Home Selling FAQs: Will Buyers Really Care About My "Stuff"?

Real Estate Agent with Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster 100026886


Whenever I start to work with home sellers in Henderson CO, one of the first things we do is to consult with a home stager.  I just love having another set of eyes to "see" the things that we cannot - or will not.  

Those family portraits and toys, the great deals you got on your last extreme couponing day, your bottle cap collection - all of the things that turn a house into your home can be difficult to look past for buyers.  As I've said many times, you want people to see themselves living there.  To do so, they need to be able to see the rooms and the spaces, not get distracted by your stuff!

Sometimes, we just have too much stuff for our current home.  It is all too common to see a basement or garage filled to the gills with boxes, bags, bins and the like, full of random stuff that may have made the last several moves you've made.  (By the way, nearly everyone has at least one box/bag/bin like that.)  But trust me, buyers do not want to see your stuff.  It makes them feel like there will be no room for their stuff.

So, where should all of that stuff go?  Well, you could have a garage sale.  Garage sales are a great way to get rid of a lot of that stuff that you no longer use, while making a bit of money in the process.  And if you have a fair amount of no longer used kids' and babies' gear, you could make a bundle!

You could also advertise on Craigslist.  This is much like a "virtual" garage sale, where people looking for a certain item will browse through the category that interests them.  If you go this route, be sure to post pictures.  Pictures are the best way to attract a buyer quickly, no matter what you are selling.  In fact, many buyers will skip right over a listing that doesn't have pictures.

Salvation Army, ARC, DAV, Lupus.... There are so many worthy causes out there who would love your no-longer-used clothing and housewares.  Plus, you can get a receipt and write this off on your taxes.  But remember:  if it is stained, broken, smells, has holes or is about to fall apart, throw it away.  These non-profits are looking for things that you no longer use, not things that no one can ever use.

And if you cannot bear the thought of getting rid of it?  Rent a storage space.  Please.  When a buyer looks at your property, they will open the kitchen drawers, all of the closets, the under-sink cabinets - in short, everything that is part of the house.

Case in point:  recently, I was showing a family a lovely 4 bedroom house.  It was neat, clean, spacious and open.  I started to get a bit suspicious, however, when I noticed that every single walk-in closet and bathroom door was shut.  It was just a feeling I had.  Sure enough, when they opened the door to the Master Bedroom closet, a pile of clothes awaited!  It also looked like about 300 books were being stored there as well as the entire shoe department at Nordstrom...  Not to mention what fell out of the cabinet in the kids' bathroom.  (Apparently, some people store dirty laundry there...)

When home buyers can see the whole house, they will be much more likely to bring a good offer quickly!



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Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

Time to pack all of that up and move it out!  Nobody wants to see that when looking at a potential new home.

Sep 06, 2012 11:06 AM #1
Jennifer Prestwich
Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster - Henderson, CO
Your Castle RE Colorado

Too true, Kathy!  One of the best analogies I've heard my stager make is to think of a hotel room.  Everyone knows that they are not the first to stay there, but if the hotel is run correctly, no one thinks about it - everyone gets a "fresh" experience.  

Sellers need to think the same way!

Sep 07, 2012 04:34 AM #2
Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Sometimes intervention of a 3rd party is necessary.  Sellers may consider hiring an organizer to unveil what are gems and what is really junk.

Sep 08, 2012 08:16 AM #3
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Jennifer Prestwich

Your Castle RE Colorado
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