Heater Kirk-Ballard, PhD, Assistant Professor of Consumer Horticulture School of Plant, Environmental, and Soil Sciences, Louisiana First Foundation and Louisiana State University
DeClutter Tips To Maximize Resale Potential
Dated: June 29 2019
Originally posted 04/06/2019
Another facebook "rerun" ...
If you have owned your home for a length of time you may be surprised just how much your home has become cluttered. Whether it is furniture occupying all available wall space or just an inability to get rid of things (like old magazines or newspapers), it does not take much time to accumulate plenty of unneeded stuff. Having that much clutter can definitely be an issue, especially if you decide to put your home up for sale.
Fortunately, there are some quick things you can do that can make a huge difference and give potential buyers a good impression when they visit your home. Moreover, it is important to have a plan to tackle every room as buyers will look in, under, behind, and around every nook and cranny in the house. The more you do the more spacious your property will look and feel which can really help buyers visualize themselves living in the space.
Here is are several key tips to help you maintain a clutter-free home, get favorable buyer viewings, and potentially maximize resale potential.
TACKLE THE KITCHEN FIRST
The kitchen is one of the most important rooms, maybe the most, that should be as clutter-free as possible. It is often the first room buyers will thoroughly check and the one they will most likely spend a lot of time in themselves. If it looks spacious and clean, it will give a favorable impression that could make the difference between getting an offer and being forgettable.
You should start the kitchen de-clutter by removing, throwing away, or donating infrequently used appliances and other crockery. Ensure you clear off both counter-tops and stove-tops and it is always a smart move to remove personal items from the outside of the refrigerator.
Once that is completed, you should thin out the items in all cupboards, drawers, and pantries. You can easily reorganize the remaining items by putting them in bins or using decorative shelving options. The key is to only keep what you believe is absolutely necessary. Making your kitchen look its best is one of the improvements that will increase a home's value. Never underestimate, the importance of making your kitchen look exceptional!
A clean and tidy bathroom gives a great impression. The opposite can be said about a bathroom that is dirty, full of clutter, and disorganized. If buyers do not feel comfortable in your bathroom your chances of them buying your home are greatly diminished. A few things you can quickly do that will make a world of difference include:
Minimize countertop stuff
Hide away all personal items
Organize the drawers and any open spaces
Remove as much personal stuff from the bathtub/shower
Only display clean and serviceable towels and mats
Lock up all medicines and ensure medicine cabinet is tidy
The better your bathroom looks, the longer buyers will linger, which is typically a sign they are giving your home serious purchase consideration. Remember, the goals in the bathroom are to minimize and ensure the entire space is clean.
BEDROOM, DINING, FAMILY/BONUS & LIVING ROOMS
So many homeowners spend the majority of their time on the kitchen and bathroom (and they should) that they sometimes neglect the rest of the house. By now they should be motivated to finish the house de-clutter since their kitchen and bathrooms look great so pressing through with the rest of the house will really pay big dividends.
Items such as clothing, shoes, and toys should be immediately put away. Torn, broke, or no longer wanted items need to be quickly donated or thrown out. It is also a great idea to remove as many personal items and minimalize as many keepsakes as possible (such as trophies or collections). As always, it is prudent to store your valuables and definitely remove anything that others may find offensive.
Once the general cleanup has been completed, you can start on eliminating any piece of furniture that you do not need or use. If you want to keep the item, perhaps an off-site storage option is the solution. Use the same concept for items like exercise equipment too.
Remember, the less of you that buyers see in the space the more likely they are to see themselves living in the house. When you organize your home, you are taking a less of me approach which could potentially net your maximum returns when the home sells.
Closets are often the last space in the home to get a makeover as many homeowners consider them out-of-site-out-of-mind but buyers will not see it that way. They want to see plenty of available space so they can be sure their clothes and shoes will easily fit.
A few simple things you can do is to hang-up, fold (either on storage shelves or in baskets), and definitely remove as many infrequently worn or out-of-season items as you can. The more space consumers can see between the hangars the better.
Take the same approach with your shoes. Pair them up and arrange them neatly. You can buy hanging options or can easily arrange all shoes on the floor if you prefer. Like the rest of the home, get rid of everything you do not wear and you will find you have a lot more space than you thought.
OUTSIDE THE HOME
The easiest way to make a great first impression is to have the outside of the home looking neat and tidy as potential buyers pull up to the curb. Within a few hours you can have your outside space looking spic and span by cleaning out flower beds and gutters, removing unnecessary items from porches, and keeping your lawn mowed, and doing general maintenance if needed (i.e. painting the door or shutters, fixing pavers and borders, filling concrete cracks, putting out fresh flowers in planters, etc.).
You can also sod or seed patchy areas in your lawn and put away hoses and other equipment. If you have children, you will want to ensure all kids toys are put away or in a designated area. Lastly, any debris (from pets, tree limbs, etc.) should be removed and the trash cans should be secured and stored out-of-site.
This also includes the garage and/or carport which are often where all the unwanted or not currently in-use items are stored. All broken, unused, and outdated tools and materials should be given away, sold, or thrown out. The use of shelving is always a great option as it gives the appearance of tidiness and plenty of free space. If a storage shed will be included with the home when you sell it, spend some time clearing out this space too.
The key to de-cluttering a home to maximize resale is to have a firm plan, start early, and only cover one area (or room) at a time. If it is a large space or congested with a lot of stuff, break up the task into manageable units so you do not get distracted, frustrated, and quit. Find a system that works (i.e. sort, decide, act) and repeat that method throughout the house. When in doubt, minimize to maximize and you will find that the clutter will quickly disappear!
Thanks to Bill Gassett, @massrealty for sharing
Latest Blog Posts
The effect of classic supply and demand on the housing market is definitely in play here. As cost goes down (in the current real estate market, historically low mortgage rates have caused the bottom