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Pro-Tips: Prepping for your Sale

By Deb Miller

Last year, my Senior Broker, Ariela Heilman, and I worked with a client/videographer on an “Intro to Sell” piece (watch above).

In our Q&A on the video, Ariela emphasizes that the way to get the biggest check for your home at the end of the sale process is to prepare for your launch onto the market by showcasing the biggest amount of space and brightest amount of light your property can boast.

There is something to be said about the psychology of desire that should not be underestimated when thinking about the experience of a buyer coming into your home for the first time. What first impression will your home make: an opportunity, a new chapter, a step up, a blank canvas? Can your buyer see themselves there? Or is your personal stamp detracting from that possibility?

Is there other inventory on the market in your zip code when your home goes on for sale?

Do the buyers have choice?

Is yours the most favorable, either in presentation or in price (or even both)? Will you lead that pack or trail it? If you want to lead it, here is what I have gleaned:


1. Declutter (with gusto!) – if a storage unit is within your budget, packing up and store whatever is detracting from an intentional presentation is worth considering.

If you need help determining what should stay and go, we suggest consulting a professional for effective strategy:

Our colleague/stager, Mark Tamayo, who in a prior career could be found at Bergdorf’s in visual merchandising, gave us our beloved tagline “Eye Appeal is Buy Appeal.”

If you need help with packing up choices and declutter guidance, space organizer, Allison Weinger is a pro:

What to do with your clutter


Housing Works

City Opera Thrift

Can’t decide? Storage Clutter Storage

Dump It: (Anthony J. Finkel)


Junk Lightning Removal (Angel Pimentel)



Roadway Moving (Alex Artimon)


Moving Right Along (Timothy Garcia)


Once the Coast is Clear

2. Deep Clean

A deep cleaning will give your home an edge as it makes a powerful first impression:

Sierra Cleaning Services

Obsessive Cleaning

3. Window Washing (both sides) per Ariela in our video, is a must for sourcing the best natural light an apartment can have.

4. Paint If you are able to paint the apartment a neutral color prior to sale launch and address any ‘dings,’ you’re likely to capture a higher bid sooner.

AM Design: (Andre Hottum)

MNE Contracting LLC: (Milinko Kocalo)

5. De-scent Got odors? Check out the powers of Charcoal:

Tips from Apartment Therapy and Hunker

Deb Miller, a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with Brown Harris Stevens, writes from Harlem and welcomes your questions on buying, selling and, when the going gets rough, where to locate a transformative piece of CAKE.

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