I’m sure it’s not a huge surprise to anyone that de-cluttering and cleaning your home before listing it is extremely important. But if you’re anything like me, it helps to see some numbers backing the idea. This 2012 HomeGain survey really paints the picture with this impactful study and easy to see graphics. Of all the things you can (and should) do to your house, de-cluttering and selling has the most impressive Return on Investment. A 403% return!
Just about 6 months ago, I began this crazy journey of putting my California condo on the market and moving to Charlotte. While I definitely live pretty lean and mean when it comes to “stuff”, I still have it. And in a 1000 square foot condo, that stuff can sometimes be really in your face. My most important room to take care of? The kitchen. My kitchen was wee and I love to cook and bake. You do the math. From the pantry to the counter space to the cabinets, things were definitely brimming over. What to know what a huge red flag is to a potential buyer? Seeing a stock pot in the hall closet because there is no place tall enough to store it in your kitchen. So, off I went. In one afternoon I swept the kitchen clean of anything on the counters and anything that didn’t fit perfectly into the cabinets. I donated a fair amount of stuff and packed away any non-essential kitchen equipment that I could live without until I arrived in Charlotte (Note: you can live without a lot for a couple of months).
I did this process over and over until I had reached every room in the house. It took some time and the de-cluttering process definitely needs to be built into your listing timeline. It cannot and should not be a rush job. If you take the time to do this process thoughtfully and thoroughly, you’ll be set up perfectly for when your house sells. Why? Because the added bonus is that when your house sells and you go to pack, you only have to pack what is left in the house. You don’t have to de-clutter again. You don’t have to make “donate or take?” decisions. You can just start packing. And trust me, when your house sells, things start moving quickly and you will have a task list a million miles long. Anything that can make the process smoother will help keep you sane!
Another bonus? The less clutter you have in your home, the easier it will be to clean (and keep clean) for showings and open houses. One week into your house being on the market you will appreciate this. Trust me.
3 Tips to Keep in Mind:
KEEP A LIST (and check it twice): If you do decide to box things up to be moved with you, number the boxes and keep a list of what’s inside. Ideally you won’t have to open those boxes until you are in your new home but you should be prepared just in case.
KEEP ANOTHER LIST: (do you sense a theme here?) Did you donate or toss items that will need to be replaced in your new home? Think rusty kitchen equipment, old trash cans, worn cleaning tools. Keep a list so you’ll know what new items will need to be purchased.
FIND A SPOT: Those packed boxes have to go somewhere and your house is probably not the best for them. Buyers don’t want to see your stacked boxes against a wall, even if it’s in the spare room. You may need to consider asking a friend to use space in their garage or pondering a SHORT term self-storage solution.
Ready to start this process and need a little help? Contact me here!