Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Beware of Décor! Tips to Declutter Your Home Prior to Listing For Sale!

As much as Location, Location, Location has been the number one real estate mantra for decades, decluttering and depersonalizing has to be a close second. But what is clutter? Hard to tell in this eclectic world! Martha Stewart has one style and theme restaurants another. Go into any TGIFridays throughout the United States and the décor covers almost every inch of wall space! No wonder when as an Anoka County Realtor, I make a that initial visit to a potential seller’s home my response can often be, “Oh my, we have some work to do!”

Americans have too much stuff! We have it on our walls and under our beds. We store things in our basements, closets, and garages. It is our history and our lifestyle. It is the way we live. But in order to sell your house, you must learn to live a different way at least while your home is on the market.

I visited a lovely Forest Lake area home recently that had been on the market all last summer. It was decorated to the nines! Beautiful oak and antique furniture sat in the bedrooms, living room, family room and even the foyer. There was 2500 square feet of furniture in a 1600 square foot house! The cozy home had a crowded feel and potential buyers would consider it much smaller than it really was. Their previous agent had not addressed the overpacked house situation at all. When I brought it up, the husband said, “But it is what makes our house our home”.

I completely understand this reasoning….But if a seller is serious about moving, they MUST pack up their treasures, mementos and photographs for their new home. If someone is serious about moving, the treasures will have to be packed sometime, why not now? When decluttering the property turns from the perfect home into “The Perfect HOUSE on the Market”.



  • Store, sell or donate everything are not using! Clean out the drawers, cabinets, closets and garage too!


  • Go for the minimal look in decorating! Use a rule of 3…No more than three pieces of décor in any direction.


  • Take down the wall of family photos. People start looking at the family pictures rather than your house.


  • Pay attention to the outside of your home. Too many bird feeders hanging from the trees, Little Tikes toys in the yard or plants covering the entry can be distracting in the MLS photos.


  • Bring in a professional! If you are not certain of what to pack and what to leave out, hire a stager for a consultation.

Other articles on Getting YOUR Home Ready for SOLD!

Home Staging Tips to Help YOUR Home Sell in a Slower Market
Staging for a Quick Sale—Cleaning for a Buyer!
Moving with Pets--Important things to remember!
Top 10 Ideas to Get Your Home Ready to SELL!

If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.