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Six steps for a successful home sale in 2017

Preparing a home for sale is a daunting task. Implementing these six steps, well in advance of selling, reduces stress and positions you for success.

1. Take pictures of your home

Eventually, the look of your house may change to appeal to a large group of buyers. Preserve memories by photographing every room, the exterior and the yard. Especially document children’s growth charts, family photo displays, and other special creations you may want to replicate in your new home.

2. Make decisions

Save time and money by identifying and moving only those items you plan to utilize in your new space. Scour every cabinet, closet and drawer to start. Divide items into 5 categories: keep, sell, donate, toss, and unsure. Although this task seems overwhelming, a goal of reviewing one drawer, shelf, or cabinet a day is more realistic.

3. Address the “unsure” category promptly

Organize like objects together, box and label with their descriptions and a question mark. Store the containers collectively. If you later need to transfer them off the premises, place them in the very back of storage. This will allow time to determine how much you miss them. Still not sure? Move them and unpack them last.

4. Pack

Packing ahead at your own pace reduces the amount of work after the house sells. You will also be glad you conquered the decisions above first. In general, box items you are saving and can temporarily live without. Include any tiny objects. Typically, accessories used for showcasing will be larger than your fist.

Remove half of the items in your closets and cabinets to allow buyers to see this valuable asset. Storage sells and stuffed cabinetry reflects limited space. This can be tricky – you may need to delay certain packing (out of season clothes, for example) until you know when you will be listing your house. Arrange bedroom closet contents by grouping clothing types; shirts, pants, dresses, jackets.

5. Clean as you go

Wash each area as you proceed. This minimizes work later.

6. Seek professional advice

It is always easier and more efficient to strategize. You may have an abundance of furniture, art and accessories and not know what to keep for showcasing and what to store. Or perhaps you are aware of the need to paint, but are unsure what colors will coordinate and sell.

Associate the work with something positive that brings you joy. Changing the perception of a burdensome job to a more pleasant experience increases the likelihood of finishing the project. Enlist a partner to help and enjoy the friendship. Listen to music, a book on tape, or a podcast. Clean out a few drawers while watching a movie. You may actually look forward to tackling these chores. Moving is stressful under the best of circumstances. Starting early allows you to accomplish the necessary steps on your own timeline and in a much more relaxed manner.