Getting your house ready for sale in the spring: Curb Appeal and Clutter!

As the snow melts, the real estate season begins and now is the right time to think about getting your house ready for sale in the spring.

With spring-cleaning  and getting your house ready for sale, we like to think in terms of the two C’s of preparation: CURB APPEAL and CLUTTER.  Adhere to a few rules around these two areas and you will save yourself endless hours of headache in the selling process. So, here are our suggestions on Curb Appeal and Clutter:

1)    Curb Appeal:  It is always important to look at your house from the outside and consider what others see when they drive by or arrive for a tour.  Here in Vermont it is especially important because the winters wreak havoc on our landscapes.

  • The snowplow truck throws endless piles of dirt and grit onto your lawn and driveway. The salt you throw down to melt the ice on your path has now mixed with dirt and turned into a fine grain that looks, well, messy.
  • Did you have a chance to take down the Christmas wreaths yet? They should come down.
  • Did your fence line, porches, or exterior doors sustain any damage during the winter? Perhaps you cannot fix it immediately, but remove the broken elements from view and clean up the area as much as possible.  For those of you in rural settings, this is a real problem.  A good friend lost three fences due to an out of control car and they lost their mail box when the snowplow went right through it!
  • Do you still have last summer or falls potted plants on the porch?  Place them in the garage or better yet, compost them!

Since March and April are still pretty cold up here in Vermont, you cannot put out flowers yet but you can clean up the exterior so home buyers see the bones of the house and garden and are not turned off by left over debris.

2)    Clutter: Take a look at what people see when they first enter your house. In our house, they see the mudroom/entry hall and the endless array of coats, boots, sneakers, etc. that are needed to sustain oneself during the transition of winter to spring.  A clean and organized entry way is just as important as how the front of your house appears.

  • How can you clean up your entry and hide the clutter of living so that people who visit your house see the lovely home you created and not the entire contents of the closet?
  • In your kitchen, austerity rules. Find a home for EVERYTHING.  Keep the absolute minimum of household appliances, sugar jars, fruit bowls and cereal boxes on your counter.  Again, you want people to see the bones of the house and to be able to envision their life within the space. You do not want them to see lots of things on the counters and to assume if there simply is not enough cabinet space in this house…
  • Bathroom: Toothbrushes be banished!!! Hide them, hide the toothpaste, hide the deodorant. Add a scented candle or other NATURAL room freshener to the space and pretend that you live in a spa.  Keep it simple and super clean. Pay attention to smells here too. There should be no smells or only light and natural smells.

If you can follow these guidelines of Curb Appeal and Clutter when getting your house ready for sale, home buyers will have a much better chance at seeing just how wonderful your house is and they will be better able to envision how they might use the space.  As with any kind of selling situation, you want to make it as easy as possible for the buyer. Look at your house and consider how you can make it easy for people to see just how terrific it truly is.

If you want to see a house in Burlington, VT that has the curb appeal/clutter dynamic down pat, check out this listing on Austin Drive.

Getting your house ready for sale


What do you think? Are there other areas in the house as important as the kitchen and bathrooms? I’d love to hear your comments.

If you are considering listing your house, give us a call. We offer home staging as a part of our sellers listing package and a home stager can really help with the clutter issue!

Thanks for stopping by,


Posted in Sellers, Vermont Real Estate.