Ten easy tips for decluttering your home for sale

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I recently heard a home stager tell a client “clutter eats equity”. While that might be overstating things a tad, I do agree that an organized home shows much better and often fetches a better price than one with clutter. There are two reasons for this.

First, it’s important for buyers to see that the home has plenty of storage space. Second, when buyers tour an organized, decluttered home it gives the impression that the home is well cared for. After all, if the homeowners keeps everything meticulous inside the home, they must take the same care with home maintenance. (This isn’t always true, but it’s the impression that buyers often have when touring a home.)

So without further adieu, here are ten quick tips for decluttered your home before putting it on the market.

1. Clear off the kitchen counters. Take everything off the kitchen counters that you don’t use every day. Also, hide away dish soap and sponges (Buyers don’t want to think about washing dishes. They want to dream about entertaining in your gorgeous kitchen.) Add one pretty decorative item to the kitchen counters and you’re done.

2. Take everything off the fridge. Personal photos, magnets, and sticky notes all should be cleared away. That includes anything that’s being stored on top of the fridge.

3. Start boxing up kitchen items. Buyers often focus on kitchen cabinet space, so you don’t want cabinets to be packed to the gills. To avoid this problem, simply look through your kitchen cabinets and take any item you don’t use on a regular basis and box it up. Label the boxes so if you desperately need the food processor weeks from now you’ll know where to find it.

4. Recycle old electronics. If you have antiquated computer gear, cell phones, and the like in your home office, stop by Best Buy, where they’ll recycle these items for free.

5. Freecycle. If you have excess furniture or household items that you don’t want, post a message on Freecycle.org. You can usually find someone who needs these items and will pick them up for free.

6. Look for hazardous waste day. Most towns periodically have a hazardous waste day when you can bring in old paint, pesticides, medications, and other items that aren’t safe to throw in the trash bin.

7. Clear off the bathroom counters. Your master bath should feel luxurious to buyers, like a hotel suite. Stow away personal care products under the counter or in a little basket in the closet. This way they’re easily accessible to you but are out of the way when buyers are touring your home.

8. Put away personal photos as well as political and religious items. Think about having your home look “magazine ready”. If you wouldn’t see the item in a magazine, it shouldn’t be on display in the home while you’re trying to sell it. Personal items only serve to distract a buyer. We want them to focus on the beautiful details of your home, not on your family photos.

9. Put away the summer gear. Box up summer clothing, shoes, and accessories to create more space in your closets.

10. Organize your master bedroom closet. Arrange clothing based on type and color. I know this sounds silly. After all, buyers aren’t going to purchase the clothes in the closet, but it’s an easy way to make the space look roomy and organized.

Do you have a real estate question you’d like answered? Contact our real estate writer (Leslie Mann, c/o Hopkinton Crier, 33 New York Ave, Framingham, MA 01701, realestatequeries@yahoo.com, or 508-904-4967) and she’d be glad to answer your confidential questions.

About the author: Real estate blogger Leslie Mann is a realtor with Hallmark Sotheby’s International Realty in Hopkinton.

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