For the next few weeks, we'll be devoting our Friday blog to providing tips that will help you to stage your home for sale.
And where better to start, we thought, than addressing what is often a big challenge for many home sellers - decluttering.
It's really difficult to overstate the importance of letting go of your stuff when it comes to presenting your home.
The fact is that we all customize our homes to suit us. If we have minimalist tendencies, this is usually a good starting point when considering how to stage the home to viewers.
That's because its reckoned that only about 10% of buyers can see beyond what is in front of them when looking at a home and are able to envisage how they would transform the property.
This has serious implications if you have a home that's very much "you" with all kinds of clutter. Books and magazines everywhere may be your idea of the perfect living environment, but if they're getting in the way of showing how spacious your home is that is a major negative.
Arguably the most important tip for room decluttering, other than to simply get rid of it, is to take the personality out of your home when the time comes to sell.
Many of us like to have lots of family photos on walls and elsewhere. These need to be put away at selling time, because they ultra-personalize the home to you and make it more difficult for buyers to imagine themselves living there. The same goes for any religious paraphernalia as that again defeats the key goal of neutralizing the appearance of the property so that anyone can envisage it being their own.
Sometimes homes are so clogged up with stuff that the only option seems to be to either sell it or dump it. But there's often no need to be so hasty. While the wisdom of a life laundry is a subject for another day, if you simply can't bear to part with items for now, the local owner of a self storage facility is about to become your new best friend!
Indeed, if you have lots of clutter and a quick sale is required, self-storage can act as somewhere to effectively "hide" your stuff so that it doesn't interfere with buyers' perception of the home. Better still, it can act as a holding area while you decide, or is a better word agonize?, over what you're prepared to part with.
Remember, too, that with your stuff out of the way, when you've decided what you are willing to let go, there's a very lucrative used market for valuable old books and vinyl records in good condition, for example. There's also the option of letting someone else benefit by donating to a charity.
In essence, decluttering is the inevitable first port of call when staging a home. Get that sorted and you're ready to tackle the other tasks that are going to enable the home to appeal to the widest possible audience.
Next Friday we'll look at decor considerations. In the meantime, don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions on home staging or selling your home in general.