Seller Resources

Preparing to Sell your North Atlanta Home

We consult about this often, but even the best Realtors will have difficulty marketing and selling your home if the home is not properly prepared for sale.

Now more than ever, Sellers must do everything possible to help differentiate their homes from the current crop of comparable properties on the market. This philosophy has always been important but in the Buyers market we live in today, this strategy is critical to effectively market your home, save you time and – most importantly, realize your homes true resale potential. Here’s how:

Disassociate Yourself with Your Home

Don’t scoff or make light of this statement. Remember, purchasing a home for everyone is truly one of the most emotional buying decisions you’ll ever make. As such, so is selling as well. This is part of the psychology of owning a home. Since our homes take on an almost equal status to that of a living family member, some sellers are resistant to change and making the necessary adjustments to help market and ultimately sell their home.

  • Say to yourself, “This is no longer my home; it is a house — a product to be sold and marketed for Maximum Value
  • Make the mental decision to “let go” and focus on the fact that soon, this house will no longer be yours
  • Picture yourself handing over the keys the new owners
  • Say goodbye emotionally to every room
  • Don’t take constructive criticism from agents personally when trying to advise you on how to best prepare your home for sale
  • Don’t look backwards — look toward the future


Continuing with the psychology of what triggers buying impulses, it’s extremely important to de-personalize your home as best as possible. Remember visiting a model home and how it looked? The house was immaculately decorated and you knew no one lived there. Regardless, every room invited you to envision yourself living there. Follow this same philosophy as you prepare your own home to appeal to the masses.

  • Pack up and remove those personal family photographs from each and every room. You want buyers and their family members to imagine their own photos on the walls and they won’t be able to if yours are still there
  • Consider removing any items of a religious or political nature
  • Remove any personal artifact that may be of an offensive nature. Buyers can’t see beyond personal artifacts and you don’t want them distracted
  • You don’t want buyers asking “I wonder what kind of people live in this home”, rather, you want buyers saying, “I can see myself living here”


People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven’t used it in over a year, you probably don’t need it and now is the perfect time to dispose of it.

  • If you don’t need it, why not donate it or throw it away
  • Reduce the number of books from bookcases so they look neat and tidy
  • Consolidate those knick knacks and consider borrowing some if you don’t have enough or ones that are appropriate to your decor
  • Clean everything off of kitchen counters and only leave the essentials
  • Consider putting essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored easily
  • Rearrange ALL Closets. You want to show and give the appearance of maximum space in every closet. This may require packing up a great deal of clothing or other items that are rarely used. Think about this as getting a head start on your packing. Remember Model home closets?
  • Rearrange ALL Kitchen cabinets, especially in the pantry. Just like your closets, buyers are demanding as much space as possible in their kitchen. If buyers see how neat and organized your kitchen and closets are, it sends a powerful positive message that the rest of the home was well taken care of as well

Rent a Storage Unit

Almost every home shows better with less furniture and less junk. If necessary, consider renting a storage unit to store those items to make your home as presentable as possible. Also consider:

  • Removing pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways
  • Removing extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger
  • Leaving just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room’s purpose and leaving plenty of room to move around
  • If you have several rooms that are empty or filled with a mix bag of unmatched furniture, consider having your home professionally staged. You don’t want buyers scratching their heads and saying, “What is this room used for?”


Remove/Replace Favorite Items

If you plan to take certain items such as window coverings, lighting fixtures etc with you, it might be better to remove them now and replace them with a suitable alternative. If a buyer never sees it, they won’t want it. It seems once you tell a buyer a certain item is not included, it will be the one item they’ll covet and could potentially affect their offer.

Make Repairs – Minor & Major

  • Paint the entire Exterior of your home if necessary. This is the most powerful and least expensive way to make your house look brand new and up to date
  • Replace cracked floor or counter tiles
  • Patch holes in walls
  • Fix leaky faucets
  • Refinish worn hardwood floors
  • Repair any obvious damage caused by pets
  • Fix doors that don’t close properly and kitchen drawers that jam
  • Make sure all windows open and close properly and repair those that don’t
  • Consider painting your interior walls and trim in neutral colors, especially if you have previously customized your surroundings in unusual colors that are unique to your own tastes
  • Replace burned out bulbs
  • Replace any worn or damaged window blinds or coverings
  • Change all heating and air filters
  • Clean and Service you AC units
  • Consider pro-actively having your home inspected by a professional home inspector and repairing all highlighted items. This is a huge and powerful selling tool and will almost eliminate any items cropping up to ruin a sure sale


Make the House Sparkle!

  • Wash windows inside and out and dust and clean all window blinds
  • Rent a pressure washer and clean walkways, driveways and the exterior
  • Clean out cobwebs
  • Have all the carpets in your home professional cleaned
  • Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks
  • Polish chrome faucets and mirrors
  • Clean the refrigerator and major appliances
  • Your Kitchen and all Bathrooms should be immaculate
  • Vacuum daily
  • Wax floors
  • Refinish any worn Hardwood floors
  • Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures
  • Bleach dingy grout or replace if necessary
  • Replace worn rugs
  • Hang up fresh towels in all bathrooms and the kitchen
  • Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a deal-breaker EVERY time. Use a dehumidifier in damp areas


  • Go outside and look at your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you? Consider painting your front door and replacing hardware if necessary
  • Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer
  • Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense
  • Make sure window coverings hang level
  • Consider the each room’s emotional pull and put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer. Does it have the right impact?

Check Curb Appeal

Don’t underestimate the power of first impressions. If a buyer won’t get out of their Agent’s car because they don’t like the exterior of your home, what you’ve accomplished inside won’t really matter much. Approach this as you’re trying to win yard of the month. Remember, new buyers want to do as little work as possible and are looking for a move-in ready, turn-key home.

  • Mow the lawn often and if seasonally appropriate, water as often as possible to keep it green
  • Plant brightly colored flowers or groups of flower pots together (studies have shown yellow works best)
  • Keep the sidewalks clear and trimmed
  • Paint faded window trim
  • Trim your bushes and prune trees
  • Replace all the mulch in and around the home