10 Critical First Steps For Preparing Your Home For Sale

There are hundreds of articles out there telling you what to do to organize, prep and stage your home for sale. Many of them don’t address the key initial things I think are needed to get your home ready for sale.


Stock photo - piles ofpaper


1. Dump and Sort: Paper and junk piles up and no one is immune to this. We all get busy and create piles. Even sorted piles look messy and can make your house appear sloppy and unorganized. I like the dump and sort approach. Take a basket or a plastic container and clear the decks, so to speak. Empty everything into the container then sort out what you want to keep, donate or throw out when you have the time. This gives you an immediate sense of cleanliness and the ability to do the actual sorting later. You might even find that once you experience the calm of clean and organized surfaces around you, you might be more brutal with what you want to put back.


Stock photo - organized shelf


2. Top Down: Once the dump and sort is done, take a top down cleaning approach. Start at your highest level and work your way down. That usually means you’ll end up in the basement or in your storage space, which works out perfectly. By the time you get to this lowest storage level, you may realize that what you’re keeping can now be thrown out and/or donated.


Stock photo - brooms


3. Clean It: Start with your ceiling and wall light fixtures then go to the top of doorways and high furniture, clean all of your artwork and mirrors, TVs, blinds, draperies and rods, then head to the furniture which you need to move to clean under and around it. Keep going until every surface is clean. Every inch. Most people wait to have their windows cleaned in the spring, but if you’re selling your house, this needs to be done immediately, weather dependent. I recommend cleaning the blinds and draperies just prior to having your windows cleaned.


stock photo - bathroom


4. Attack the Baths: Take a good look at your bathrooms and decide what work needs to be done. Most people overlook this hot-spot of mold, grime and mildew. If you have a shower curtain, replace both it and the liner. For a glass shower door, check the plastic seals and the hinges to see if they need repair or replacement. For soap scum, check out my Pinterest page for numerous ways to clean it with homemade products.


stock photo - light-bulbs


5. Lighting: This is very important. Make sure that all your lightbulbs work and that they are all the same high wattage. If you need to add a dimmer switch or two, do it – it makes a world of difference at a low cost. If your table or floor lamps are outdated, consider purchasing new transitional lamps or simply replace the shades if the lamps  are updated enough.


stock photo - modern art


6. Artwork: Again, this can be a simple fix. Many sellers don’t realize what an impression artwork can make to a buyer. It should be consistent in style throughout the house. While Grandma’s art may be sentimental, it’s best to store it when your house is for sale. Artwork sets a tone and can help give buyers a feeling of what your home is all about.


Stock photo - LR


7. To Stage or Not to Stage: So, what does staging really mean? It can run the gamut of a complete makeover to editing your belongings, having you purchase household items, or have you rent the items you need for as long as your house is on the market. Each house is individual in its needs and only a professional Realtor or stager can help you decide which is the right path for you.


stock photo - hjouse with flowers


8. Landscaping and Curb Appeal: This is the first impression that both your buyers and the agents who show your house will have. If your home doesn’t look appealing and well-kept, both will likely pass on it and go to the next. Even in the dead of winter you can clean up the yard and have beautiful planters filled with winter greenery at each primary entrance to your home.


stock photo - front door

9. The Front Door: So, think about it – while the real estate agent is opening up your door or lock-box, what is the buyer doing? They are looking around at everything in sight. They can be looking at cobwebs and dirt, peeling paint and mold, or they can be looking at beautiful planters and accessories, a new door mat and a welcoming entryway.

stock photo - scent


10. Smell: We all love our pets, spicy food and fish dinners, but this is no time for any of those smells to be overwhelming or obvious. A beautifully scented candle is great, but don’t overwhelm your space with strong scents. Suspicious buyers will think you’re trying to cover up something more evil than last night’s dinner.


Keep visiting this site for more steps to prepare and sell your home!


