by Broker Associate Sarah Ashton, Ashton Kirchner Group, Keller Williams Realty
True story: Nice house listed for sale on Sanibel – good price, decent condition. After 3 weeks it is under contract only to have the contract cancelled 10 days later. The seller decides to remove it, temporarily from the market.
Same nice house is re-listed for sale a month later – higher price, same condition, new photos. Receives a full price offer on the day it hits the market.
The difference? The messy occupant of the house, and their dog were no longer present in the house the second time around. The messy part made it difficult for potential buyers to get a good look at the property and gave the impression that there was a lot of work to be done to ‘fix it up’. The dog added to the challenge because the pet odor was evident which can be off putting to some potential buyers.
The change in the overall presentation of the property was astounding and clearly made a difference to the buyers for this house. So what was actually done?
All the “stuff” the prior occupant failed to put away was put away. All the extra “stuff” was removed from the living areas and stored. This included the storage areas – a lot was donated or thrown out which highlighted the space and storage below the house.
Everything – floors, windows, bedding, and rugs. The kitchen was cleaned – inside the oven, microwave and refrigerator too! No more “dog” smell.
Staging – a little
Some furniture was moved around to make more room in the living area and dining room. Counters and table tops were clear except for a small, usually colorful, item. Clear away that which takes away space.
If you are considering selling your property it may be worth starting the De-cluttering sooner versus later. While it still is a Seller’s Market, what you sell it for can be affected by the overall look and feel of the property. It is time well spent to get the price you want is a shorter amount of time!