Selling a Cluttered House | Declutter it!

If you’ve never hunted for a house before, then you may not understand the following scenario, but I am confident you can appreciate it!

428 W Sibley Howell MIYou’re cruising the real estate listings online and find a home that looks promising. The listing only has a few photos, mostly exterior, but the location, price and size are exactly what you are looking for in your next home. The next day, you tour the home with your favorite real estate agent and can barely see past all the “stuff” the seller lives amongst.

As a buyer, touring a cluttered home can be frustrating. So much stuff that you need to look past, just to see the potential in the home. On top of that, it can be difficult to begin to see how your own furniture and things would fit in the home, let alone individual rooms.

Keep It Simple, Silly!

As you go about getting your home ready to sell, in any market, seeing your home as a buyer would, will help eliminate clutter and highlight your home’s best points. If you are not already in the buying mode, and flipping through hundreds of homes online, get your buyer hat on! Jump on a real estate website, or better yet, work with your real estate agent to get a list of the homes currently on the market that meet your criteria. The point here is to experience the active real estate market, through pictures, so that you can turn that critical buyer’s eye on your own home.

Homes that jump off the screen at you will likely have a few key things nailed down very well:

  • Simple, clean, uncluttered rooms
  • Brightly lit rooms
  • Exterior photos with blue skies
9830 Berwick Livonia MI
Living Room

Keeping it simple entails cutting down the amount of furniture in rooms, throwing out or tastefully organizing the reading material. Think minimalistic. A buyer should be able to walk into your home and begin to mentally place their furniture, accents, and pictures in your home. If you’ve been able to stop someone’s scrolling mouse with the blue skied exterior photograph and then prompted them to schedule a tour based on the gorgeous interior photos, you need to ensure the online to offline experience continues, by minimizing the amount of mental work the buyer needs to do to feel at home.

In other words, you want to create a “sticky home.”

A Few More Suggestions

Bill Gassett, over at Max Real Estate Exposure, has a great post titled, “How to Sell a Cluttered Home.”

From his post, here are his 15 tips on decluttering and staging your home for sale:

  1. Minimize the amount of furniture in each room to make your home appear larger.
  2. Make sure all high traffic areas are kept clear.
  3. Move things like exercise equipments that don’t belong in a family or living room.
  4. All closets should be thinned out.
  5. Everything but the bare bone essentials should be tripped from kitchen and bath counters.
  6. Get rid of old unsightly plants.
  7. Put away excess nick knacks, family and pet photos.
  8. Get rid of old magazines and newspapers that are just lying around.
  9. Clean up bookcases of clutter and arrange books neatly.
  10. Organize wires coming from televisions and computers around the home so they don’t look unsightly.
  11. Clear out excess shoes that may be lying around in your foyer or mudroom.
  12. Always put away dirty laundry and make the beds.
  13. If you have a deck clear it of any non essentials
  14. Don’t forget your garage! Remove anything that is no longer necessary to have.
  15. Remember to De-clutter your yard as well. Remove any junk you have accumulated.

When you are going about your decluttering, there are two decisions that you will need to make: save or trash. If, in the process of decluttering, you decide that you will be saving and moving your items, it is highly recommended to utilize the services of a storage facility or a service like PODS. Both options physically move the items from your home, but in such a way that you can retrieve them once you relocate.

If you’ve decided that your stuff should ultimately not move with you, then give 1-800-GotJunk a call. Of course, you may have items that someone else could have a use for. Contact your local charity or reuse/recycle shop.

Final Thoughts

As awesome as you may be at cleaning your home and maintaining a high shine on the whole home, having a professional cleaning service come in and taking care of your home from top to bottom, is a great idea. Just as you are putting your home on the market, having a professional clean your home, is like going to the dentist for a cleaning. When the professionals are done, your home, like your teeth after a visit with the dentist, will be picture perfect and ready to meet the market.

Speaking of meeting the market, I am sure you have not missed my emphasis on images, in this post. Heck, if you’ve gandered even a little bit at my listings page, you will see some stunningly good looking properties. Hiring an agent to market and sell your home should also include that agent bringing in a professional photographer to capture your home. Assuming you match the buyer’s housing requirements, it is these images that will cause buyers to stop their scrolling amongst the myriad of homes for sale online.

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Todd Waller Real Estate
Local Business: Todd Waller
Description: Todd Waller, a self described "destroyer of the real estate fortress of suckitude," focuses on helping sellers and buyers in Ann Arbor, Canton, Livonia, Northville, Novi, South Lyon, Plymouth, and Ypsilanti
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Phone: 734.564.7465