Dear Esther – We recently met with a real estate agent about selling our home. She gave us a very long “to do” list which includes removing lots of what she called “clutter”, even mentioning that we should get rid of some of our furniture. Is this typical? What do you think?
A good real estate agent will do much more than take photos and put a sign in your yard. The agent who met with you to sell your home understands that your home will sell more quickly and for more money if it is appealing to prospective buyers.
This is not a personal assault on your taste. Much of what is near and dear to you, sad to say, is clutter to the rest of the world. Pack up knick knacks, photographs, refrigerator magnets, vacation mementos and anything personal. These items are distractions when buyers walk into your home. They get in the way of their appreciation of the space. Your tables, counters and mantels should have very little on them. Less is more.
If a room has too much furniture or furniture that is too big for the space, the room appears smaller than it should and may be confusing to buyers. A large sofa in a small den can crowd the room and make it look cramped. Every room should have a purpose. Buyers are confused if a tread mill is next to the desk. Is it an exercise room or office? Stage the room as one or the other.
Another important task is cleaning out and organizing closets, drawers and storage areas. Buyers are nosy and rightfully so as they want to make sure there is enough room for their stuff. Closets which are too full, piled floor to ceiling, tell buyers there is not enough storage. Throw out, give away or find a storage unit for things you are not using. Less is more.
Then clean, clean and clean some more. Your home should pass the white glove test beginning at the front door. Sidewalks and exterior siding should be pressure washed, light fixtures working and cleaned, windows and mirrors windexed, walls and doors wiped and carpet stains removed. If you’re not into cleaning, hire a cleaning service.
I suggest you take your agent’s list seriously. Folks need to feel that life will be better for them if they live in your home. A beautiful place will do that for them.