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Home Prep

When selling a home, the first factor for consideration is to discuss who is the target market that would most likely be the buyer of your house: an investor or a buyer who intends to live there themselves.

If the home is targeted towards an investor because of the condition of the structure or mechanics are diminishing, or maybe the dwelling is just too dated compared to its competition, or maybe you just prefer a quick sale, then the approach we use is very different than a home where the goal is to sell for maximum profit. When you want to sell to an investor, then we suggest you do very little, if anything, to prep the home for the market.

To the contrary, when selling for profit, you will need to perform some real man hours to best prepare your house, inside and out. The result should entice buyers who see your home’s marketing, and who are compelled to not only schedule to tour your house in-person, but to submit offers too.

Ariana Loucas Team is committed to getting you top dollar. To do this, we will assess the competition to see how your home competes. As we review the data with you, we will ask you to put on “buyers’ eyes” to assess the condition, upgrades, and amenities of your house against those also on the market now or those that recently sold. We use this strategy along with many other initiatives that we employ to sell your house.

With that understood, unless your home is the “Investor Special”, then the photos used for marketing are key to getting you top dollar. When we visit your residence, you will receive a customized checklist from us. This list will include tasks that need to be done before the professional photographer is scheduled. These suggestions are not meant to offend anyone but instead are to help you offer a certain “experience” for the buyers that will be touring and considering your house, to become their new home. The objective is to make your home more attractive, brighter, more spacious, and inviting than any other home that same buyer is going to see. Nobody said selling a home for top dollar would be easy but together we can accomplish your goals.

Once you finish the homework, we will perform a final walk-thru the day before or, depending on the scope of prep that was needed, the day of the photo-shoot. On photo day, your home should be ready with such details done that we mentioned during our initial visit, and with the following elements also being completed:



  • All interior and exterior lights on, including floor lamps, table lamps, under cabinet lighting, bedside lamps, ceiling fan lights, and other secondary light sources
  • Ensure that all light bulbs work in exterior lights, interior lamps, all recessed lights, bathroom vanity lights, ceiling fan lights, etc.
  • Hide any unsightly cords running down the wall or across the floor


  • Remove all non-decorative items from counters (dish soap, sponges / brushes, paper towels, cleaning supplies, toaster, blender, can opener, pots/pans, etc.)
  • Remove from the refrigerator any magnets, photos, kids’ artwork, etc.
  • Ensure that all light bulbs work in lamps, recessed lights, fan lights, cabinet lighting, etc.
  • Hide cords (lamps, phone / laptop chargers, etc.) running down the wall or across a floor


  • Lower toilet seats
  • Rid mirror of toothpaste splatters
  • Clear countertops of non-decorative items (no toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, hairbrushes, dryers, curling irons, make-up, shaving utensils…)
  • Remove toiletries from bath/shower area
  • (curtains/door are often open to show off tiling and fixtures)
  • Ensure that all light bulbs work
  • Hide cords (lamps, phone / laptop chargers…) running down the wall or across a floor


  • Take down political support signs
  • Put hoses and other equipment away
  • Organize and stage patio/deck
  • Pick up pet waste
  • Hide garbage bins for photo shoot
  • Curb appeal is the first impression so clean up the yard
  • Have freshly cut lawn, bushes, and nice landscaping
  • Ensure all pool cleaning equipment is removed and the pool has been cleaned


  • Keep pets out of the way during the shoot
  • Put away pet supplies, including food/water bowls, crates, toys etc


  • Open curtains and be sure they are evenly open from the top to the sides to the way the fall on the floor
  • Open blinds in every room. Mini blinds should be twisted open, not pulled up and they should be level, straight and have the cord hidden. Accordion style blinds should be raised at least halfway and level across all windows.
  • Walk outside and look at your house. If any windows or blinds look uneven to the eye from the outside, then go back indoors and adjust them until they are perfectly positioned


  • Ensure that no vehicles are in the driveway or on the street in front of home
  • Close garage doors


  • If available, place unobtrusive decorative items on counters and tables-examples include fresh flowers, bowls of fresh fruit, pottery, vases, and new candles
  • Ensure that all light bulbs work. Replace any burned out bulbs
  • Hide all cords running down the wall or across a floor (lamps, tv cables, phone/laptop charger, etc.)
  • Hide all remote controls to TVs and such
  • Fluff pillows on beds and be sure comforter is hiding sides of the mattress from all angles
  • No sheets or blankets should be hanging longer than the comforter
  • Check that nothing is visible that might be hidden under the bed. Check this in ALL bedrooms.
  • Remove all personal photos from walls and shelves


  • Remove all holiday décor-examples include pumpkins, Christmas trees, menorahs, Christmas lights, wreaths from front door, greeting cards, etc.


  • Turn ceiling fans off
  • Put all personal items away (purse, wallet, keys, bookbags, shoes at the door, mail, etc.)
  • Remove religious symbols from view
  • Generally, make the house as clean as possible (remove streaks from mirrors, sweep/mop floors, etc.)

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