If you are one of the thousands of sellers who are planning to downsize from your Windsor house in the near future, here’s some good advice: “If you don’t need it or use it, then lose it.” This is some of the most important information I can give a client when they contact me and ask me to assist them with their home sale.
Why is this advice so important? Let me answer it this way: You can actually make money as well as SAVE money, if you start decluttering now.
Getting rid of what you no longer need will not only simplify your life, but will later be extremely valuable when you start showing your home.
1. Buyers don’t want to see your personal belongings.
Use this case as an example: Buyers don’t care if you have won first place in a chili cookoff 20 years in row which is evident by the trophies displayed on top of your fireplace mantel. What they want to see is your actual fireplace! But they won’t even be able to if it is cluttered with trophies. Now understand, I am not suggesting that you toss belongings that have sentimental value, but I am strongly advising that you store them away. The same goes with any other collection. It really needs to be removed.
On the other hand, if you have closets stuffed with clothes that you haven’t worn in years, then it’s time to lose it. Buyers want to see ample storage space so I always recommend that sellers take out 2/3 of their clothing and store, sell or donate those they won’t use again.
2. Once you walk around your home, make three areas: Trash, Donate, Sale. Then get to work. Don’t forget to include furniture that you know you will not be using once you move. Keep in mind that this is a process that takes time. Don’t expect to have it all done in a matter of a few hours. I have known clients that take several weeks to do this work. While not fun, the benefits are huge and most sellers often remark what a relief it is to downsize their belongings.
The good news is, you can make some pretty good extra cash when you sell what you no longer want. I have seen clients make excellent money at yard sales or selling online from what they didn’t want to pack and move. Not only that, think of the money you will be saving when it’s time to move as you will have less to pack for movers to take away.
3. Letting go is not easy. One of the hardest things for homeowners when listing their property is to severe any emotional ties to the home. Easier said than done? Absolutely! But it’s critical to no longer think of your property as your own when you put it up for sale. It is necessary to now view it as someone else’s future home. This is why decluttering a home is so critical. Sellers often can’t imagine why a buyer wouldn’t want to see their home photos, or why they wouldn’t admire a room filled with sports memorabilia. But as I have said many times on this site, buyers want to imagine their home photos and an extra room filled with their own belongings. The minute you decide to sell your home is the minute you need to be prepared to depersonalize.
Finally, go to the drug store and pick up a home decorating magazine. Browse through it and see why you like a particular home. Yes, the furniture is expensive and the decorating is top-notch, but also look at what you DON’T see: anything personal about the homeowner. In fact, stylists for these magzines spend days before a photo shoot getting rid of most anything that is personal to the homeowners. Model homes are also great for getting decluttering and staging tips. Decorators know that home builders want the attention on their construction. And they also understand the importance of letting a buyer imagine living in the property. Builders who stage their homes understand that this is a critical when trying to sell a home.
If you are considering listing your home and need advice on how to properly showcase your property, contact our office so we can show you what appeals to buyers, and what doesn’t.