Is Your Clutter Keeping Buyers at Bay?
As the calendar turns to mid-March, spring cleaning comes to mind. The Wall Street Journal ran a huge feature about Marie Kondo, author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, on pages D1 and D2 of the 02/27/15 paper. Ms. Kondo’s question for every item in our homes is the same. “Does it tokimeku— does it spark joy?” If not, it’s time to let it go! Another anti-clutter author, James Wallman, states in his book “Suffocation” that clutter is correlated to stress at home and prevents us from leading happier lives.
This is just as true when selling a home! While some things need to be in every room, many sellers make the mistake of keeping too much stuff. Excessive things make rooms appear smaller than they truly are and give buyers the feeling of being shoehorned into a tight, cramped place. Few potential buyers react positively, much less make offers, with these feelings!
How should sellers combat clutter? Here are a three things I’ve recommended to my sellers to sell their houses quickly and for more money than the competition:
1. Off season clothes should be pre-packed. If you’re moving and not going to wear certain clothes, why keep them jammed into closets? Pack them for your impending move and neatly stack the boxes in one part of the basement or in a designated “packing room.” Just remember to label the boxes with the contents!
2. Go through everything, room by room, and remove what you no longer need. Don’t waste time, energy, and money to pack, box, and transport what you no longer want! These items can be sold for cash at yard sales, large items sold on Craigslist, and/or donated for a handsome tax write-off. Don’t forget basements, garages, and attics!
3. Is there a huge difference between your current home and your new home with upsizing, downsizing, lack of a basement, etc.? If so, will your existing furniture fit into the new home? If not and the furniture is in great shape, consider taking photographs of it now for an online sale just before closing or use the photos to entice consignment stores. There is no sense bringing your old furniture along if it does not fit in your new place!
Preparations before going to market are vital to getting the highest price. In some tough markets, those preparations determine if the property sells at all! These are only three of the suggestions I make to help my sellers sell at the highest price possible. If you are considering a move and want to know more, please feel free to contact me. I’ll be happy to help!