Clutter – Preparing Your Home For Sale

clutter free vanity topClutter.  It’s a little longer than the normal four letter word but it has about the same impact on the sale of your house.

Look around.

Stroll through all your rooms.

See anything?

Most of the stuff you see unless your one of the few “neat freaks” in the world is clutter.

I have it, too. I admit it.  I leave things around. I have a ton of stuff in my home office that I could get rid of and just haven’t gotten around to it. There is stuff on my kitchen counter which could really either be thrown out or put someplace else.

Even the little things like bringing in the mail. This piece goes in the trash, this is a bill, this one I might look at later since it’s a sales brochure from Costco or 50% off from Lands’ End. Paper clips.

Tchotchkes? Or Clutter?

We all know what these are, Right.

According to Dictionary.com:

noun, Slang.
1. an inexpensive souvenir, trinket, or ornament.

Of course, there are quite a few things that we own that are far from inexpensive. A lot of the things we’ve picked up through our lives are pretty pricey and have a ton of sentimental value on top of it.

Unfortunately, when your house is on the market, all these things are just getting in the way of someone wanting to buy your house.

Pretty sad, huh?

The hard and harsh truth is that when you put your house on the market, it becomes another house on the market. It’s a product in competition with all the other houses on the market. It really needs to stand out. It needs to grab the attention of potential home buyers who come through your place with the idea that maybe, just maybe, they will be living there.

All the clutter is a distraction.

Three Things

Here’s a little exercise you can go through as you walk through your house.  It’s just a small thing and it could make a ton of difference.  It’s far from professional staging but it could be the difference between selling your house faster and for a higher price than letting the house sit on the market because you couldn’t bear to move things around or put things in storage.

Ready?

Walk around and look at all the flat, horizontal surfaces in your house. Things like the kitchen counter. Your bedroom dresser. The vanity and shelves in your bathrooms.

Now, remove everything from the flat space except for three things.

That’s right. You can only have three things on your bedroom dresser. Three things on your bathroom sink. Three things on your kitchen counter.

Everything else goes in a box.

Don’t worry. It’s only temporary. It’s only until someone comes through and puts together a written offer for your house. Then you can start thinking about moving it to your new place.

Just A Start

Getting rid of clutter is really just a start to making your home beautiful and attractive so that potential buyers will fall in love with your house. There is lots more you can do:

  • have carpets cleaned
  • walls painted
  • outdoor landscaping refreshed

Of course, you could get some help with a professional stager to take what you have and just re-arrange it so that it looks like Martha Stewart came for a visit.

Making your home look like something other than “lived in” is tough work but it really pays in the end. getting rid of clutter is a huge plus!

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 Parole (Annapolis), MD and can be found blogging at MDSuburbanHomes.com