The House Is Packed- How Can I Sell This House With All It's Clutter

Services for Real Estate Pros with Palatium Auctions Moving, Downsizing, Liquidation Auctions, Estate Sales. 314-690-1978 Certified Personal Property Appraisals

Working with Realtors I get this question a lot. "How can I sell the house when the house is loaded with personal property and clutter everywhere?" or  "How can the homeowner make the house presentable?" The solution is simple. The stuff must be thinned out or removed so the homeowner can realize the value of typically their biggest asset, the house and let the Realtor do their job. But how?

When the personal property stands in the way of showing a home, a Realtor can team up with a credible auctioneer, typically one that is a National Auctioneer Association (NAA) member in good standing, credentialed and insured. 

The auction method usually accomplishes the sale of most all personal property and whatever is leftover is usually unsaleable.

The goal is three fold. 1) realize the highest value by competitive bidding for the personal property assets. 2) clean out or reduce the clutter in the house 3) Allow the Realtor to best market the house not the house with its clutter.

These auctions can be conducted on site to reduce costs but must be done by a skilled Action firm that is familiar with protecting the integrity of the home and its value. The premises should be protected with floors being covered, areas reduced to public access, adequate signage should be posted, the auction firm should be properly staffed, parking should be monitored, adequate insurance in place, municipal permits pulled are just a few of the essential requirements.

Learn more: Estate Sale or Auction - Whats the difference?

If you or your brokerage does not have an alliance with an Auctioneer I would encourage you to interview some NAA Auctioneers. The auction process has integrity and will help you sell houses.

Posted by

 Cathy Roesch Palatium Auctions

Cathy Roesch, Auctions, Appraisals
Online Auction Expert
Palatium Auctions and Liquidations
618-406-2065 mobile or 618-233-1000 Office

Complete Auction Services                                                                                           

Like Us -Platinum AuctionsCathy Roesch on Linkedin



All original text, video, and photo content is the exclusive property of Cathy Roesch and / or Palatium Auctions (the Company) and may not be used without expressed written permission. All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All personal, real and intellectual property is subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither the Company or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, and misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. The Company has no control over the quality, safety or legality of the Auction Items listed, the truth or accuracy of the listings or any other information provided by Sellers about the Items. Listings may be sold, withdrawn at any time or subject to change without notice.


Comments (30)

Ann Zieve
Keller Williams Success Realty - Eden, UT
Unmatched Ownership Experience

Defintely auction is one of the best option when clearing clutters in the house.

Aug 27, 2014 09:17 AM
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

We don't have too many auctioneers for people's stuff in my area but this is really a great idea, and would be well-worth it. 

Aug 27, 2014 09:21 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Feng Shui decluttering can work with every bit of this. Basically though, we say that decluttering can let the air flow in a more healthy way.


Love and light,


Aug 27, 2014 01:25 PM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

We typically have not seen auctions.  Estate sales seem to be the norm.

Aug 27, 2014 01:32 PM
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Estate sales are more common in our area but an auction sounds like a quick solution too.

Aug 27, 2014 01:43 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Clutter oh clutter! Cathy, this is #1 culprit (or should I say #2 - after price) for a listed home not having a 'sold' sign.

Aug 27, 2014 02:24 PM
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Listing Specialist - Agent

Where I grew up there were auctions all over.  Down here, not so much.  People sell their homes furnished and just take their clothes!

Aug 27, 2014 07:52 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Taking listings that aren't decluttered is a mistake!  The price just gets dropped and buyers just walk out.

Aug 27, 2014 08:49 PM
Scott Seaton Jr. SLS Home Insp
SLS Home Inspections-Kankakee Will Iroquois Grundy Counties - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

Love the snapshot of you with that creepy clown picture.

Good plan for many I'm sure.

Aug 27, 2014 10:14 PM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

We've called in the auctioneer on a few occasions.  They can certainly clear a room or a home in no time at all!

Aug 27, 2014 10:25 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Same with bottle for recycling...if not disposed of, they take over quickly

Aug 27, 2014 11:13 PM
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

Hopefully some home owners can get money for their belongings. but most of the time it really is just junk!

Aug 28, 2014 12:13 AM
Les & Sarah Oswald
Realty One Group - Eastvale, CA
Broker, Realtor and Investor


That is definitely another option for sellers to consider. Options are good.  This way sellers can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I would suggest this as the last resource, since auctioning their personal belongings seems so final. I would try to pack as much as possible and have them store it at a storage. Since they are going to move anyways, it is just a matter of time when the house gets sold, might as well start packing now and have it ready for the movers when the time arrives.

Aug 28, 2014 01:04 AM
Gerard Gilbers
Higher Authority Markeing - Asheboro, NC
Your Marketing Master

This is a unique way to clear a home for sale and one that I had not thought of.

Aug 28, 2014 03:02 AM
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

Hadn't heard of using an auctioneer to get rid of clutter.  Good way to reduce unnecessary things and maybe get some money for it.  

Aug 28, 2014 07:02 AM
Jeff Jensen
The Federal Savings Bank/Lending in 50 states - Greenwich, CT

I hear the Got Junk ad many times a day.  Your seller should give them a call.

Aug 28, 2014 08:30 AM
Kathleen Luiten
Resort and Second-Home Specialist - Princeville, HI
Kauai Luxury Ocean Home Sales

PODs (those rentable residential storage containers) are a solution if a client is unwilling to let go of things before they sale. I encourage sellers to pare it down to minimal furniture and zero clutter for an easier sale.

Aug 28, 2014 09:40 AM
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Great idea.  I have only used auctions for estate properties, but I can see where it could be a benefit in other situations as well.  Thank you for the post.

Aug 28, 2014 07:19 PM
Mark Neighbor
A O Home Solutions - Sell House Georgia - Buy House Georgia - McDonough, GA
Sell House Fast In Georgia

I buy a lot of houses with a lot of stuff left in them. An auction is a good idea. So is the flea market. Some will clean the house just to get the stuff to sell on Saturday at the flea markets.

Aug 29, 2014 10:03 PM
Cathy Roesch 618-233-1000
Palatium Auctions Moving, Downsizing, Liquidation Auctions, Estate Sales. 314-690-1978 Certified Personal Property A... - Town and Country, MO
St Louis MO Auctioneer, Estate Appraiser & Auction

Thank you everyone who contributed comments to my article and hope it was helpful. I want to add that we have had more than a few auction clients who have been downsizing or moving and just don't need the contents any more. 

Aug 30, 2014 10:08 AM