All present and soon-to-be sellers as well as homeowners seeking a refinance should find this post especially helpful if their home is cluttered. My husband and I refinanced our home last year. As part of that process, we of course had an appraisal. Actually, we had two appraisals. The first appraisal came out quite low. Our bank was willing to get another appraisal so I thought we should change our game plan for the second time around. Since the aesthetics of the home are not supposed to be taken into account in an appraisal, we didn’t do anything besides clean the bathrooms, straighten up and vacuum. For the second appraisal I suggested that we de-clutter and present a somewhat “show-ready” home. We de-cluttered the kitchen, living room, offices, utility room and garage. I rearranged and staged furniture in my office and our daughter’s bedroom to make both spaces feel larger. My husband repainted the living room, hallway and kitchen a neutral color and touched up everywhere else. The home looked and felt so wide open and fresh. The second appraisal came out exactly where we needed it to be. Why was that? Did the de-cluttering have anything to do with it? Maybe. Was the de-cluttering worth it? Absolutely. A de-cluttered home feels more inviting to people than homes filled with stuff.
Why does de-cluttering and staging help sell homes?
It’s because the buyers can more easily envision themselves living in the home if every space in the home isn’t filled with your personal effects and collections. Removing extraneous stuff from a space opens it up and can make even a small room feel larger.
It’s very simple to de-clutter. Pick any room that makes you feel cramped or has an overabundance of something. If it’s the kitchen, how much stuff is on the counters? What do you actually use regularly? What can you pack away somewhere? For us, we don’t use a toaster or coffee machine. Downstairs in a plastic bin they went. How about the living room? Are your bookshelves crammed full of books, DVDs, or collection of knickknacks? Clear off the bookshelves just a little and donate the books or movies that you no longer have a use for. I bet you will feel better and buyers will respond positively to the cleaner look.
If you have any comments, I’d like to hear them. Whether you are a seller or buyer, if you are interested in a personal real estate consultation, please contact me. Visit my website or subscribe to my blog.