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Based on the book: 

Rented or Not...Here We Come!

It is mid-January, the beginning of Masters preparation time, and for the second time in 30 years of renting, I have a "no-show". This year's client signed the contract...and then never produced the money. This happens on occasion, and I simply plow through, knowing that a Masters-ready rental will likely find a perfect match, so I shall move forward with great anticipation.

Hopefully you have put away your holiday decor, swept out the last bits of holly and ivy, and are ready to take stock of your anticipated needs. NOW is the time to hire any contractors. Whether you are painting, wallpapering, landscaping, or even buying a new appliance, do it NOW. Contractors will be in heavy demand to meet Masters week deadlines. Don't delay.

Walk the entire house. This is a great time to work on your dormant flower beds and landscaping. We had our pinestraw delivered yesterday in order to rake out the old and set in the new before plants begin popping back up. We will add a layer of fresh pinestraw just prior to Masters. We also clean out our outdoor sheds this month, blissfully free of mosquitos and August heat. You want to be sure that your outdoor spaces are ready for the incoming plants, furniture, and lighting that makes a Masters rental special.

January is also a good time to stock up on any linens or towels you may need as these items are often on sale. Remember your housekeeper will need to wash enormous loads of towels and sheets. Don't make her guess which towels go to which bath. All white towels are always a good bet. And if all of the beds in your home are not the same size, you may want to purchase white sheets for the king beds, off white for the queen, that sheets may be quickly sorted.

Think of January as your overall planning month. Take an honest survey of each room. Are the blinds working? Commodes working? Appliances working? Tackle any of these issues right now.

And finally, if you are not rented yet, JUST MOVE FORWARD. Agents will often need last minute fully prepared homes. And if the worst case scenario comes and you do not rent? You will have just performed the most marvelous spring cleaning, which you and your family will enjoy for the rest of the year.

Happy Prepping!

Laurie Easterlin is a home stager and professional Masters preparation specialist. To learn more about her services, please visit:


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