When planning to sell your home, the most important advice I offer as your Realtor is to declutter.

It is difficult for most potential buyers to visualize your home as their home. Keeping the house you are selling filled with your stuff, your pictures and your personal items, just makes it more difficult.

So here are some simple suggestions to declutter.

  1. If it a personal memento, put it away. Last year, I helped my friends Bob and Janice sell their amazing home in the southern end. Their home was filled with items that they had collected from their travels in Europe and Asia. Although amazing, buyers might feel cowed because they couldn’t see themselves living in the house. They took down their stuff and the house sold quickly.
  2. Pictures should also be put away for the same reasons. The other benefit is that once your pictures come down, rooms often look larger and feel more like an open pallet. During the initial interview with clients, I sometimes ask them to take a photo down to survey the paint to determine if the room needs a fresh coat of paint.
  3. Books can stay as long as there is not too many. Buyers generally like to see books on the book shelves. Without them the shelves look odd and lonely. Too many books can appear messy and overwhelming.
  4. Hide your jewelry and any valuables. Buyers feel uncomfortable when they see jewelry in someones bedroom. Jewelry is intimate to one’s personality and may often have value. Remember that strangers walking around your house is not a natural act, and everyone, buyers and sellers alike, intrinsically feels this. No reason to make it more uncomfortable than leaving out your finest things.
  5. Simply your life while your house is on the market.  Get rid of your junk. If your belongings have value then donate them to the Salvation Army. If not, part with it for good. When the house does sell and you have to move, you’ll be happy you did.

For more specific decluttering advice, visit here.