Downsizing and Selling Your Home? Clean, De-Clutter, De-Personalize!

Contact Ken Tritle at DreamWell Homes Realty – Call or Text 760-798-9024. Thank you!

As you get ready to have your home on the market, we want to be sure that we maximize your home’s positive impact on home buyers when they visit.

Remember, we have only about eight (8) seconds or less to make a favorable first impression on prospective home buyers. 

We do understand that how you live in your home is way different than how you prepare and maintain a home while it is being marketed for sale – and that it is not easy to do this.

But the rewards for doing this work are huge and you’ll be extremely happy that you did them. . . . 

The Big Three things that we want to achieve in downsizing and preparing to sell your home are:

  1. Clean
  2. De-clutter
  3. De-personalize

1. Clean

Exterior Cleaning: 

  • Carefully power wash the exterior without causing any damage.
  • Clean all of the windows (inside and out).
  • Trim bushes and hedges to show neat lines and to keep any vegetation from touching the home.
  • Mow and water the lawn more frequently to bring back green color and shine.
  • Remove anything from the exterior that doesn’t belong there.
  • Keep up with pet waste at all times.  

Interior Cleaning: 

The inside of your home should be as clean as a 5-Star hotel room when you first arrive.

Buyers pay particular attention to kitchens and bathrooms – especially master bathrooms.

They will look into corners, nooks and crannies for dirt and dust bunnies as an indication of how well you’ve maintained your home.

Bathtubs, shower surrounds, glass shower walls and doors should show zero soap scum.

Countertops should be spotlessly clean.

Carpets should also be spotlessly clean. Remove pet or smoking odors. 

A good tip for all of the above is to hire a professional cleaning company to do all of this for you.  

Doing so will relieve a lot of stress, as all this cleaning will take much more time than you anticipated – AND you can then focus on de-cluttering and de-personalization.

2. De-clutter: 

Buyers always want to see a neat home with lots of available storage.

Too many things in a home makes it look much smaller than it is.

Plus – all of those things distract buyer’s eyes from the things that may connect with them emotionally, and they leave thinking that your home was “okay” but something about it was off. 

De-cluttering will open up space all throughout your home, making it feel more spacious and as free-flowing as it can be.

So – let’s think about removing at least one piece of furniture from each room.

Remove everything from your kitchen and bathroom countertops – okay, you can keep your coffee maker and maybe a nicely displayed cookbook on the kitchen countertop.

Never have dishes (clean or dirty) on the counter or sink.

In bathrooms, you may keep a soap dispenser and possibly a flower arrangement on the counter. 

If you’re a nickknack collector, please store them away.  

Your coffee table should be clear.

End tables may have one lamp and possibly a book. If you have curio cabinets or other surfaces to display items – pack away and remove 1/2 to 2/3’s of those items.

Your home office/computer table should just have the computer and mouse, nothing else. 

Your beds should always be neatly made.

If you have both dressers and chests of drawers, think about removing the chest of drawers to gain space.

All horizontal surfaces in your bedrooms should be bare, except for side tables which may have a lamp, a book or a clock.

If you can manage to remove all items from your closet flooring – it will greatly impress buyers with how spacious your closets seem.

There should never be dirty clothing visible anywhere in the home – including in the laundry room. 

3. De-personalize: 

Our goal here is twofold – we want to eliminate things that may distract buyers, and free their minds to imagine “their” things in your home.

So, remove all personal family items, photos and memorobilia from display. 

De-personalizing also means removing other distractions like repainting that lime-green accent wall you loved so much when you first did it.

It can also mean peeling the Snoopy stickers from the bathroom wall or taking down your son’s favorite female celebrity poster from his bedroom.

Another good rule of thumb: if an item is not normally seen in a home, remove it. We don’t want that to be the only thing they remember about your home. 

The most popular questions we receive is where to go with all of these items? 

In most cases all of this can be managed in your garage – even the furniture – if it is stacked safely and neatly.  

Buyers understand that home sellers are in a transitionary period and have seen many homes where the garage is being used to store items.  

We rarely display photos of the garage in our MLS marketing photos anyway, so this won’t be an issue.  

An alternative is to possibly utilize a family member, friend or neighbor’s space for temporary storage.

There is also the option of renting a storage unit or even a Pod-type storage container.

Finally, you are going to be moving anyway, and certainly you don’t want to move ALL of the stuff you’ve accumulated through the years.

So now is a great time to discard, donate or sell things that you no longer use or need.

The old rule of thumb applies here – if you haven’t used it in two years – get rid of it!  

If you donate items, be sure to get a receipt so that you can use the donation as a tax write-off! 

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Realtors® Jean and Ken Tritle at DreamWell Homes Realty

Contact Jean and Ken Tritle, a husband and wife real estate broker/agent team at DreamWell Homes Realty.

Call or Text: 760-798-9024


Contact Ken Tritle at DreamWell Homes Realty – Call or Text 760-798-9024. Thank you!

About dreamwellhomes 310 Articles
DreamWell Homes Realty is a locally owned San Diego husband and wife real estate team (Realtor® | Real Estate Broker). Jean and Ken Tritle offer their home buyer and seller clients the best professional and personalized real estate representation with unparalleled service and guidance in San Diego County | Southern California from San Diego to San Clemente. For more information, please call or text Jean and Ken Tritle at 760-798-9024 or email Thank you! DreamWell Homes Realty CA DRE# 01777754. Mailing address: 1902 Wright Place, 2nd Floor, Carlsbad, CA 92008 | San Diego County, California.