The starting point for marketing a property is so basic and stated in so many places that it begs repeating for all of the times it is ignored. The starting point is a clean and uncluttered house. Showing or photographing a home that is unkempt and unclean is a waste of your time and effort. You are hired by the seller to manage their sale, obtain the highest price possible and are asking buyers to make what is typically the largest single purchase in their life. These tasks are made much harder or impossible if you are trying to do them over a kitchen full of dirty dishes, rooms full of dirty laundry and the smell of a ripe cat box.

If the seller is truly motivated to sell their home, it should not be too difficult to get them to put in the effort to prepare their home for sale. As an agent, you may have to prod them and break down their excuses to get the job done promptly so the home can be properly marketed. Working from the preparation list can be useful in getting a home ready. Depending on the marketing budget, a stager can be very helpful in creating a neutral look that will showcase the home without letting furniture and personal decorations get in the way. Some people will react negatively when they are told to pack away their cherished keepsakes and collections, yet this is often the most necessary aspect of de-cluttering the home that is needed. Bringing in a professional lends the aire of an expert to back up what you may have already suggested. If a home is vacant, a stager can be contracted to bring in a selection of furniture and decoration that will give the house a real sense of scale and relieve the “chill” that an empty house can have.

There may be reasons why an owner might be unable to do the work themselves and having relationships with local cleaning companies that you can recommend or hire directly is a good idea. This might be especially useful if the home is being sold on behalf of an estate’s heirs or when a family member is being relocated to managed care facility.


©2013 Kenneth Brown. All rights reserved.