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Selling your home? Time to declutter!

So, you are selling your house – fantastic! You’ve grown some equity, and you know your home is a great place. You’ve chosen the Real Estate agency that will represent you and your home, and you are ready to go. The rest should be a breeze, right?

Not so fast… there is plenty you can – and should – do to help your house show well and your real estate agent get you the offer you want.

Number one on the list: get rid of clutter. Now that your home is for sale, all that accumulated stuff that builds up over time needs to go. Some clutter is obvious. The stack of books, the pile of papers, the bag of clothing. Do a very thorough cleaning and get all of that out of the way. Donate it or rent a temporary storage unit, but be sure to remove it from your home.

Other “clutter” may seem like normal useful items to you. You may be shocked and even a little offended to think it is seen as clutter. An example would be a hall tree – a perfectly lovely hall tree – loaded down with umbrellas, backpacks, jackets, and hats. As lovely as your hall tree is, now is the time to temporarily move it to a storage space. Or an overstuffed bookcase. Keep the bookshelf, but remove the majority of the books, pack them up and store them for now. Use a small selection of books and interesting items on the shelf, let there be some space.

Another area that usually needs attention is the countertops in the kitchen and bathroom, and dresser tops in the bedrooms. CLEAN SPACE is your goal while your house is for sale. Be ruthless and get those areas cleaned up! A dresser should have, for example, a vase of flowers, a box with jewelry, and perhaps a small tray holding a few items. Get all the personal items, hairbrushes, pictures stuck on the mirror, candles, piles of jewelry and other clutter put away. Same in the kitchen – have your countertops basically empty of everything, maybe just a knife block, a plant, or some such items, but all the condiments lined up near the stove and the assorted containers that somehow become part of your countertop decor should be put away.

Why is this important? When a potential buyer comes into your home to view it, he is imagining it becoming HIS home. Although a home with tasteful furniture and decor in place is preferable to a completely empty home, seeing too much evidence of the current owners is not helpful. And, even though you have become used to all these items and probably really enjoy many of them, your goal is to make your home look as expansive and as much like an empty palette as possible.

Taking the time to declutter your home can make a big impact on how your potential buyers will feel about your property. For some, it is a daunting task, but one that is well worth it in the end.