One of the most common tips Realtors give home sellers is to "declutter". In Get My Home Ready To Sell, Real Estate Blogger Karen Highland points out
"Buyers want to see your house, not your stuff."
When buyers look at your home, you want them to focus on the features and upgrades. You don't want to distract them with items that might offend or puzzle them. It's amazing how many times we show homes and the buyers will refer to one as "the one with the guns" or the "one with the pictures". Granted, you're still living in the home but it's time to start packing up your personal items. In many ways, packing is an important step in moving on with your life.
Putting away as many of your knick knacks and personal items as possible is a must when getting your home ready to show. On top of getting rid of clutter, there are some items that should not be left for buyers to see.
Things Buyers Shouldn't See When Viewing Your Home
Guns and Firearms. You may be an avid marksman with a collection of rifles. The average person who looks at your home may not own any guns or if they do, they probably only have one or two. When buyers see a home with a selection of firearms, they become more curious about the sellers than about the home. They'll wonder if you're a hunter or maybe a paranoid survivalist.
They'll remember your home as the one with the guns. You want them to remember your home as the one with the great pool or the big kitchen. If you have a large safe, put the firearms inside and lock the safe. If you don't have a safe, you should find storage for the gun collection.
Stuffed dead animals. This one goes hand in hand with the firearms. It goes without saying that animals lovers will be turned off by your trophies. Other than fellow hunters, most buyers are at least a little turned off when they see a stuffed animal hanging on the wall. You may get away with one or two but it's better not to risk it. If you have a selection of them they should definitely be packed away.
Jewelry and other valuables. This one is more for security than how your home looks. As Realtors, we do our best to screen buyers when showing your home. And we try to keep an eye on them when they're viewing your home. Hard as we try, we can't see everything. That beautiful piece of jade that was handed down from your Godmother could easily be slipped into a pocket. If you want to keep it, don't leave it lying around.
Free Speech is a right but it won't sell your home. That picture of former President Bush or President Clinton has a 50/50 chance of turning buyers off or on. In either case, it takes their attention away from the features of your home. After they buy your home you can always send them an invite to your party's next fund raiser. Do not introduce politics before they've bought the home.
Family Photos. Those photos of your kids, grandkids and the pets you've had over the years are meaningful to you. They're not special to home buyers. In fact, having your walls covered with family photos will make your home look old fashioned and dowdy. Once again, pack them away. You'll need to pack them when you move anyway.
Every Kitchen Gadget That was Advertised on the QVC Network. Kitchens are one of the most important rooms of the home. Today's buyers prefer large kitchens with upgraded counters, cabinets and appliances. They don't want to see a juicer, coffee maker, blender, toaster, slicing machine, wine opener, bread machine and some gadget covering every inch of counter space. It will make the kitchen look small and take their attention away from the good features. Choose two or three gadgets that you use most often. Put the others away.
Rated R. Chances are the buyer who comes to look at your home will be a family. Nude paintings and art work should be tasteful or they should be packed away. That collection of erotica is likely to provoke giggles and embarrassed looks from buyers. This includes the collection of provocative magazines. Find a drawer for them or pack them up.
Boxes That Have Already Been Packed. A common mistake sellers make is to put boxes that have been packed into a spare bedroom or the garage. As the stack of boxes grows, buyers can barely walk through the area. It leaves the impression that the room or garage is much smaller than it is. Top MA Realtor, Bill Gassett has excellent "Tips For Choosing a Storage Facility". The cost of the storage facility will be worth it if it gets more money for your home.
Getting Ready For The Big Move
You may be looking forward to moving but packing is never fun. It will be easier if you start packing before you list your home. You'll be able to put away your most important possessions and leave the rest for the moving company. Any of the above items should be packed away before buyers are allowed into your home. After you've de-cluttered and put away distractions, start packing. Anything that you won't be using for the next three months should go in a box. You'll be happy you did when you have 30 days or less to move.
Debbie Drummond is a Full Time Realtor with over ten years experience in the Las Vegas Real Estate Market. She and her team of Real Estate Pros offer the highest level of service. If you’re buying or selling a Las Vegas home, call (702)354-6900 or email Debbie@LVHomePro.com. They’ll be happy to assist you in your move.