Home Tour & Home Selling Tips I've Learned

De-personalize, de-clutter, and neutralize, are the three top tips home stagers, Realtors and HGTV programs all say to do when selling your home. I put those tips to the top of my priority list when prepping our place to sell, and I guess it worked because with only one week of being listed - we got three offers (above asking price) and (thankfully) SOLD our townhome. Because of the relocation with Jeff's company (all to be completed within 90 days) we're on a tight schedule with only a short window of time available to sell, close, pack, move, and find a place. That said, those three tips were critical, but only the foundation to prepping & ensuring a quick sale. Here's a few other tips & details to consider, along with photos of our townhome, captured by photographer Torn Cargill...

Since we are taking the versatile light fixture from the dining space, our Realtor suggested switching it out prior to listing & showing. We spotted this oval linen drum shade fixture on clearance at Lowes and it's still a great fit with the transitional look of the space.


To depersonalize, I removed all of our personal photos (about 36) and replaced a few (from walls) with abstracts. I scaled back on a few accessory items - including prints - which made the space look too cluttered in some preliminary photos. But just a touch of print made the spaces look on trend - ready for stylish living today.

I took a closer look at EVERY corner - SERIOUSLY - by turning on all the lights and opening up all window treatments to REALLY look at corners, edges, ledges (especially since we have a pet) and lights. I was a little surprised at what I started to notice when I started looking at what a potential buyer would be looking at. CLEANLINESS is KEY, which I learned, can even effect the property appraisal (especially in the bathrooms!!).

I checked all corners where cabinets and or windows met. A fresh caulking did wonders! Cleaning all windows - both inside & out also made a difference to make the space look fresh, crisp and bright. (All that room spray and Febreze doesn't always land on fabric lol) Using an old tooth-brush and some Clorox spray helped to remove build-up in windows and sliding door tracks.

Resolve carpet spray and a brush is a great way to refresh areas rugs and carpeted stairs. Also: running the brush along carpet to base-board helped loosen and really picked-up (Sephora's) pet hair. We use Ever-Clear cat liter and haven't ever had an oder problem, but I still clean out the liter box daily.

Tidying up closets helped show as much storage space as possible. Before listing, it's really good to clear out any excess clutter or  and belongings to sell at a garage sale or donate to Goodwill. And even as I started to detach myself from our home, I keep spotting more and more "things" to let go of and donate, which helped clear the clutter. I wrote up an itemized list to attach to the receipt, to be used later this as a deduction on our taxes, loaded donations into my trunk, and dropped them off during a grocery trips.

Taking a closer look outside - even at our neighbors - outside was looking a little tired. One Saturday, I used CLR to remove rust stains on the exterior, plus I gave the trim & the garage door a fresh coat of paint. Jeff was here, so he cut back our front plants and treated weeds in our paver driveway PLUS the neighbors. I picked out leaves & weeds from the rock coverings in both back & front gardens, re-located plant placement, and only had to buy two mixed-plant containers I transplanted to our front garden to refresh the curb appeal.

For seasonal or holiday decor (this part is killing me this year!!) I kept it to a minimum with just touches of simple branches & leaves used consistently throughout our spaces. The only two pumpkins I used were outside at the entrance, with a vertical swag hung on the door (vs. a wreath) and a new "Welcome" mat to welcome buyers with. Not wanting to offend anyone, I didn't set up any Halloween decor (like last years Hitchcock Hallway).

Swiffers (both dry & wet), Magic Erase, Clorox Wipes, and Glass Plus have become my best friends. Since we have two levels, I keep a stash of these products handy on both levels for quick clean-ups when Realtor calls and said: "We have a showing", or prior to home appraisals and inspections.

Rather than have Glade Plug-Ins all over, I purchased one three-wick scented candle and room sprays from Bath & Body Works. Since our place was set (minimally) for Fall, I used Apple Cider as the candle scent downstairs, which wasn't too flowery-feminine or over powering. I lit this an hour prior to showing.  Upstairs in bedrooms & the office I spritzed a room spray before I left for the showing. I used Fresh Balsam. For a touch of ambiance, I used tea lights that were safely contained in glass holders strategically placed around the house for a glow.

I think some of the things that helped along the way was already having a modern neutral pallet for walls and flooring, plus I recently had given doors and trim a fresh coat of white semi-gloss in August, along with also giving the outdoor accessories & furniture a fresh coat of paint when I was getting ready for Fall. I also had a copy of the floor plan, which I'd leave out on the counter for potential buyers to take with them.

