Remove all clutter and personal items from the house; Buyer's need to be able to visualize their furniture and their personal items in the house. By removing as much as possible from the house, you will maximize your sales price.
This post is Tip # 4 in our Top 10 Tips to Sell Your House for Maximum Sales Price.
De-Clutter the House
You want to make the living areas look as spacious as possible; The goal is to make the house look professionally staged, even if you are using your personal furniture. While the functionality of the staging may not make a lot of sense, the visual appeal will maximize your sales price.
We recommend you start by removing excess furniture in the main living areas and bedrooms such as couches, chairs, trunks, dressers, shelving, etc that do not match the others. Also be sure to remove or rearrange furniture that is blocking a natural walk way, making a door difficult to open or a room difficult to walk thru.
Next, start clearing bookshelves, table tops and china cabinets of knick knacks. Get a head start on packing and make your property look and feel bigger just be removing some on the bulk items. As you prepare for buyer showings, its also a good idea to remove any especially expensive or personally valuable items. Wipe down all the shelves, remaining items and table tops to be sure they are clear of dust, cobwebs and fingerprints.
Next, move to closets and kitchen cabinets. Trash or donate anything you don't need or want any longer. Place larger items in neat storage boxes and face all hangers in the same direction. Arrange kitchen cabinets so labels face forward, jars/cans/boxes are in rows, dishes are neatly stacked and glasses are in rows. Its amazing how this level of organization makes closets and cabinets look bigger and stand out amount the competition.
Finally, move to the basement, attic and garage. Buyers will want to see the storage areas as well, so be sure to trash or donate things you don't want and place items in storage boxes.
If possible, it may be easier to move first and have the house professionally staged.
Further reading on your Transition Options
De-Personalize the House
Now that your house is de-cluttered, the next sweep is de-personalizing the house. This process may be more emotional than the first. Buyers need to be able to envision themselves in the environemnt. By removing as many personal items and photos as possible, you're helping them do this.
Go through the house and start packing away any personal pictures you have hanging on the walls or set out on the mantle, end tables or anywhere else in the house. Make sure the art or other decor is relatively neutral, so that a wide variety of buyers can visualize themselves in the house. Generic types of decor are neutral in color and theme.
Download all 10 tips to follow along; We provide these 10 tips to all our clients preparing to sell their house.