Five Helpful Tips on De-Cluttering Your Home
Are you ready to sell your house? I know this can be an emotional and trying time for you and your family. Maybe you are downsizing from the family home where you raised your children. Maybe you are being transferred to another city for a job. Maybe you are moving to be closer to family. For whatever reason, you have decided to list your home. The Cummings Company lists houses every week. When we go on the initial listing appointment, we look around your home. We advise you, the sellers, to de-clutter. Many buyers can’t see themselves living in your home because all they see is “your stuff.” Remember, Appearance is Everything!!!
Clear away the clutter. Ridding your home of clutter is a simple way to get buyers to focus on the bones of the house, not the pictures of your family or your trophy collection from high school.
After years of living in the same home, clutter collects in such a way that may not be evident to the homeowner. However, it does affect the way buyers see the home, even if you do not realize it. Clutter collects on shelves and countertops, and in drawers, closets, garages, attics and basements. I know this is hard to do as we are emotionally attached to everything in our home but de-cluttering is a big part of getting your home ready to sell. Move items off kitchen and bathroom countertops. Clear your knick-knacks from table tops, dressers and bookshelves. Clean out your closets.
Here are five helpful tips on de-cluttering your home:
- Unpersonalize. Put away pictures of your family-children, grandparents, family portraits, even pictures of your pets. Many people have a hard time imaging their own family in your house if they are surrounded by pictures of your family. Pack up all your pictures, collectibles and treasures in boxes and stack the boxes neatly in your garage. Consider asking a family member if you can store your boxes in their garage or rent a small storage unit. Click here for tips on moving with kids.
- Touch Up. Rearrange the rooms in your home to reel in prospective buyers. Make sure each room has a distinct, useful purpose so the buyer can see themselves living in these rooms. Has your furniture been in the same place for years? Consider touring some model homes to see how they are staged for new ideas. If your home has been painted recently, consider yourself ahead of the game. If not, take a paintbrush to the rooms that need it most. Sellers who paint the interior of their home will see a large return on the investment. It may be hard to paint over that lovely shade of red you painted your dining room, but fresh, neutral paint on the walls, trim and doors is worth its weight in gold — it makes everything appear clean and new.
- Deodorize. No one wants to look at a dirty, smelly home — especially not prospective buyers. So make sure your house or condo shines from top to bottom. Cleaning and deodorizing a home before every showing is a must. The goal is to help buyers imagine themselves living in your home. If they walk in the front door and garbage or pet odor hits them in the face, the potential homebuyer will have a hard time getting past the bad odor smell to see the great features your home has. Remember, when selling a home with a pet, to always remove the litter box before each showing. Not only clean the floors and countertops, but also remember to clean the windows, sliding glass door tracks, ceiling fans, garage and basement. Rent a carpet cleaner or hire a professional to clean your carpets. Consider hiring a professional cleaner for that first “big” cleaning. This might make it easier on you to maintain while your home is on the market.
- Curb Appeal. Don’t forget the outside of your home. Remember, curb appeal is everything. Mow the lawn, make sure the sidewalk and driveway are free of clutter and debris, and ensure the house number is easily visible. If needed, pressure-wash the exterior of your home, driveway and sidewalk. Here in the South, the outside of our homes tend to “mildew” from all the rain we have. Vinyl siding starts to turn a greenish color. Brick turns a dark color. Even wood will start to mildew. A quick pressure washing will clean the exterior of your home and give it a fresh, new appearance. Also, look at your flower beds. Do they need a new coat of mulch? Mulch will improve the appearance of the outside of your home and doesn’t cost much.
- Professional Staging. If you are moving before you list or shortly thereafter, consider hiring a professional stager. Hiring a professional stager can cost $50 an hour or more. If this is not in your budget, think about leaving a few pieces of furniture in your home just to give that potential buyer a feel of how the room would look with their own furniture.
Want your home to look like a model home? Get rid of the clutter! Want advice on how to get ready to list your home? Call us at The Cummings Company at 251-602-1941. We are here to help you sell your home!