowner before we get ready to put that “For Sale” sign in the ground.

There’s a quote that goes something like: “Your current assets have a direct effect on your financial future”. That covers such a broad spectrum but we can pare that down to what is possibly your greatest asset, your home. Part of my role as a Realtor is to make sure that you, The seller, get top dollar for your home.

Let me ask you a question, “how does your home look to you?” When you drive up does it make you feel satisfied that it’s looking it’s best? Or, is it looking a little neglected? In my experience as a Realtor, I can safely say that I’ve seen a lot when it comes to houses. Everyone talks about curb appeal and as we all know first impressions are lasting impressions. I can tell you that the things that won’t help you sell your home are rusted out cars in the front yard, even if it’s an ongoing project. Worse than that, a broken toilet that was replaced inside but now has pride of place outside when people walk up to your front door- and planting roses in the bowl doesn’t help.

Some of the things that will help your curb appeal- 1) Removing all weeds 2) Planting some colorful flowers 3) Repainting the front door, just making sure that the front of your home is clean and presentable. Before we go inside one aspect of the home that gets missed or ignored is the fascia- this can become a big deal later and we see this one a lot. Peeling paint or even no paint on the fascia will always get picked up in the inspections and could even get called-out in the wood-destroying pest report. The reason being that the exposed wood is an ideal area for dry rot which is a fungus that feeds on cellulose/wood. I can tell you that appraisers will put this in their report and lenders don’t like to see it. It’s one of many things that can hold up your transaction.

Okay so we rely on multiple senses and one, in particular, our sense of smell can create a lasting impression. So, if you walk into your home are you greeted with the aroma of fresh-baked bread? Or, do you have pets? One of the biggest turn-offs is the smell of cat or more to the point cat urine. I’ve seen some very nice homes but the smell of cat urine was so overwhelming that it became the one enduring image of what would be an otherwise very nice home.

Another very common topic is Clutter. One person’s clutter might well be another’s minimalist décor but it’s worth remembering how important Space is and that buyers are always looking at how they will fit all their belongings. So, do a clean sweep of counters, windowsills, tables, and all other visible areas, and then tackle behind closed doors: closets, drawers, and cupboards—since virtually nothing is off-limits for curious buyers. While you are decluttering it’s a good idea to depersonalize as well. Try and remove personal items and family photos, as well as bold artwork such as posters that might make the home less appealing to the general public. The goal is to create a blank canvas on which buyers can project their own visions of living there and loving it.

Decluttering is a great opportunity to clean up those small clumps of dust/dust bunnies and scuff marks. But don’t stop there, keep cleaning and in the process, you’ll get to fix all those loose door and drawer handles. Remember, it’s about presentation and making the best impression possible.
Finally, make sure all your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are installed and fully functioning, that your hot water heater has the required straps fitted as well as the relief valve and if you have an attached garage that the utility door to the house is fire-rated and installed with self-closing hinges- these are non-negotiables.

We’ve covered a lot here and there are always more questions which we are happy to answer. You can find us at

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Making financial decisions today, especially about buying or selling a home can be challenging. I’m Tori Millan of and a real estate agent in

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