This question and answer was featured in the Houston Chronicle “Sound Off” section.

Q: If preparing to sell a home, what is the most important thing a homeowner can do to assure a quick sale?

A: Clean, De-Clutter, De-Personalize and Stage!

Clean: Deep clean your home, inside and out! There is an old axiom, “The devil is in the details,” so pay close attention to detail. Inside, get rid of cobwebs, dust bunnies, fingerprints, etc. Outside, trim hedges, plant flowers, make the yard POP. Overall, paint what needs to be painted, repair what needs repairing and replace worn out items!

De-Clutter: Clear your counter tops, put toys away, no piles of clothes waiting to be folded. Get rid of magazines and papers. If you have more stuff than you have space for, rent storage. Don’t use your garage for storage – it’s for cars and a cluttered garage suggests that the home is too small.

De-Personalize. Personalized items are a distraction to the potential buyer. Take down the family photo’s, remove sports team memorabilia, put the refrigerator hall of fame away and store your knick knack collections.

The last and most important step is to STAGE your home. Above and beyond the usual cleaning and decorating, the goal of staging is to make your home warm and inviting through the strategic placement of furniture, coordinated color selections and accessorizing. Staging is an art form and not everyone can do it. This is one of those times you might consider hiring a professional. It is a small investment in a potentially large return.

Jay Richardson
Register Real Estate Advisors,
Spring, Texas

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