You’ve made the decision to sell your home and now what? Whether it’s financial, divorce, becoming empty nesters, being transferred, needing more space, or just wanting a change, it’s a big, emotional decision and now you have to get your house “sell ready.”
It’s important to know that there is “living” and there is “selling.” In other words, you live in a house totally different than you live in a house that you’re trying to sell. The two should never be confused and you shouldn’t get offended when your Realtor suggests you de-clutter your prize possession…your home! Clean lines are what most buyers are looking for in today’s market so make that your goal.
1. Starting in the kids’ rooms, there are usually shelves of soccer trophies, doll collections, posters hanging on walls….get rid of all of it.
2. The kitchen is also a big offender….wicker baskets, pot racks full of odd shaped pots, photos and magnets on refrigerators, toasters, coffee pots, counters full of clutter. As difficult as it is, you MUST remove most of the appliances that sit on your counter. Take down all the baskets that you have sitting above your cabinets, take all the pots off your rack and basically create “clean lines” in your kitchen. The buyer cannot feel claustrophobic when they enter your home.
3. The family room is another key room to de-clutter. Take down 90% of your family photos, remove any extra furniture, remove oversized fake plants and fake flower arrangements that sit on your mantle or on your coffee table , put up all knick-knacks and magazines, put away extra blankets that you have scattered around and if you have rugs at every turn, put a few away. Too many throw rugs make an area look busy. Bookshelves can also be a huge distracter. If your shelves are loaded with books, trinkets, collections, etc. remove most of them. Balance book shelves so they are symmetrical. You don’t want the eye to go immediately to the book shelves when a buyer walks into the room.
4. Now for the room that will probably be the hardest… the master bedroom. Ladies, if you have all your makeup, brushes, blow dryers, rollers, perfumes, toothbrushes and toothpaste, etc. sitting out PLEASE put them under the counters or in cabinets. Put out fresh towels and leave your counters looking like a 4-Seasons Hotel room.
Are you offended yet? Is this your house? It’s mine, but I’m not selling my home. The main objective is to let each room breathe. The best compliment I had recently after a seller properly de-cluttered her house, was from agents, who were touring her home, ask if the house was staged. My seller was so proud of herself…job accomplished! The house sold in one week.
Remember less is more and the objective is to get the highest dollar that the market can bear in the shortest amount of time. A good Realtor will walk you through each room and tell you lovingly what you need to get rid of or put up temporarily. Don’t be offended! Listen carefully and do exactly as she/he says. They are out there in the field, know exactly what buyers are looking for and they have your best interest at heart!
Written by Nora Ling Lane