Whether you sell your house with a realtor, or sell your own home, you need to have your house looking it’s absolute best. One of the best home selling tips I can give you is to thin out all the extra "stuff" in your house.
Let’s face it. We have all too much stuff! And most of us tolerate the mess as it builds, takes over our lives, and stresses us out, until something forces us to do something about it. And that "something" is often deciding to sell your house. When getting your house ready to sell, there is no task more daunting for most people than getting rid of "all that stuff".
If are you discouraged that your house won’t sell and you know it would show better if you cleaned it out but you’re overwhelmed by the thought of it, follow this one weekend clutter busting program.
No matter how bad your house it, you can clean it out in a weekend, with the right mindset and some "muscle help" of course. Believe me, as a real estate investor, I’ve cleaned out houses worse than yours in one weekend, so I KNOW it can be done.
STEP 1: HOW BAD IS IT?
If your clutter isn’t too bad, you will at least need to get these things before you get started.
– Lots of boxes. Your neighborhood "adult beverage" store is great places to get sturdy free boxes of a manageable size. You can get bigger boxes at discount stores or grocery stores.
– Contractor bags. These huge, heavy-duty bags don’t rip or break. Look for 42 gallon 3 ml bags at your hardware store.
– Cable ties. The twist ties that come with some contractor bags don’t do the trick. These will never let you down.
– Masking or packing tape and permanent marker. Label every box and bag. You will be glad you did later.
– Manpower. Teenagers can be a great help and are reasonable. Some will even work for food!
Depending on how much clutter there is and how much you want to get rid of, you may also need:
– A storage pod or storage unit. It’s delivered to your house so you don’t have to get your stuff to a storage unit. Use this for stuff you need to get out of the house, but can’t bear to part with permanently.
– A dumpster. This can really make your life easy if you’ve got a lot of stuff to get rid of. This is for the stuff you never want to see again.
STEP 2: GET RUTHLESS
People hang on to stuff because:
– It has sentimental value – Get creative. How about taking pictures of all your kids’ grade school art work and have the digital version instead?
– They think they might need it someday. Have you used it lately? Could you replace it if you need to later?
– They value it because once they spent money on it. You already "wasted" that money. Now keeping the junk is costing you money. It’s subtracting from the value of your house.
Decide to let go. You will find it quite liberating. If you can’t bear to part with it, remember you can store it while you are selling your house.
STEP 3: GET DECISIVE
You’ll have to make quick decisions. If you agonize over every item in your house, you won’t get done. Once you make a few hard decisions, it gets easier and easier. When in doubt, think "Would my life be different without this"? If this answer is no, out it goes!
MAKE YOUR MOTTO: "WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT!"
STEP 4: GET STARTED
Using your newfound-skills of being ruthless and decisive, go through your house room by room. Don’t forget your basement, attic, garage, or crawl space.
Move everything you want to get out before you sell your house into one area, divided into three sub-areas:
– The "I have to keep it" stuff. Box up and store all non-essentials while selling your house.
– The "I don’t want it, but someone else may" stuff. Donate it all to charity and getting the tax write off. Or if you love having a yard sale, have one, if time allows. Then take whatever is left to your nearby charity or arrange for a charity to pick it up.
– The "Nobody would want this" stuff. Bag it up for the trash, take it to the local dump, pay someone to haul it away, or use that dumpster.
When you are done you will be amazed at how much brighter and bigger your house looks. Next, do a good cleaning. Put the final touches on your house by doing a little staging.
Now your house looks like the showpiece that you always knew it could be!
If you are selling your home yourself, now is the time to take plenty of digital photos of your house looking its best to include in all your FSBO marketing – your flat fee MLS listing, your FSBO listing on "for sale by owner" sites, and on your property flyer. If you are using a realtor, have her take pictures for her marketing now.
Having a beautiful listing will draw more attention to your house. Once potential buyers get to your house, having it look beautiful will help your house sell faster and for more money.
So if you spend just one weekend de-cluttering, but can sell your house faster, more easily, and for more money, just think how well your time was spent!