clutterThere are several steps you need to take before putting your home on the market and a vital first step is decluttering. While it will take some time, decluttering makes your property look more attractive and can even lead to a higher offer.

Why should I declutter?
Think about the last time you drove by a property crowded with rusted cars, trash, and weeds. Odds are, it created an overwhelming feeling in your mind and didn’t leave a good impression. When prospective buyers walk into a cluttered home, they can have the same feeling. Rather than focusing on the charm of the home or appeal of the location, they will be distracted by collections of spoons, walking around overcrowded furniture, or tripping over scattered toys.

What should I focus on when decluttering?
Unfortunately, it’s hard for homeowners to realize just how cluttered their home has become over the years. Thankfully, there are some general places you can focus your decluttering efforts.Start by putting any collections in storage. While your collecting hobby, whether it be ceramic cats or antique keys, may be fun and relaxing for you, potential buyers will most likely find it odd. Next, take a look at your closets. Remember, an overstuffed closet looks smaller than it actually is and buyers today want to see plenty of storage space. Set the goal to have at least one empty shelf and a clear floor in all closets in your home.

Additionally, really consider if your home has more furniture than it can hold. It’s important that not all walls are lined with dressers and bookshelves. If you need to, rent out a storage unit while your home is on the market. Finally, try to dial down family photos hanging on the wall. This isn’t to say that your walls must be bare, but the amount of pictures shouldn’t be overwhelming either.

How do I get started?
Decluttering a home needs to be looked at as a process; it can’t be done all at once. When you’re ready to get started, grab some boxes and designate each one as things to put into storage, things to donate, or things to throw away. As you work, try to tackle one room at a time; seeing the progress will help keep you motivated. As you make your way through the area, ask yourself if the item has been used in the last year or if you forgot you own it. If the answer to either question was, “yes,” then it’s time to donate it. The Goodwill and Salvation Army need donations all year and would appreciate your gently used items. For even more motivation, set goals for how many boxes you want to fill.

Once you’re done with the decluttering process, you’ll be amazed how great your home looks.

If you have questions about whether you should sell your home in this market, or have other real estate related questions and want to talk to someone who really cares the Epps Elson Team is here for you.