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Perfect Preparation of Your Home for Guests

Congratulations! You've made the decision to list your home on the site. Whether this property is your primary residence or a second home, you need to prepare it for the luxury home exchange guest.

Here are some quick tips to help you ready your property for home swap and/or exchange and make it shine. For more information on home exchange, download a free Home Exchange Guide.

Every surface of your home should be sparkling clean. A clean home always looks brighter, fresher and smells better.  If you have a family, set aside a ‘family cleaning day’ and make it fun for everyone. Assign each member of the family a room, or work in pairs. If housework isn’t your thing, hire professional cleaners.  

De-cluttering means removing lots and lots of extra pieces from surfaces, walls, closets, cabinets and rooms. Smart homeowners will take this opportunity to ruthlessly weed through items and either throw them away, give to charity, or pack them up for storage elsewhere.  By removing the clutter, the focus shifts from the "stuff" in the room to the room itself.
Start by removing things in the kitchen, the most cluttered room in a home. Remove everything from the outside of the refrigerator and the top of the cabinetry. Cull through the cabinets and countertops. Do the same with the remainder of the rooms in the house. Go through each room, medicine cabinet and closet and remove, pack away, and de-clutter. Do the same with the garage and basement. The outdoor area of your home should be addressed, as well.

Removing an excessive amount of framed photos, diplomas, certificates, trophies, awards and collectibles will result in a lighter, airier and more welcome feel for your guests.  Too much personal stuff will make your home exchange guests feels as if they are intruding on your space.

Armed with a clipboard, write down every little thing you see that needs to be fixed or replaced such as a broken window pane, loose door handles, windows that do not open, missing light bulbs, dripping faucets, or even something as small as a missing outlet cover. Once you have your list, either fix it yourself, or hire someone to do it for you.

Staging is the new fancy word on the real estate scene. In essence, it means “setting the stage, or enhancing a home’s features” to appeal to all. Staging your house is like entering a beauty contest. You want to look beautiful and win the contest. It can involve the re-arrangement or re-use of furniture and art, or replacement of worn or outdated accessories. Staging should be the last thing done after cleaning, de-cluttering, de-personalizing and fixing. It should be completed prior to having the home photographed and can be done by the homeowners or a professional staging company. 

Remember, think about how you would like to see a home that you are visiting.


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