We have been sharing quite a bit about first time homeowners. But what about those of you who are ready to embark on a new journey- the second (or third) home. As a current homeowner, there are a few more steps involved than just getting a mortgage and finding a house.

Yes, you got it- you also need to handle the sale of your current home.

Just showing your home (or, rather, hiring someone to manage showing your home) is more involved than it may seem. And we have a few tips for getting your home ready to sell. While you may be moving out, you want your home to look appealing for someone to move in to.

As you may be thinking, the first step is to clean. And, of course, it is. A clean home is much more appealing than one with peanut butter on the kitchen counter or a floor covered in muddy paw prints and dirt. But cleaning your home to show is a bit more involved than your ordinary Saturday morning clean up. Wipe down baseboards, clean out any cobwebs hiding in the corner. Once you’ve finished cleaning the inside, clean the outside. Clean out the gutters, pick up toys and sticks lying around. You can even wash the siding. Remember- the outside of your house is the first thing someone is going to see. If the lawn is cluttered with children’s toys, leaves from last fall and an assortment of other things, the first impression is not guaranteed to be a good one. Both inside and out, a clean home will look brighter, more appealing, and well-maintained: all things that a potential buyer wants to see as they walk through your home.


One thing that goes hand in hand with a clean home is functional appliances. Having kitchen (and other) appliances that are 100% functional will only make your home easier to sell. Think of it this way: as you’re going to buy a home, do you also want to budget out money to purchase new appliances? Even if those purchases wouldn’t happen for a year or two? Most people’s answer to that question is NO! Little updates, general maintenance and fixing issues as they arise is a great way to stay on top of the functionality of appliances.

Now, as a part of that cleaning process, it is essential to declutter. Pick up stray things lying around on tables or the floor. Put away some of the odds and ends that you love putting on display but are not essential to your daily life. There are many realtors who even state that putting away personal photos is a good idea. If there is furniture or other things that you aren’t currently using, it may be a good idea to box them up and store them in the basement. Having a decluttered home- one without every end table or countertop filled with personal items- will look well-maintained. And decluttering will also help you during the packing process! Less for you to do when it comes time to actually make the move.

Curb appeal is also something that will help with the (quick) sale of your home. But this does not need to be a large or expensive undertaking, especially since you are moving out. Freshening up the yard with new mulch, sharpening the lines of your flower beds, and even planting bright colored flowers will add a bit of life to your yard. Additionally, weeding, pulling some patio furniture out from storage, or painting the mailbox will all add to the overall “polished” look of your lawn.

While you’re working outside, don’t forget about the front door. Yes, it is the first thing people walk up to. If yours is covered in cobwebs and finger smudges, it can take away from the polished look you’ve been trying to achieve with the front lawn. Wipe it down, sweep off the porch, hang a flower pot out front. Again, this doesn’t need to be an expensive venture- just taking the time to make your home look inviting is all that you need.

Next on the list: organize, organize, organize. And, yes, we will tell you right now that it does take a little bit of time. Organize closets, countertops, drawers, and even the garage. Taking the time to organize these things will make spaces look bigger, more put together, and more polished. One tip we have learned over the years is to put like things together. So, take your bathroom counter. Buy a small basket or container to put all the little “things” you have sitting out. While technically you are still keeping things out on the counter for everyday use, it gives the appearance of being more organized and allowing for more space. And, think of it this way, you can take all of these things to your new home to help keep you organized there too.

We mentioned it before, but we will mention it again- organize the garage. Sure, everyone has a message garage. Sometimes it becomes the place where things without a place go (usually to stay for quite some time). It may be beneficial to start packing up those things in boxes. Having neatly stacked moving boxes in your garage has a much different look than piles of things sitting on a shelf or even on the ground.

One final tip- make the home look nice, open, and appealing- without too much of a personal touch. Think of your home as a big canvas. You want people to see the potential in each room for their OWN life (not yours).  By cleaning, organizing, and removing some of the clutter, you will give people that opportunity- to see themselves moving into your home.

So, yes, it does take a little bit of work to get your home ready to sell. But that extra work you put in will definitely assist in the sale of your home in the long-run. Not to mention, make it significantly easier for you to move out.

Total Home LendingBy Natasha Mason