Want to get your home ready to sell for top dollar in today’s wild Colorado market? Here are some simple rules of thumb that I follow when my realtor friends give their clients the gift of my time.

1. Clear out and organize the closets. If you’ve stuffed them full-to-bursting with boxes of clutter from the rest of the house, it makes your house seem cramped.

2. Edit the furniture so that rooms are “spare.” Move out the broken chair that Aunt Agnes gave you, give away the five potted plants that struggle to survive your half-hearted ministrations, and make sure that the flat surfaces are bare. Pack up (or say goodbye to) vases, figurines, beach glass, dog toys and family pictures that make your house feel homey … to you. Potential buyers need to imagine themselves living in the house, and your family photos can mess up their fantasy!

3. Fresh paint in neutral colors works wonders. A fresh coat of taupe, Navajo white or tan paint will help small rooms look larger and allows a potential buyer’s imagination to soar. I know you LOVE that bold fuchsia accent wall, but it’s time to bid it a fond farewell, for now. Save the unused paint, though, for your new home!

4. Pack up your extra stuff and put it in a small storage unit. For a modest monthly fee, the storage unit will keep all your extras safe until you move, and your current home will feel uncluttered, spacious, and ready for sale! (Better yet, take this opportunity to donate or recycle that extra stuff—get rid of it already!—rather than store it.)

5. Have the carpets and upholstery cleaned. And keep all animal areas spotless. Make sure your home looks, feels and smells clean – don’t mask odors with “air fresheners.”

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