You’re just about ready to list your home, so you consult with your real estate agent to find out what needs to be done to sell it quickly. The biggest advice your agent suggests are: declutter and clean. You assure your realtor that you are a ship-shape person already and that everything will be clean and ready when the potential buyers come, “I promise.”
This is common advice given to home sellers, you are not alone. But here’s the secret – what agents wish their clients understood is that decluttering and cleaning is more than just keeping the baseboards dust-free, the toilet seat down, and removing “stuff.” What it really means is taking a fresh look at your home and being unflinchingly honest with yourself about what you see. We have outlined some valuable tips below on how you can wow your realtor, and more importantly, your prospective buyers.
Grab a notebook and take a tour of the home inside and out. Pretend that you don’t own the house, heck even act like you are coming in to potentially buy it! If you have a friend who’s willing to help, that’s even better. This is a perfect way to accomplish the difficult task of decluttering your home. After all the “stuff” you identify, you will understand why your real estate recommended this action in the first place! Write down anything that is the least bit offensive to the eye or out of place, including hoses in the yard, toys left out, papers on the table, and newspapers stacked in the closet. The more you notice, the more prepared your home will be for eagle-eyed buyers. When in doubt, get rid of it!
Get over your attachments
The biggest issue for sellers preparing their home for market, is their attachment to their house and the things in it. From repainting a room, to removing family photos from the wall, sellers must accept that their time there is coming to an end. To address this challenge, it’s best to remove personal items first, depersonalize the home. If you think about it as if you were preparing a model home for viewing, it will make it easier to depersonalize the rooms. To sell your home, you must give the buyers room to imagine their personal belongings there. You want them to feel as though the house is theirs not yours.
If you do it right, decluttering and depersonalizing will often leave you with boxes and boxes of “stuff”. While stacking them in a closet seems like the best option…don’t! Closet space is often one of the key points to selling your home, so make sure you keep them clutter free. If the closets are crowded, the buyer may think that your home is just not big enough, even if it has the square footage they want. If you can’t throw away, donate or use offsite storage then, the garage is usually your best option. Most people store their extra things there, so the buyer won’t think judge too harshly when they see things stacked in the garage. Purchasing shelving for the garage to store these boxes would be a very smart move. You didn’t do all that work organizing the house just to clutter up the garage.
Remember, agents who have been certified by AdvantageU® Home Sellers’s Resource have been doing this for a long time, and they will always tell you that a well cleaned and decluttered house is your quickest path to a “Sold!” sign. For more tips that will help you get your home sold fast and for full market value, visit www.advantageu.com.