Declutter ~ Declutter ~ Declutter!
The mantra of real estate value has always been "Location ~ Location ~ Location." While this is still true, Declutter ~ Declutter ~ Declutter may not be far behind.
It is no mystery that most homeowners have lots of stuff. As the years march by, their homes get filled with things they may never use again but have too much sentimental value to be cast away. Most Berks Countians would agree that we are a sentimental bunch and tend to keep things we know should have been discarded years earlier. Now it is time to sell that Berks County home, but there is one problem - You cannot find it through the clutter.
What to do? Well, if you are authentic Pennsylvania Dutch, it may be time to "RED UP." The phrase means to clear an area or make it tidy like in "Red Up the House." - I will leave it to you to Google it and learn the origin of the expression. After disposing of all the things you can bear to part with, moved some furniture around, and do some sprucing up; it is time to call the Realtor®.
If that Realtor® is me, and I certainly hope it is, we may have a bit of work to do. The goal is to prepare the home for its formal introduction to the world. The first introduction will be through the lens of my camera, to the internet, for the eyes of all the ready, willing, and able home buyers eager to make your home theirs. The second introduction will be in-person, that is if we are successful with the first.
Clean Areas Are In
Kitchen countertops are often very cluttered due to every-day living. While your Keurig® coffee maker is cool, it does not outshine the granite countertop underneath. Having too much stuff lying around, no matter how decorative, can distract a prospective buyer. Limiting these items without removing the perception of functionality is helpful to their vision of the home.
When it comes to furniture, less is more. It is important not to block or overload traffic patterns, windows, and greeting areas, like the foyer. Avoid angling cabinets, chairs & benches in the corners of rooms, which may shorten the room.
Make a SAFE ZONE
When I list a home, I do not take photos of closets or utility areas. In many cases, these are the areas that contain items that have not been used in some time but have sentimental value. It may be more difficult parting with these things, but it is essential to remove them. Be strong; I have a solution. Make a SAFE ZONE in the home and store as much as you can there. Your safe zone could be a secondary bedroom, garage, or a section of the basement. Just make sure it is all in one area and neatly organized. More than one home seller has lost a prospective buyer because the closet area looked too small due to overpopulation.
The Reward of a Decluttered Home
A prospective buyer views the great home photos on the internet and calls for a visit. The home looks as good as the photos, and they are very interested. Now it is time to look deeper. They open the closets and kitchen cabinets. If they are pleased with the space and condition of these areas, they move on. The garage, attic & basement are clean and decluttered (except for the SAFE ZONE in the basement's rear). The buyer is impressed, and you are a step closer to the goal of selling your home for a great value.
Today's buyers tend to look at homes a bit differently than in the past. They get plenty of insight and ideas from the internet and shows like HGTV. It's as if they expected you to take care of their home all the years you resided there until they are ready to move in. With the right guidance from the right Realtor®, that buyer will pay you fairly and handsomely for taking care of their future home.
Knowledge is Power!
Jeffrey C. Hogue