Cluttered Homes Do Not Sell
By Jim Crawford
Cluttered homes do not sell! To an experienced real estate listing agent there’s no mystery why a home does not sell and becomes just another Atlanta expired listing or lists time after time with no sale. The reasons why a home does not sell are always obvious to a seasoned real estate agent because they have worked the real estate business for many years and it is their full time job – so they pay a lot of attention to the details. One of the most commonly overlooked items in even a nice home is “Clutter!” The definition of the word “Clutter” is very simple…it is “An untidy mess” or “A confused and disordered state. In real estate it is not so far off the mark when we used this term, because when a buyer sees the home…instead of focusing on the home they focus on the clutter! That is not what we want to happen, and yet it can easily be easily avoided! Any listing agent that does not explain this to a home seller before they put a home on the market is not a professional! It is real estate marketing 101! At this point we are not talking about home staging, we are talking about preliminary prepping the home.
What Items are Considered Clutter in a home? Clutter in a home can be anything from just having too much stuff and chaotic to the viewer. Clutter makes a nice home seem bad, and the home will appear smaller than it is. It can be that there are too many items of high priced pieces of art that can distract the buyer from actually looking at the home that is for sale. Clutter simply impedes the sale of the home, and it is a fatal distraction. Old newspapers, piles of junk, too many appliances in the kitchen, piles of books, antiques, collectibles, paintings, magazines strewn about, dirty laundry, toys that have not been put away, over-sized furniture, knick knacks, pet toys, overflowing closets, basements overloaded with boxes from previous moves, and even too many family photos on the wall are all forms of clutter! It is like the phrase “Christmas in July!” It exists in many homes when you see decorations from another season still up! That is just totally way out of place and an item of discussion about “Hoarders!”
How Do I De-clutter a home? The first thing to do when selling a home is have an experienced agent walk through your home and speak candidly about how the home appears to them. Have them make suggestions, and ask them to share their thoughts and first impressions – then just listen! Do not take any thing the agent says personally, they are only offering possible solutions for you. Remember this exercise is about being objective and forming a plan to sell your home or real estate property – so take notes!
Become Objective! Toss the garbage, sell or donate unwanted items to charity and rent a storage room to thin out your home. Keep it simple just a few items each day to be tossed, or go into storage. Box and store all unnecessary items in a storage facility – (Do not store items in your basement or garage!) Remove all clutter from the premises!
Repair the Damage. Do what ever it takes to clean your home after the mess is finally removed! Clean window, dust, rugs, paint, wash floors, polish the furniture, brighten and lighten the home. Then keep your home that way until your home sells, and is closed!
For more information about selling a home in Atlanta contact Ellen Crawford an Atlanta CRS that has the experience and knowledge to assist you!