Selling your home, whether on your own or with a realtor, will take some work. However, if you can start early and do it in small chunks of time, you'll find you can market your home successfully, only move the items you want and get moving with a minimum of stress.


Review your home with a critical eye for easy fixes. Walk around the inside of your home and seek out damaged trim, tired wall paint and loose tiles. Do the same outside your home, looking for torn or loose screens, missing or aged weather stripping, or dried out caulking.


If you choose to repaint, clean carefully along each wall as you work. Something as simple as washing outlet covers in a bowl of warm soapy water before reinstalling can brighten your space.


While cleaning, put away pictures of family and other personal items that make the space yours. You want prospective buyers to easily see the space as their own.


Pack away things you want to keep. If possible, rent a storage unit or turn a spare room into the box room. If you're moving far away, be ready to invest in sturdy, uniform boxes that will stack easily for the long haul. Carefully pack away what you want, and toss, donate or sell the rest.

A word about selling: This takes time and may not make you a lot of money. However, moves can be expensive, so if you need the money take care to plan ahead and start as early as possible marketing your own items so you're not in a scramble closer to the moving date.


Will you work with a realtor or sell your own home? A good realtor with a working knowledge of your neighborhood can save you a lot of time and get your property data out to a wide audience. If you choose to sell your own home, consider consulting with a real estate attorney to make sure you don't miss anything in the sale documentation.

Daily Maintenance

Once your home is listed, it needs to be ready to show every day. To make sure the house stays clean and clutter-free, try the counter-clockwise - clockwise method. Work around the room counter-clockwise, putting away or discarding anything that doesn't belong. Then work the room clockwise with a dust cloth or glass cleaner to brighten all the surfaces. Make sure all lightbulbs are working, the lawn is mowed and the flower beds are weeded.

Clear Out

Unless you're selling the home yourself, be ready to clear out for showings. Put pets and kids in the car and head to the park or take yourself out for a cup of coffee.

Final Thoughts

Moving can be daunting but settling into a new space can be a great joy. Whether you're downsizing to a more manageable house or getting a bigger place for a growing family, your work will be worth it.

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