There is no better time to prepare your home for the real estate market than the first of the year.  Snowbirds will be leaving their winter abodes and flocking to Arizona for our warm sunshine and outdoor lifestyle!  And the good news? Some of these winter visitors come to buy a home!

You will want to clear out all reminiscences of the holidays including the festive lights on the patio.  If you are a Scottsdale resident and have a Christmas tree to dispose of just leave it curbside by 5 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 9 and it will be picked up by the City of Scottsdale by end of day on the 13th.

Next?  Make a plan in writing and make sure you include a completion date.  In your plan you will clear your calendar for an allotted amount of time each day and assign a room to each day of the week.  Typically 3-4 weeks is enough time to get everything accomplished; allow 1-2 weeks to de-clutter and clean and use the last 2 weeks to add the finishing touches such as staging, new paint or small remodel jobs.


You don’t have to become a minimalist to get your house looking great and on the market in record time, but you do need to view your home from a different perspective.  Your first plan of action is remove all family photos.  All of them?  Yes, all of them even those in your office and hallway.  The intent is to let the prospective new owner envision the home as their own and that’s a hard thing to do when someone else is in the picture.

Your next step is to remove the tchotchkes, knickknacks and baubles from the shelves, coffee tables, nightstands and anywhere else they may be accessorizing your home.  Wrap these wonderful items and store them to decorate your next home.  Think you have cleared enough out?  The litmus test is to invite the neighbor’s toddler over and let them roam freely. You get the idea!

Follow your plan and schedule for each room and push through even when you feel like quitting.  But don’t hesitate to ask for help.  We all have those friends with unlimited energy that love to get in our stuff.  This is the time to invite them over and give them free reign.  It’s amazing what you both will knock out in an afternoon.

Engage the family as well by assigning a specific project with a deadline to everyone in the household.

New Paint and Small Remodel Jobs

Do you have wallpaper in the secondary bedrooms or bathrooms?  If so, it’s time to pull it down and paint!

Some homes are put on the market with a pink bathroom or an out-of-date color in the main area of the home.  This creates an unnecessary obstacle for the home buyer to overcome.  As a seller you want to present a neutral palette in décor both inside and outside of the home.

Staging Your Home

If you are having a difficult time getting your home ready for the market or if you are feeling overwhelmed it might be prudent to hire a professional stager or a professional organizer.  It is statically proven that a staged home will sell quicker and for more money than an empty or cluttered home.

There’s nothing new under the sun when it comes to getting your house ready for the real estate market, you just have to “do it”!

Ready to list or need referrals for painters, stagers or other professionals to get your home ready to sell? The Matheson Team has a list of contractors and professionals they work with on a continual basis that can help you get your home ready to sell for top dollar.

Don Matheson
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255