Ten things to remove before listing...

Real Estate Agent with Edina Realty

Everyone has heard rumors of de-cluttering when it's time to sell your home. But, what does that really mean?  Before going hog wild and moving out... here's a few of the most important things to consider removing before you list your home for sale.

10. Personal photos. I don't always recommend removing photos of the 'family' but if you have hallways filled with photos or photos on every end table it is probably necessary. Buyers really DO get distracted by them. They will take them all in as they walk down the hall. Not only do they take away from the home, but it's really disturbing when a buyer is excited to 'know' the sellers. And, the buyers do look at them.home

9. Bills and personal papers. I understand that you cannot remove these document from the home all together, but please take the time to organize them, box them up and put them out of sight. If you have bills laying out on the counter or kitchen table it's like an invitation for the buyers to 'peek' at them. Believe me - I discourage it - but it still happens. And as a seller you just don't want to leave the temptation behind.

8. Money. I would love to say that every buyer (and Realtor) going through every home is honest, but I really don't want to test those waters. If you have cash, cash boxes or coin jars sitting out in the open... put them away. It's just better for everyone if it's out of sight. As Realtors we do what we can to protect your home, but your help makes a difference!

7. Valuables. Jewelry, watches, valuable antiques.... anything that might be worth a bit of money that you wouldn't want to lose. Out of sight, out of mind. If buyers don't know they are there they won't think about it. I can't tell you how many homes I've been in where the jewelry is left on the dresser.... somehow it's uncomfortable. At least put it away.

6. Guns and ammo. I don't care if they are in a case or out laying around or under a bed. It's better if you just plain old remove them from the home prior to listing. For some reason they make buyers (in my experience) feel really insecure.

5. Shoes! If you have a pile of shoes at the door... ask yourself why. A pile of shoes gives a buyer two impressions. The first? That there isn't enough storage in your home. 2. That there are too many people living in the home. So, in order to avoid wondering on the part of the buyer... just put them away.

4. Medicine. Take it out. Don't store it on the counter. Don't store it in the cabinet. Don't store it in the bathroom. Remove it. There have been many complaints over the years of potential buyers 'stealing' the medicine out of the cabinets. I have never had it happen on my time clock, but to avoid any trouble it's best to simply remove it.

3. All things on your kitchen counter. Everything? Really? Yup. The cleaner you can leave the counter, the more buyers dream of being in there. Have you ever been in a cluttered kitchen? Does it feel inviting? How about a cleaned up kitchen? Does it make you wanna spend time there? Also, if you store things on the counter it gives the appearance that you do not have enough storage space.

2. No more junk drawers. Seriously. Clean 'em out. There is nothing more tacky than a potential buyer opening the cupboards and drawers and having things sticking out everywhere. Box up all the notes, pens, tacks, and odds and ends and put them away. Chances are you don't dig in the drawer often anyways.

1. Nothing but magnets.... and maybe not even that. Take a photo of your fridge, take everything off, wash the front (and side), and take another photo. It is really refreshing to walk into a home that has a clean fridge. The kids pictures are beautiful (believe me... my fridge is covered in them) but buyer's can't imagine their own children's drawing on there if it is covered with yours. And, the magnets... If they aren't decorative (and even then) they are generally more of a distraction to the room than a help. Consider it.

There are many more ways to declutter a home for sale... but these are some important things to consider. For more information on selling your home in Minnesota... give me a call.

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Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL

The only magnet they can keep up on the fridge is the one with my business card on it.  And yes, PLEASE, clean EVERYTHING off the counters.  It's amazing what people will leave on their counters during a showing...very unwise.

Oct 08, 2012 05:09 AM #229
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

This is a great list that every Seller should pay attention to.

Oct 21, 2012 10:20 AM #230
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Wow, What a lot of great tips. Thanks to Dorte for the reblog.


