GETTING YOUR HOUSE READY FOR THE MARKET
There’s a reason that it’s called a “show-home”. It’s all for show.
It’s definitely not for living.
Unless “living” is walking around with bottles of glass cleaner and rags all day and then at night, secretly throwing toys into cardboard boxes whilst your children sleep. “They’ll never miss these! Bye-bye, cluttery pieces of plastic!”
I've heard it more times that not, "selling a home while living in it is a tough job!" and even harder when you have children.
But in order for prospective buyers to actually imagine themselves in the house, the seller’s house has to achieve all of the “De-“s.
The first rule of the “Show Home”: De-clutter
This one is a hard for most. We love our clutter. We all have that one area in our house that is chock full of stuff – papers, iPod dock, a place for pens, some framed pictures – it's basically the landing pad for all-things-crap in our home.
It has to be cleared.
Believe me when I say, clutter is distracting! Buyers will spend too much time looking at your collection of ceramic cats on the windowsill or your sloppy piles of bills on the desk. They forget to look at the bones of the house.
If you’re struggling and need guidance on how to declutter, here are some creative decluttering tips to get started:
- Take before and after photos of a small area. Choose one part of your home, like your kitchen counter, and take a photo of a small area. Quickly clean off the items in the photo and take an after photo. Once you see how your home could look, it becomes easier to start decluttering more of your home.
- Fill an entire trash bag. Get a trash bag and fill it as fast as you can with things you can donate at Goodwill.
- Take the 12-12-12 challenge. Locate 12 items to throw away, 12 to donate, and 12 to be returned to their proper home.
- Use the Four-Box Method. Get four boxes and label them: trash, give away, keep, or re-locate. Enter any room in your home and place each item into one of the following boxes. Don’t skip a single item, no matter how insignificant you may think it is. This may take days, weeks, or months, but it will help you see how many items you really own and you’ll know exactly what to do with each item.