Continue reading

Buying a Home

There are cracks in the foundation. Nothing structural. Nothing that’s going to threaten the stability of the home, but they’re there. Nooks, crannies and holes through which seeps an invisible threat. Colorless, odorless and undetectable by your average human, it is nonetheless the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

Radon gas – even the name sounds ominous, evoking images of radiation and nuclear devastation. Radon gas is created when uranium in the soil decays. The gas then seeps through any access point into a home. Common entry points are cracks in the foundation, poorly sealed pipes, drainage or any other loose point. Once in the home, the gas can collect in certain areas – especially basements and other low-lying, closed areas – and build up over time to dangerous levels. The Environmental Protection Agency of the US Government has set a threshold of 4 pico curies per liter as the safe level. As humans are exposed to the gas over a period of years, it can have a significant and detrimental effect.

Continue reading

Manhattan Apartments

In Manhattan, uptown means north (more precisely north-northeast, which is the direction the island and its street grid system is oriented) and downtown means south (south-southwest). This usage differs from that of most American cities, where downtown refers to the central business district. Manhattan has two central business districts, the Financial District at the southern tip of the island, and Midtown Manhattan. The term uptown also refers to the northern part of Manhattan above 72nd Street and downtown to the southern portion below 14th Street, with Midtown covering the area in between, though definitions can be rather fluid depending on the situation.

Though the grid does start with 1st Street, just north of Houston Street (pronounced HOW-stin), the grid does not fully take hold until north of 14th Street, where nearly all east-west streets are numerically identified, which increase from south to north to 220th Street, the highest numbered street on the island. Streets in Midtown are usually one way with a few exceptions (14th, 34th and 42nd to name a few). The rule of thumb is odd numbered streets run west while evens run east.

Continue reading

Why Live in New York

In contrast with New York City’s urban atmosphere, the vast majority of the state is dominated by farms, forests, rivers, mountains, and lakes. New York’s Adirondack Park is the largest state park in the United States. It is larger than the Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier and Olympic National Parks combined. New York established the first state park in the United States at Niagara Falls in 1885. Niagara Falls, on the Niagara River as it flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, is a popular attraction.

The Hudson River begins at Lake Tear of the Clouds and flows south through the eastern part of the state without draining Lakes George or Champlain. Lake George empties at its north end into Lake Champlain, whose northern end extends into Canada, where it drains into the Richelieu and then the Saint Lawrence Rivers. Four of New York City’s five boroughs are on three islands at the mouth of the Hudson River: Manhattan Island; Staten Island; and Long Island, which contains Brooklyn and Queens on its western end.

Upstate and downstate are often used informally to distinguish New York City or its greater metropolitan area from the rest of New York State. The placement of a boundary between the two is a matter of great contention. Unofficial and loosely defined regions of Upstate New York include the Southern Tier, which often includes the counties along the border with Pennsylvania, and the North Country, which can mean anything from the strip along the Canadian border to everything north of the Mohawk River.

Continue reading

Selling Your Home

Downsizing, upsizing, looking for something new, or any reason in between, you’re considering selling a New York property and we’re ready to help you with 23 full-time Sales Executives, a full-service support staff, legal department, and in-house marketing department. WP Estate invests over $2 million each year marketing properties on New York only, targeting qualified buyers. That’s almost $5,000 per listing. No other company invests in New York like we do.

Choosing to sell your house is a big decision that brings with it a variety of challenges. From attracting buyers to negotiating contracts, it’s helpful to have a professional real estate agent on your side to help reduce stress and lead to the best possible outcome. Finding the right real estate agent can present a challenge in itself, however, with the high quantity of qualified Australian agents out there. To get started with selling your house, you’ll want to compare agents carefully to find an individual who will be most effective in helping you with your particular needs.

Continue reading

© 2017 Rachel Walsh Homes. William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty | 26 Cherry Street New Canaan, Connecticut 06840.
Realtor Licensed in the State of Connecticut. Residential License #0751748.