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Dear Phyllis,


   We recently met with a Realtor® to discuss  getting our home on the market in February.   She gave us a long list of what we should take care of, including removing clutter which I understand but she even recommended paring down  furniture and family photos.  Do you think all of this is necessary?    





Phyllis Harb is a Realtor® with  Dilbeck Real Estate/Christie's Estates.          She may be contacted at          (818) 790-7325 or by email
Phyllis Harb is a Realtor® with Dilbeck Real Estate/Christie’s Estates.
She may be contacted at (818) 790-7325 or by email

Dear Pat,

   The short answer to your question is “no”.

You don’t need to make any repairs or improvement to sell your home.  In fact any point of sale requirements (such as water heater bracing, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors) can typically be assumed by the buyer.  However, many home sellers decide that in order to put more sales dollars in their pocket, they prefer to invest some time and energy in preparing their home for sale.  After reviewing your Realtor’s® recommendations, only you can determine whether you want to expend the time and energy in order sell for more money.

  Your Realtor® is being compensated to do much more than put a sign in your front yard. The agent you met with understands that your home will sell faster and for more money when it is appealing to prospective buyers.   Try not to take your Realtors® suggestions personally.  I have shown so many homes with walls of family photos and inevitably either the buyer or I are distracted by them wanting/needing to know if we recognize anyone in the photos.

   You are moving anyway and now is the perfect time to get a head start!  Start packing knick knacks, photos, small collections, etc.  These items are always distractions when buyers are looking at your home.

Imagine, a builder’s model home, tables, kitchen and bathroom countertops, and other surfaces should have very little on them.  Now is the time to sort through closets and drawers.  Expect potential buyers to open your closets because they want to know that there is enough storage for them.  Closets should never be overflowing (pack it up, toss or donate).  Less is always more.  

  Don’t overlook a thorough cleaning and getting your landscape in shape (maximize curb appeal). After your home is prepped for sale, your agent should hire a professional photographer.

   It may be difficult for you to complete all or even most of the items on your agent’s to do list, but that’s fine.

Do as much as you are comfortable with. Most homes are sold on emotion; buyers want to feel that their life will be improved by living in your home.   A welcoming home sets that stage.

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