In real estate, selling seasons generally start about 6 weeks before the calendar says they do. So, if you’re planning to sell your home this fall, you’ve got to start now to get your home in selling shape.

Start by thoroughly cleaning your house. As I’ve often said, your house should be so clean that Mr. Clean feels dirty walking through your kitchen.

Once your house is spic and span, it’s time to de-clutter all horizontal surfaces. Take everything off countertops and shelves and pack it away for your eventual move. If you must, you can keep your coffee maker out. A clutter-free house will make it shine by comparison to other homes on the market.

If you remove half the stuff in your closets, you’ll give buyers the illusion that there’s plenty of storage room for anything they might have. A good rule of thumb is to pack away, give away or throw away anything you haven’t used in the past 3 years.

Finally, if you want to sell quickly and for more money, make sure you clean or replace the carpet, touch up your paint and don’t forget to spruce up your garden.

With practical, informative consumer advice, I’m Ilyce Glink, News-Talk 750 WSB