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Making your home a product for sale: Pre-Pictures prep

After spending some time with a client this weekend, talking about getting their home ready for pictures and market, I thought it a good time to grab this list and share it! It appears on many a website, so I’ve pieced together what I tell my clients based on one of the more popular lists online.

But, getting your home ready for Market is more than the list below, it’s also a mental shift in focus for you as a seller. This is when you can really start to change your thinking and plant the seed that your home is no longer your home, it’s now a product. That’s not to discount the many memories and time you have spent inside those four walls, but remember, you want to sell those four walls, and to do that, this shift in thinking is the first step that should come before tackling the below list.

Making your home a product will allow some one else to see themselves and their own family making future memories in your space. In order for buyers to be able to see themselves living in your home, the energy surrounding it being yours, that shift in focus, this first step toward securing a ready, able and willing buyer, will show and be felt by potential buyers. Once this is achieved, it’s very easy to take your home from lived-in to product with these simple suggestions.

  • Clear the home of clutter:  Do what you can to make the house as free of clutter as you can.  If you have a lot of possessions, pack them up, and put them in a storage locker while you’re selling your home. Nothing says “this house is cramped” like a house full of things.
  • Clear off counter surfaces: Clear everything off the kitchen and bathroom counters, as well as off of other horizontal surfaces where it makes sense.  Less stuff makes it feel like there’s more available space to put things – and makes it feel more roomy.
  • De-personalize the home: Remove personal photos of your family, and other personal touches around the home. Keep decorations and photos neutral. You want potential buyers to picture themselves living in the house.
  • Fix obvious issues that need repair:  If you have items that need obvious repair, take care of them before listing. Fixing some drywall that had peeling drywall tape, fixing a leaking faucet and patching up a few of small drywall holes…
  • A fresh coat of paint: Paint rooms with non-neutral colors (that bright red kitchen?), or touch up paint in rooms where there are nicks and scrapes on the wall.  Wiping down walls with a magic eraser for scuffs is great too!
  • Fresh caulking in bathrooms: Put fresh caulking on the the showers, tubs and around the sinks in your bathrooms and other areas that might be caulked.
  • Replace outlet or light switch covers that are old/worn: Sometimes after years of use light fixtures and outlet covers get dirty, scraped up and ugly.  Spend a few dollars and get new ones. They’ll only take a short time to replace and will make the outlets and switches look new! My Dad and Step Mom took this advice and it worked!
  • Replace or clean worn carpeting: If you have older carpeting that’s threadbare you might consider replacing it.  If the carpet’s newer you might want to just get it cleaned to remove any stains or blemishes.
  • Make sure to replace all burned out bulbs: Before showing and photos, make sure that all the light bulbs are working to ensure there is adequate light in the house.
  • Open shades/curtains to give the home a light and airy feel:  Open the curtains and blinds to let in plenty of light when you sell. It will give the house a lighter and airier feel.
  • Pack away un-needed clothes and accessories in closets: If your closets are jam packed full of clothes, pack away the ones you don’t need and put them in storage. The roomier you can make your closets look and feel the better! It’s summer right now in Chicago, pack those winter closes away and make more room!
  • Oil squeaky doors and hinges: Go around the house and oil any squeaky doors and hinges.  Squeaky hinges can make a house feel old.

There are also quite a few things you can do outside the home to make sure that it has great curb appeal. For those of you with a Single Family Home or even a Condo, cleaning outside is worth every wipe used and leaf cleaned off an A/C Condenser! Clean the windows and door handles. Sweep up all outdoor spaces and again, make sure all the light bulbs are in working order.

This list is an easy way to get your home turned product ready for market. Happy selling!


This list is mostly taken from


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