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Cleanliness is important. Staging is important. One of the most important and most uncomfortable processes however, when getting ready to sell ANY house is getting it decluttered to the point where it will appear lived in but not small or busy.
The Kincardine and Port Elgin areas are no exception. We have four busy seasons and lots of “stuff” needed to help us enjoy every one both for our indoors and outdoor lives. Do not take this personally. I am a pack rat myself so I get how hard this is. Anyone who lives in a house collects and displays things. It is perfectly natural. Even the most fastidious person will still likely have things in areas that should get thinned out to maximize the potential for a quick sale at the highest price.
YES, it is work - a lot of work. It is physical work and it is emotionally stressful. Not surprisingly there might be some differences of opinion re what should go. Ya think? It is however, one of most valuable preparation steps you can ever do. It takes time and energy but it probably will make you a few dollars selling some things and it will increase the time and dollars you will yield from the eventual sale.
It is not imperative to do this but to maximize the potential to the widest range of available buyers it is a very good idea.
There are many ways to do this. Here are a few tips:
1- Be Selective:
There are many things that all of us have that are crucial to us but that may be uncomfortable or even offensive to potential buyers. For example mounted animal heads are beautiful but there is a significant percentage of Buyers who will rule out the house simply because they are there. It is of course, up to you but most people prefer the quick, higher sale over not having those things visible for a short period of time.
2- Be Merciless:
There can be a point where a house looks too empty and hurt the saleability. Virtually all of us have to work REALLY hard to get the far. Think of a model home in a development. It may seem impersonal looking but it is the objective. The Home will look larger, tidier and more appealing to virtually everyone. Remember - you are not trying to sell your lifestyle, collectibles and furnishings; you are just selling the property.
PURGE PURGE PURGE!!! Throw away, donate or sell everything you possibly can.
If it has been in the basement or in a closet for years do you really need it? Will you really ever use it again? In our case was it really crucial that we keep EVERY ONE of the girls 40-ish dance costumes from 20 years ago? C’mon - really? Just saying’ - at some point doesn’t at least get to be the time be selective about which ones to keep?
More often than not we also have more furniture in our rooms than is optimum. Thank about which items could be removed to help the space look larger?
3- Get a storage unit?
Got a friend with a nice dry shed to barn with lots of space. Chances are the seasonal time you need it will not interfere with the time of year they need it so don’t be shy Free (or helping a friend financially is always better than retail.
Storage facilities seem to be popping on on every street these days so it is quite likely there is one near you. A short term month by month rental of a storage unit is a fantastic way to manage the items you can’t part with but really are not going to help the sale-ability of the property. Most Storage places are have various sizes available. The most common mistake people do is to rent a unit larger (thus more $$$) than they really need. Most units are also accessible 24/7 so they are very convenient. Out are also heated and climate controlled so if it is several months usage your items will face damage risk from humidity, mould etc. that that friend’s barn or shed might offer. Local options include: Kincardine U-Store-It; Stow-It Self Storage; and Mildmay Storge units
4- How do I decide?
Here are some suggested criteria you might consider employing to make the decision whether to purge an item … to not. Knowing what to keep, how long to keep it, and how to store it are three very important criteria for clutter. Every small appliance, shoe, paper, piece of furniture in your house is taking up valuable space and will cost you value in the resale of your house.
a) Has It Passed Its Expiration Date?
b) Was It a Gift You Never Wanted?
c) Do You Need It? (Really?)
d) Is It Something You Really Love?
e) Does This Item Get Used As Much As it Should?
f) Do You Have Duplicates?
g) Do You Use It Regularly?
h) Could you rent this instead of owning it to save space and money on upkeep?
i) Will I need this in the future?
j) Can you foresee a time in the (fairly near) future this will become a useful item to you?
k) Can I commit to storing this item properly?
5- Neat is good, but clean gets you organized
I hope my bride doesn’t red this because she will laugh … and laugh … and laugh. I confess this is a real “Do as I say, not as I do.” Fact remains unfortunately it is true and nowhere more true than how it impacts resale value of the home.
Give a room a tidy appearance is easily achieved by neatly arranged things on shelves or tucked beneath a piece of furniture. But putting things “away” without ever removing them or cleaning underneath them probably means that you don’t need the items. It also indicate you’re not enjoying them since they have been ignored. The result is you have avoiding giving a room a tidy appearance. Maybe - face the tough decision of whether to part with them?
Even if it is taking a look around a couple of times a year to pick a couple of areas that have sat undisturbed for a while, just gathering dust — bookshelves, under beds, inside cabinets and drawers, on your closet floors. Move everything from the space and clean; then force yourself to make the decision about whether it’s worth putting the items back. This will not only pay dividends in terms of organization, it will also remove unhealthful dust and dust mites from your living space.
6- Bags are for transporting, not storing
Bags are are not storage bins. They are for getting things from one place to another. Don’t toss things into bags when you’re tidying up and then never go back and empty them. Among the many problems with using bags to corral things you don’t know what to do with or are too lazy to put away is that you simply forget that you have the stuff and then go out and buy more. It’s easy to see how this can become problematic. Going out and finding some good storage containers or racks is a great idea as well.
7- One Room at a Time
Just like many things in life, a long journey begins with taking the first step and it is one step at a time that completes the journey.
This is also true of this process. Take it one step - one room at a time. The following is one of the best sources I have found that helps go through each room and how to do the approach. Look here for some more tips Click here Elizabeth Larkin for more information.
8- Decluttering has its rewards!
There are many options for what to do with the items including donating, selling, consigning or recycling.
Where can donations take you? You might be surprised. Organizations such as Diabetes Canada do free home pick-up AND give you a chance to win a $5,000 travel voucher that can be used anywhere around the world, or one of 10 $500 VISA gift cards.
Full contest details, ways to qualify, and rules and regulations can be found via the link above.
9- Selling and Consignment:
Why not recover as much cash as possible from all this effort? There are many way ways local and otherwise to cash in on the value.
10- When in doubt - DELEGATE!
The best solution for you may be to save a lot of time, effort and emotional grief and just hire someone to do the grunt part of the work for you. This type of service is growing fast. There are a variety of companies who specialize in this work such as Alpacka, Corner Comforts Home Downsizing Service; Move by Design, Move Seniors Lovingly, Move Seniors with a Smile, and TLC Moving Solutions. All of these are Southern Ontario / GTA firms with little service Kincardine. They may be interesting to check out for ideas.
At this time I am not aware any local companies who specialize in this service. My suggestion would be to discuss this with your Cleaning person and negotiate a rate where she/he could work with you to help with this process? You can then sit back and supervise.
At the end of the day, yep - it is a hassle. Your decision really just needs to be be balancing: a) the work, time and effort vs. b) the $$$ loss in the sale price + how much longer it will take to sell the property. If having to leave for all the showing over the sale period and the extra cash in your jeans don’t matter that much to you, then hey - clutter away!!!
Thanks for reading this blog. Hope it Helped You Mo’ - even a little. If I can be of any more assistance, give a shout out? I am here to help! Call, text or email Morrison MacKenzie anytime.
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