Real Estate 101 – Clearing Out the Cluttter

OK.  I admit it.  I am not the neatest person in the world.  I have been known to accumulate stuff.  Mostly in my home office. You probably know what I mean. Trade magazines. Scrap pieces of paper with phone numbers on them. Loads of motivational and instructional CDs and (gasp!) cassette tapes.  Lots of different books like The Principles of Real Estate from when I was taking my pre-licensing classes in 1999. All kinds of stuff.

Yet, every now and then I look into my office and I tell myself, “This has to go!”  It takes me a few more times of doing that before I get down to business with a large contractor size garbage bag and start filling it up with stuff.

Yesterday was one of those days.  I was so tired of fighting through stuff I had on the floor (old files, old hand-outs from previous office meetings, etc.) that I just went crazy.  I would occasionally look at a piece of paper I had laying on a shelf on a bookcase.  It would have a date on it – 1998, 2004, 2001. Then I would come across things like a birth certificate (“Oh! That’s where it is!”) or my Notary Public certificate which tells me I have to renew my Notary Public by the end of the year. Crazy.

What Does This Have to do with Selling a Home in the MD Suburbs of DC?

I tell my clients all the time that if they want their home to sell faster and for a higher price it needs to be as clutter free as humanly possible.  In fact, I will offer professional home staging as part of my service if my clients agree to put the things in storage or boxes or wherever the stager tells them to put it.

Most of everything has to come off the kitchen counters, the dressers in the bedrooms, the sinks in the bathrooms and out of the closets everywhere.  A house needs to look open and spacious and neutral so that potential home buyers can walk through the house and visualize themselves and their stuff in that house.

I will be the first person to say that I know this is not an easy task.  After years of living in a home you just seem to gather a lot of stuff.  Some of it has good memories for you but I’m guesing a lot of it hasn’t been touched by a human hand in years. If that’s the case, it needs to go.

About Ken Montville

Ken Montville is a Realtor® and Associate Broker with RE/MAX United Real Estate in the beautiful Maryland Suburbs of Washington, DC. He has been selling nice homes since 1999. Way back in the 20th Century.

When Ken Is not doing the real estate thing he can be found all over social media in places too numerous to mention and he listens to jazz, reads a little (mostly non-fiction), hangs out with the Rotary Club of College Park, MD and can be found blogging at