Posted by Elizabeth Biberger on
I always say that how we live in our home and how we present our home for sale are two very different things. We can live any way we want but when we sell, to minimize time on the market and to obtain maximum dollars, changes have to be made. If you are an avid fan of HGTV then you will undoubtedly have a pretty good idea of the basics of staging. I do not want to talk about staging here but rather I would like to talk about the step you need to take before staging and that is decluttering.
The first thing buyers are going to look at in assessing your home is online pictures and clutter in pictures sets a very poor tone and may very well determine if a buyer makes an appointment to view. My first piece of advice to all my clients is to get rid of that which you have no intention of moving to your new home. If it has no future use then get rid of it before you list and you are on your way to decluttering your space. Minimize what you have both in and outside your home. Clear out over-stuffed closets and drawers as they send a message to a buyer that your home has no storage. If you really have no storage and dumping fifteen pairs of shoes in your front entrance is how you live in your home, you will have to come up with a different plan while your home is for sale as the sight of those shoes will trigger a buyer to look for the closet which does not exist. Clear those stacks of magazines and papers cluttering up floors, desks and bureaus. Pack up those DVD and book collections as they give a cluttered feel to interior pictures. Your job is to create the feeling of space and order. Minimize furniture in rooms that are small. Your home will feel larger and buyers will be able to visualize their stuff in your space.
Now there is always the possibility of taking the decluttering too far. One client took my advice to heart and removed everything from the shelves of a featured display unit. Before pictures could be taken we had to replace a few items. Yes your home will feel empty comparatively – especially if you have grown accustomed to having a lot of stuff in your space but it will present much better for pictures and when buyers actually view.
As a last piece of advice, items that have been packed up ready for your move are best stored off the property. While this is the ideal, funds are not always available to rent a storage unit. So if you must store on site, stack boxes neatly in a storage room or part of a garage out of main areas of your home. And here is the best part of decluttering before listing your home – it will be far easier to maintain it when it is on the market.
So – I live in my home so don’t come by to take a look or you might have to direct me to this blog.