Day: June 17, 2014

Real Estate — Summer To Do List

Summer To D0 List

Newton, MA. Top Agents, Sotheby’s Newton, MA.
Summer has finally arrived and our thoughts turn to a more carefree lifestyle and a tendency to put things on the back burner. If you are thinking of selling your house in the fall, summer is the perfect time to get your house in order at a more leisurely pace. I would say on average it takes 7-10 days to get a home in photography ready shape, of course that varies depending upon each person.  I have had sellers take years to get a house ready and sellers’ who can have a photographer show up that afternoon.   A motivated seller can have their house ready in 7-10 days.  Below you will find a guide to selling.  You cannot have it both ways, top dollar and no work is not a model for success. You want buyers to think that if they move to this home their closets can/will look amazing. Their kitchen cabinets will be clean and tidy and the toys in the basement magically put themselves away.

Disassociate Yourself With Your Home

  • Stop thinking of the memories created in this home and try to imagine the memories you will make in your next home.
  • Your home is full of things and many of those things can be moved to a new home.
  • Picture yourself decorating your next home.
  • Indulge yourself and spend a morning reflecting about your life in this house and then start sorting and cleaning in the afternoon.
  • Imagine visiting your furniture or china or art in your child or grandchild’s house.


  • If you haven’t used or even looked at something in a year, it is time to throw away, donate, or give away
  • Bookshelves are for books and a FEW special knick-knacks — clean up those book shelves
  • Pack up or discard items you no longer want or even like
  • Kitchen counters must be cleared to the point of looking sterile
  • All horizontal surfaces (tables, shelves, dressers) must be free of clutter
  • Items used everyday can be put in a box and stored in a closet for showings
  • Remember you would have to do this anyway to move!


  • Remove plastic dry cleaning bags
  • Get rid of clothes you haven’t worn in years
  • Hang alike garments together — pants with pants, shirts with shirts etc.
  • Have clothes face the same direction
  • Line up your shoes or put out of season shoes in storage

4. Kitchen

  • Clean your cabinets on the inside and outside
  • Take everything out of your cabinets and throw away items that you bought 10 years ago. I guarantee you will find some ridiculously old food item
  • Arrange your dishes to stack neatly and throw away broken or chipped cups and plates.
  • Clean up and arrange your spice jars
  • CLEAN your stove and refrigerator….buyers open the refrigerator – DON”T MAKE THEM GAG FROM THE SMELL OF YOURS.

5. Remove or Replace Fixtures You Wish to Keep

  • If you want your dining room chandelier, replace it now. As soon as buyer knows they cannot have it, they want it.
  • If you absolutely must have your draperies in the next home consider removing them. If they make a statement then be prepared for a buyer to want that same statement with the same drapes. Sellers, if your the drapes don’t fit your new house don’t be stingy; leave them for the next owner to enjoy
  • Washer and Dryer – When you find out how much it costs to move the washer and dryer just leave them.

Remove Furniture

  • Homes show better with less furniture. Remove any soiled, beaten up dingy furniture; they make the house look dingy.
  • Remove any furniture that creates an obstacle walking thru a room
  • Remove excess pieces of furniture — you are selling a home you don’t own a furniture store
  • Contrary to popular opinion, extra leaves in a dining room table make the room appear larger. Remove hutches and sideboards if the room seems cramped
  • Leave enough furniture in each room to showcase the rooms’ purpose with room to move around
  • Most professionals are going to come in and tell you to remove every personal picture you have displayed. I think that is overkill. You want a home to feel warm and inviting, as if people LIVE in a house not just inhabit the house. Get rid of any controversial pictures – pictures of you with Presidents or politicians, anything that might elicit a thought other than aw has to go. Too many artifacts from your children and your vacations are distracting. We want buyers to look at the house not your things.


Make Minor Repairs

  • Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls.
  • Remove wall to wall carpeting
  • Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
  • Patch holes in walls.
  • Fix leaky faucets.
  • Fix doors that do not close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
  • Replace burned-out light bulbs.

Make the House Sparkle

  • Replace worn bed-coverings with crisp a crisp white duvet
  • Clean your child’s bedding! Teenage boys have stinky pillows
  • Wash windows inside and out.
  • Clean out cobwebs.
  • Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
  • Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
  • Clean out the refrigerator.
  • Vacuum daily.
  • Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
  • Bleach dingy grout.
  • Hang up fresh towels.
  • Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no.
  • I am going to hear from the energy police BUT replace your fluorescent lights while your house is on the market! The lighting quality is poor, the color is bad, and it makes your home look dark and dingy.

Think like a Buyer 

  • Stand at your front door — is it welcoming? If not make it so! Paint the front door and threshold
  • Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer.
  • Does the furniture placement make sense to a buyer?  You don’t live in a home the way you sell a home so inconvenience yourself for a few weeks and move the furniture around.  Think about how much more money you will net.
  • Make sure window coverings are clean and free of dust
  • Tune in to the room’s statement is it neutral yet inviting?

Check Curb Appeal

  • If a buyer will not get out of her agent’s car because she doesn’t like the exterior of your home, you will never get her inside
  • Keep the sidewalks cleared
  • Mow the lawn
  • Paint faded window trim
  • Place of pot of colorful annuals near the front door
  • Trim your bushes
  • Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number

The journey may seem overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be.  I have the tools and the people to help you accomplish the task.