Decluttering and Depersonalizing: Preparing a Home for Sale
The key objectives when staging a home for sale are to make the property look spacious and to emphasize the feel of flow from room to room. That’s what most homebuyers are looking for these days -- plenty of room to stretch out and make the space their own.
A good rule of thumb is to clear out at least 30 percent of your home’s contents before showing it to prospective buyers. That means getting rid of oversized furniture and making sure loose papers and personal items are thrown out or organized and carefully stored away. The more “stuff” buyers have to maneuver around, the more skeptical they’ll be when it comes to seeing your property as clean, well-organized and a likely candidate for purchase.
When reviewing a home, buyers often look for plenty of storage space in the basement, garage, crawl space and closets. If they see storage square footage taken up with personal items, they’re more likely to regard your home as inadequate for their needs. Begin by decluttering these areas, making piles of objects you’ll donate and items you’ll throw away. Get each pile down to the bare minimum, so buyers see abundant storage space. As you go through the house, make sure closets are decluttered and well-organized, since buyers will inevitably survey all nooks and crannies.
If you need to unload a lot of belongings before showing your home, consider temporary storage. This can apply to furniture, photos, books, personal collectibles and personal items that should be stored away while your home is on the market. It’s a sensible and cost-effective option, as the average cost of a storage facility in Latham, New York, over the past half-year was just $88.50.
It’s crucial to depersonalize your space when prepping your house for sale. Buyers want to see square footage, storage space and livability, not family portraits, awards, vacation mementoes or your kids’ artwork. Most real estate agents will recommend putting away the bulk of these items, as minimalism enables buyers to get a better feel for the space and the rooms. Consider it a temporary must that could help you get the price you want.
Homeowners may often overlook the fact that clutter means more than the overflow of our day-to-day lives and the accumulation of physical objects. Clutter also refers to papers and photos that can be digitized, scanned and stored in the cloud, one of the best technological assets that any homeowner has at their disposal when it comes to getting organized. You can upload photos from Christmas 1998, store them in the cloud and organize them so that you can go directly to them once you’ve accessed your account. In other words, they remain at your virtual fingertips with no worries about losing precious memories.
Getting your home ready to show to potential buyers involves more than just vacuuming and keeping everyone’s shoes put away. Buyers must be able to move easily from room to room and envision how they might decorate each space. It’s a lot easier to do that if you can keep each room decluttered, clean and well-organized.