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De-cluttering your home is a MUST before selling!!!!

Written by on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 2:58 pm

Dallas, Texas -   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.

I’m amazed at how many homes I show that are full of “stuff.”  Starting in the kids’ rooms, there are usually shelves of soccer trophies, doll collections, posters hanging on walls….get rid of all of it. 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. 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.  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!

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  • Comment Link Karen Menachof Thursday, 24 October 2013 8:42 pm posted by Karen Menachof

    De-cluttering is certainly critical to maximizing the sale price for the home. So I'm always surprised to hear that a realtor recommended de-cluttering, but didn't recommend a specific resource to handle it for their client. Seems like it'd be a great value add for the realtor...and expedite the process if a trusted move manager was in the mix to facilitate that process. Any thoughts on how to get more realtors to recomment providers?

  • Comment Link JoEllen Salkin Tuesday, 17 September 2013 6:51 am posted by JoEllen Salkin

    Great advice! As a Professional Organizer I remind the seller that they need to transform their home into a house. This is probably one of the largest investments they will ever make, and they need to do everything they can to gain the largest return they can on that investment.
    JoEllen Salkin

  • Comment Link Andi Willis Monday, 16 September 2013 6:11 am posted by Andi Willis

    My family has moved 4 times over the past 20 years so we've looked at lots of houses. Out of all of those 2 homes still stick out in my brain, one that had a full wall of family photos and another that looked like it had been ransacked. There was stuff on every surface including an open pack of diapers on the kitchen table. These house stood out alright, just not in a good way! Like Karen, I am also a professional organizer and I'm always telling people the importance of declutter ing their homes now even if they are only thinking of selling. Great advice!

  • Comment Link Karen S. Augustine Sunday, 15 September 2013 11:09 am posted by Karen S. Augustine

    I am a professional organizer and I encourage my clients to declutter and purge before selling their homes. Also, I state that preplanning is key due to not having to do everything at the last minute if they do decide to sell. When it is time to sell then they are not overwhelmed with this monumental task.

    Also, staging is very important and I have a friend who does that. I also tell my clients that when a potential buyer walks through their home, they do not want to be overwhelmed with clutter and they also need envision their items in the home. People do love their stuff. Thank you. Karen S. Augustine, Professional Organizer.

  • Comment Link James Friend Dickerson Wednesday, 11 September 2013 6:35 am posted by James Friend Dickerson

    Well said! You never get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression. De-cluttering is a must and truly helps homes sell faster at a higher price.

  • Comment Link Lisa Tuesday, 10 September 2013 3:30 pm posted by Lisa

    Thanks Nora, we have been thinking about selling! I will call you to come help me declutter.

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