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Monday, February 11, 2013

5 Reasons to Declutter Before You List Your Home for Sale

Are you thinking about selling your house this spring? Start now to declutter so you're ready to list when the time comes. Why? Here are some reasons from RealtyPin.

"If you think you can go through and get rid of all that clutter when it comes time to pack up and move out of your home, think again.  Before you list your home for sale, you've got to make de-cluttering a priority.

Here's why:

1.  You need to show off your home's natural beauty

Your house has its own character, personality, and beautiful features.  If you want to sell your home sooner rather than later, the home selling experts at Realtypin.com can help. You have to make sure that potential buyers get to see all of them.

If, for example, you've got an awesome wooden fireplace in your living room that really adds a unique character to the entire house, show it off!  But if you've got a ton of family pictures sitting on the mantle or a ton of knick-knacks around it, potential buyers are going to be distracted -- and that's the last thing you want!

2.  Clutter makes your home look smaller

If your master bedroom has random stuff shoved into every nook and cranny, it's going to create a major optical illusion.  By covering up all of that floor and wall space, you're making the room look a whole lot smaller than it really is -- and that's a big problem.

Remember, American homebuyers don't have as much money as they did a few years ago.  In fact, recent studies show that the average American has lost 40% of his net worth since the recession began.  As a result, many homebuyers are trying to do more with less.  Instead of buying that giant (expensive) house, they're looking at more affordable (smaller) options.  As a result, they want to make the most out of every single inch.

Bottom line -- you're doing your home a real disservice if you make it look smaller than it really is.  In the end, you'll wind up with a lot of people passing on it!

3.  People want to see storage space

As excited as potential buyers might be about your great backyard, your updated master bathroom, or your gourmet kitchen, they also want to know that your home offers a ton of space for all their stuff.  Prepare for them to dig around in closets, in your basement, in your garage, and in your attic.

Unfortunately, if all those places are jammed full of stuff, potential buyers may not be able to tell how much storage space your home really has to offer.  If they think there's any possibility they're going to be cramped if they move in, they're never going to buy.

4.  You may not even see it -- but potential buyers will

If you've had that pile of shoes and umbrellas sitting by your front door for the past five years, you probably don't even notice them anymore.  However, everyone who walks in to tour your house will!  Something as minor as a cluttered foyer can make a poor first impression.  And once potential buyers have even a remotely bad feeling about your home, it's tough to get them back!

5.  Clutter makes the house yours -- not theirs

Remember, your goal is to make potential buyers feel like they can call your house "home".  But if you've got clutter all over the place -- like magazines, personal trinkets, and even messy computer or TV wires -- it makes the home feel distinctly yours.  Potential buyers will feel like they're walking through your personal space, instead of envisioning themselves living there."

More on preparing your home for sale:
Three  Steps to Downsizing to a Smaller Residence
Bev Shares Downsizing Tips with "Smart Moves" Columnist Ellen James Martin
Want to Sell Your House? Get Organized Now!