This is the first post in a five-part series about what to do when you are thinking of selling your home. The first and arguably the most important thing to do is to start cleaning out your home as soon as possible. Doing so will benefit you on many levels.
Selling your home can be a stressful process. Staying up late to pack boxes the night before your move (not that I’ve ever done that!) is not fun. Wouldn’t you love for the day of your move to feel calm, organized, and efficient? It certainly can if you start packing things up now. The less there is to do leading up to the day of the move, the better you will feel about the whole process.
Less clutter equals more clarity. Moving can be emotional. I’ve experienced multiple sellers crying (in my arms) during the days leading up to their move. Some people are moving into the overwhelming unknown and some are just leaving a chapter of their lives that was filled with good memories. Every item in your home, whether you know it or not, carries energy and reminders from the past be those memories pleasant or unpleasant. As you gear up for your move, you’re trying to think clearly about the future; you’re trying to make sound decisions that will benefit this next chapter in your life. The more you can box up the past, the more you will be able to think clearly about the future. And then, once you’re settled into your new living situation, you can unbox and display the items that bring you joy.
Finally, as you put your home on the market, it’s important to remember that your home is no longer about you. It is now a vessel to help potential buyers imagine all the good times that lie ahead for them. As buyers walk through your home, it is imperative that they are mentally able to see themselves making Sunday pancakes on the stove, gathering family for Thanksgiving dinner in the dining room, walking through the front door with a new baby, and playing tag in the backyard with their kids. You want buyers to be able to walk through each room in your house with visions of their future happiness. You do not want them to be dragged into another family’s past as they look at photos of your family above the mantel, your child’s artwork on the refrigerator, and the hole your dog dug in the backyard. To you your home may feel blank and impersonal but to a buyer, it can feel like an exciting, fresh, new start.
So, do yourself a favor and start packing up your past and your treasured memories now. You will be doing yourself, future buyers, and your pocket book a big service. And once you move, you will be able to unpack and again turn your house into a home.