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De-clutter! It Helps Sell Your Home Faster

June 30 2008

Take a good look at your home as if you were about to buy it tomorrow. While throwing out clothes and collectables from yesteryears can be heart-wrenching, making sure your property is junk-free prior to listing is the most important step toward selling your house.

Woman holding towels

The following should help you answer every seller’s most important question: should it stay or should it go?

A little help from your Realtor®

If you can’t afford to professionally stage your home, ask a Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate sales associate to give you sage remodeling ideas that will help increase the appeal of your home to potential buyers. Take their advice and get rid of any furniture or décor that’s inconsistent or unnecessary in the home.

First impressions

Coat racks are a staple in the entrance of almost every home. But to make the entranceway feel larger, make use of existing closet space and neatly put away hats, shoes, coats and jackets inside. You want buyers to have a good look when they walk in – just not at your collection of running shoes.

Closets are for clothes, not clutter

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to hide your “clutter” skeletons in the closet, as potential buyers tend to peer into every possible space. Tackle one closet at a time and ask yourself why you’re holding onto something. If it’s only to sell in a garage sale, save yourself the trouble and donate any unwanted items to your local charity. You’ll be giving others stuff they can use and making your home appear more inviting in the process.

Consider removing unnecessary furniture

Take a look through every room in the home. Why is the furniture set up the way it is? If another way makes more sense, creates more light and makes the room feel and look better, consider room remodeling while showing your home. The idea is to maximize space where possible. So if an item isn’t in use, box it up and get it ready for moving day. Alternatively, consider short-term storage facilities where you can temporarily move items you have yet to determine what to do with.

Books, newspapers, magazines and the mail

We all love getting our favorite magazine in the mail, but after years of living in a home, those magazines and Sunday Times crosswords can add up. Homebuyers don’t want to see big stacks of magazines around your house. Before showing your home, remove your magazines and newspapers. Be sure to store your personal mail in your files. Take your collection of unwanted books to a used bookstore and your extra newspapers and magazines to be recycled. Getting rid of the paper around your office, living room and entranceway will make the home feel cleaner.

Before you start showing your home, have a final walk through with your Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate sales associate. They are one of best assets in determining your decluttering progress and will be able to judge when your home is ready for potential buyers. By motivating buyers to reach a decision sooner, you’ll attract offers on your home quicker than you think.