Did you know there was dangers of decluttering your home too early? I am betting you didn’t. You may know you need to move, you might even HAVE to move…but you want to declutter your home before you sell it. You want your home to be listed perfectly and sell quickly. So you take six months, a year, maybe a couple years to work on decluttering. Then you’ll be ready to list your home for sale. Does this sound like you?
I get it, you want perfection. You want your home to gleam. You want someone to fall in love with the way you did. Or you might just feel plain embarrassed about the state of your home right now. You might wonder how could you let someone in to view your home now?
3 Dangers of Decluttering
I want to share stories about what others have experienced and how it can impact your home sale, and possibly your home value. These are three dangers of decluttering before speaking with your real estate agent. I don’t want to lose out on great prices and opportunities for selling your home or condo.
Danger 1 : Things change in the Neighbourhood
This is the classic scenario I see too often. You want to spend the time to declutter right so your home is perfect show ready. I have a client that I did a comparative market analysis, but they wanted to declutter first and spent the next 9 months doing so. At the time we met in the summer, their house was looking great, but the basement and garage needed some work. By the time they were ready to list, housing prices in their area had dropped. Now there was significant construction happening in the neighborhood, making it less desirable for someone to buy. It made it hard to find parking, and it was noisy.
SOLUTION : If we had listed it originally, we could have kept photos of the basement and garage to minimum, while making sure there was walking paths for viewings. They could have had a list of priority items or areas to declutter to while it was listed. They could have been on the market and sold before any of the construction even started. They could have sold at a top dollar instead of finding themselves waiting for the neighborhood construction to end in a year and hoping home prices rise again at that time. Right now, they don’t know what their home price will look like until the construction is over.
Danger 2 : No furniture left for staging the vacant home
Often times when people call me in to list their home for sale, they’ve already done all the decluttering, including removing lots of furniture. I went into one condo – it was very sparsely furnished. The elderly woman explained she has given away most of her furniture to family or donated it. Everything left in her condo she was taking with her when she moved in the next week. She showed me photos of the condo prior to her decluttering – there was beautiful chairs, end tables, a large bedroom suite and more. We had to schedule photos quickly, so that we could get photos with some furniture there – as a home with furniture often sells better than a vacant home.
SOLUTION : None of her family needed the furniture right away. If I had the chance to meet with her before she started giving away her furniture, together we could have decided which pieces should stay to help stage the condo a little bit. I would have helped her figure out what could be given away to family now that wouldn’t be needed. Then, when she was ready to move, her condo would have still looked lived in and had that homey feeling. Her family still would have gotten the furniture but they’d be given some time to make the proper space in their home to receive it rather than it being piled in their garage for now. We lucked out with good photos, but for buyers, it was hard to visualize the now empty space when they came for a showing.
Danger 3 : We miss the right season
If you’ve listened to any of my presentations, you know that I talk about how a home can be sold in any season. But occasionally there are some homes that need to be sold in a particular season. Take acreages for example. One couple decided in spring they would sell their acreage. They started preparing the home and called me in the fall. They were ready to list, but now the yard did not look it’s best, the garden was tilled over, and it lacked the vibrancy it has in the summer.
SOLUTION : Had the owners and I chatted back in the spring about the sale of their acreage, I would have arranged summer photos, even if we weren’t listing until fall. That way a buyer could see the potential. Without being able to show them that, the acreage was easier to overlook. If you have a spectacular season view, or an acreage or an incredible back yard – we need to make sure it is captured in the best season, even if not quite ready to list for sale.
As your REALTOR®, I’m here to guide you and assist you. If you aren’t ready to sell, but planning to – let’s chat when you first know you want to sell. I want to help you decide when to list, are neighborhood prices going up or down, is a new tower about to be built near your condo that will affect prices, and what furniture should stay. I’m here to give you guidance on a timeline for your decluttering, to help keep you focused. Did you know I work with many service providers who can help you with the decluttering or donation of excess items? I have great tips and handy worksheets to make this easier for you to prepare your home for sale.
If you are thinking of selling in the next 1-2 years, let’s chat! I don’t want any of these dangers of decluttering to affect your home sale. I really want you to get the most value out of your home by watching the ups and downs of the market in your community. Let’s work on the plan together to make sure you are ready to list your home for sale.
Let’s make sure you have a successful sale of your home by avoiding some of these challenging scenarios. By working together early, we can ensure your home is picture perfect when ready to sell. Not to worry, I never judge the looks of your home, I can promise I’ve seen homes in worse condition than yours.
PS. I want to help you make decluttering your home for sale as easy as can be. I want to ensure you know how to get top dollar for your home. I want you to enjoy the last year in your home, not struggle preparing it for sale.