Dec 10, 2012 07:34 AM #231
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Well, your article made it to the top AR commented posts for 2012.  Well done.  And it's a great list too.  Very timely for me since a friend of mine wants to list his condo -- he's got jars and jars of coins, a medicine cabinet filled with drugs, booze . . . ha ha ha (some friend) ;-)

Dec 28, 2012 05:07 AM #232
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

Great list. How about electronics specifically? Too easy to scope out for theft. If I were a homeowner, I would have a desk that can be locked. It doesn't go with the house, so there is no reason why anyone would need to open it.

Dec 28, 2012 05:10 AM #233
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

Great list.  I will post for later reading..

Dec 28, 2012 05:32 AM #234
Kelvi Cunningham
ERA High Pointe Realty - Manhattan, KS

This is a great post and your list covers all the major bases. I especially like the part about the piles of shoes. I have always thought it looks cluttery and tacky, but I've never been able to put my finger on what bothers me most about it. You are exactly right, it looks like too many people live in the house. Genius and totally true! I have been working on my own personal list similar to yours and you have made me think of several neat ways to tweak it that I was missing or hadn't thought of exactly. Thanks and congratulations on the top 10 most comments list for 2012!

Dec 28, 2012 06:58 AM #235
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Congratulations on making it to the top 10 list of comments for 2012 in AcriveRain! And for writing a very helpful post for Sellers.


Dec 28, 2012 11:02 AM #236
Les & Sarah Oswald
Realty One Group - Eastvale, CA
Broker, Realtor and Investor

Congratulations for making the top 10 blogs for 2012. Very informative blog. I especially like the one item about the shoes. I have to add it to the list of things to tell my sellers before open houses.

Dec 28, 2012 12:28 PM #237
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Yes, this is a wonderful list, and several on there that many people may not realize/think about.  Congrats on the feature and all the comments.

Dec 28, 2012 09:48 PM #238
Julie Bentley
Watson Realty Corp, Jacksonville, FL - St Johns, FL
Saint Johns, FL REALTOR

Great and useful advice, Lindsey. Congratulations on being in the Top 10 for 2012! I am bookmarking this post to share with my Sellers!


Dec 29, 2012 09:49 AM #239
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Very good advice for home sellers.

I hope you are having a most productive month as home buyers continue to take advantage of the very low mortgage interest rates.

Jan 10, 2013 07:38 AM #240
Brad MacKenzie
Brad MacKenzie - Duxbury, MA
Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore

For sellers who are having a hard time understanding what they need to remove for their home to be presentable to buyers, it's already been useful for me to mention that they will want to put things out of harm's way, both from five-finger snatches and from clumsy knock-it-overs.  All of a sudden, they are perfectly willing to wrap that plaster statue precariously perched by the fireplace and put it in storage.

Feb 22, 2013 11:39 AM #241
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

The less personal the place looks the better, the cleaner it looks~ the better.

Every homeowner should remember: you have only few seconds to impress the potential buyer.

Oct 13, 2015 04:58 PM #242
Morris Real Estate Marketing Group
Morris Real Estate Marketing Group - Toronto, ON
Marketing for realtors made easy!

This is a fantastic post.

I reposted in on the Morris Real Estate Marketing Group blog, here: http://www.morrismarketinggroup.com/10-things-to-remove-before-listing/ 

Jan 19, 2016 06:33 AM #243
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

People often do not realize that they should do some serious work before listing the house. 

Sep 12, 2016 12:53 PM #244
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Excellent article. The only one I would not totally agree with is removing all from kitchen counters. Some kitchens (really expensive, high end) can pull that off but an average kitchen is going to look cold if stripped naked. I suggest removing everything from the counters and then strategically placing a few pieces for color and a suggestion of lifestyle. Think attractive cook book, bowl of fruit, large ceramic piece in corner or a nice coffee maker and set of coffee mugs.

Aug 10, 2017 07:36 AM #245
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Great tips, Lindsey! I have to say that I've never heard of the last tip but, love it! I'll have to pass this along to sellers who love to display their kids' art work on the fridge! LOL

Sep 21, 2018 06:02 AM #246
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Great list and one Sellers ought to use before the sign goes in the yard.

Oct 20, 2018 03:21 AM #247
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

This post is loaded with important tips to consider when selling, Lindsey!

Nov 07, 2018 04:57 AM #248
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