The HARDEST thing to do by far was to emotional detach myself from our "home", and really start to turn my focus on the "space" we needed to SELL. Once I did that, editing became easier to do. But I don't believe the space needs to become sterile to show. I believe considering who would be looking, our diversified location of South Florida, showing how to use the space and showing a "lifestyle" is what helped increase the traffic and offers. A huge help was also getting feedback from pictures posted on Facebook (like input from friend and Stager Lisa Bond) along with my 20+ year background in visual merchandising presentation. For me, this was probably the biggest SELL of them all... Today we signed the contracts. Now it's up to the bank to keep the pace going with the paperwork.

Click on photos (one above or below) to take a cool virtual tour our Realtor Henrik Hesselman created. He's with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate and has been both a punctual and a professional Realtor to be working with. He also said (considering this market) he was pleasantly surprised at the traffic and how quickly the place moved. The day of the photo shoot with a photographer, its good to be present to ensure removal of items for the photos representing your home to sell. Just put them back in if you're still living in the space. And don't leave out food on counters, dirty dishes in sink or cloths on floors, persnal products in bathrooms or toilet seats up as I've seen all of these happen in several online real estate photos. That's not only tacky, it's just being lazy.


This week, I'll be meeting with the moving company so they can survey what needs to be packed and what supplies they'llneed (hee hee). Thankfully, as part of the relocation package, the movers will also be packing, but I'm doing a little prepacking of items from cupboards and the garage. Jeff is already out in a temporary apartment in Arizona, but that hasn't stopped us from looking at places together. Tomorrow I'll share what we've been up to "to find a new space to dwell" .... :) (and it won't be the heartbreak hotel!)

Thanks for staying tuned into Focal Point during this transition....



  1. It's sad and exciting all at the same time. Congratulations on your quick sale and good luck on your move to Arizona.

  2. I knew it would sell quick! The photos are stunning, you did a fabulous job of staging!
    Congrats on your sale, I can't wait to see the new place.

  3. I was wondering if you could post pictures of each room side by side every time you have changed it, and point out the changes. It has been so fun whatching each room change. I noticed that the rugs, bath towels, pillows, light shades all match throughout the house do you always change those things?

  4. Congratulations on your quick sale. That's fantastic in this market. I am sure your next home will be just as stunning.

  5. Thank you so much!! YES - It is both sad and exciting at the same time... But I'm happy and proud of my hubs for getting the promotion... Just sad about having to relocate across the country. But I have already received several emails from NEW people to meet out in AZ - so yes!! That will be VERY exciting.

    The other sad part is, and kind of funny, I was just starting to feel like I finally found the sweet spot of making the house our home.

    Kelly - really funny thing is, I actually was putting photos together earlier this year to show the "side by side" changes that have happened here, and how these spaces (and my style) has transformed over the years. This space has been an incredible canvas to experiment and wonderful learning experience for sure :)

    xo Lynda

  6. Congratulations Lynda!!! To sell your home that quickly in today's market is quite the feat!!! Who wouldn't walk in and just absolutely die over your gorgeous space? I know I would as I would have such a wonderful vision for what I could do with the space! You will make your new house a home so quickly with all the love you put into a space!

  7. Hi Lynda, all the best with your move. The home you are leaving is absolutely gorgeous but I'm sure you will find another one just as lovely. I found and am now following you through My Romantic Home and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  8. One thing which i felt in these picture and post is the decoration.Decoration is the main important thing for selling house fast.No one can deny its importance.In this sense can not ignore well.

  9. In your master bathroom, you have 4 square wall hangings made out of a bunch of circles. What are they and can you let us know where you got them? They're gorgeous!!

  10. De-personalize, de-clutter, and neutralize – these are definitely the three important factors to accomplish if you want your home to get sold immediately. It is advisable to present your home to buyers in such a way that they can move in easily and immediately without having to worry about cleaning. It must be accessible at anytime, most especially in case where the buyer needs the home to be occupied immediately.

    -Ofelia Bertrand

  11. Hello Lynda! =) I just so loved the zebra style floor carpet in your bed room. The mixture of black and white is so dynamic and when it’s lighted it looks more awesome. =) If I am a buyer, I would not wait until the house is mine! Thanks for the relevant pieces of advice. How are you I your new house? Keep us up to date. . -Lakisha Zimmerer

  12. What a great post! I can see that you’ve learned a lot in house tours and house selling. I hope that this post can be shared to those who are also planning to sell their houses or to engage in real estate. I know they can adjust to some features that you’ve presented and I think that can lead them to a successful venture in selling their house.

    Gregoria Loth

  13. This blog provide information regarding getting your house ready to sell. The home sell is a challenging one. Over here some awesome tips available which sure very helpful for everybody who want to sell their home in quick and want to get best money.

    Brian Linnekens | Brian Linnekens USA

  14. Great Job! To sell a house quickly is challenging, but you have seem to accomplished it. Great Post!

  15. Your Home Tour & Home Selling Tips I've Learned blog really fantastic and i am waiting your next blog Favor Home Solutions



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