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Selling a home can be a stressful process, but selling it while it's still occupied brings it up another level.


You want to show the house as a clean, spacious, and attractive place for buyers to potentially call home and make an offer. At the same time, a property that is still occupied is filled with things that make it a home.


Getting your place ready to sell entails decluttering and cleaning to make it feel as big as possible.


We've put together a list of items that you should put away prior to listing your home, or at least hide during showings: 


Family Photos 


This one is easy, as the first rule of preparing a house for a showing is to make it as de-personalized as possible. The goal is to have the potential homebuyer imagine themselves in the home, especially if it's a family looking for a starter home.


While those pictures of last summer's trip to Disneyland or camping in Tofino are memorable to you, they aren't helping buyers envision themselves living in your home. So instead, put up pictures of beautiful landscapes or sunsets to create a sense of tranquillity and warmth.


Kid's Items


Children's toys can take up a lot of space, become distracting and make a room look "too lived in" to potential buyers who want to imagine themselves in the home with their belongings. The same goes for items such as bottle drying racks, activity mats, and the like. 


You'll be amazed at how clean the place looks after the toys are removed, and as a bonus, it allows your family to go through the items and see which ones need to be donated, thrown out, or kept.


We suggest having a secret storage spot under the bed that can hide clutter, as interested buyers will open all the doors but rarely look under the bed.


Valuables and Medication 


Jewellery, watches, and even electronics can go missing during house showings, given that homebuyers are walking around every room, sometimes with the owner away or unattended by the agent. So, put it all away in a secure spot that you know visitors won't easily find or lock in a safe. 


Leaving medications out in the open can be dangerous, not only for security purposes but also because they could be stolen. This includes drugs for children and pets. Instead, have a medicine bag that you can pack them all in and keep in one place until the house sells.


Cleaning Supplies


This is all part of staging your home to make it look as clean and clutter-free as possible. Cleaning is also not everyone's favourite part of owning a place, so anything that reminds the buyer of that should be avoided as it can be distracting.


While a broom shouldn't be left in the corner of the kitchen, most homes have certain spaces to keep such items such as closets, garages, or even a shed, so long as it's not cluttered. This is also a great way to give potential buyers a good idea of where cleaning supplies can be stored. 


Religious or Political Decor


Any kind of religious or political décor, which includes photos with political figures, or décor showing support for a particular party, should be avoided. The last thing you want to do is to turn off a buyer because of a difference in political opinion.


The same idea goes for religion, although this can get a bit tricky when it comes around to holiday time. Decorating a bit during the holidays, such as Christmas, can actually give the buyer an inside look at what the home would look like during that time of the year; just remember to keep it secular and minimal. 

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