Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Closets - Clear Away that Clutter!

I recently went on a listing appointment in Irondequoit where the sellers had done all the right things. In the five or so years that they owned the property, they had installed new energy-efficient windows, replaced the old oil fired furnace with an efficient natural gas model plus added central air. The roof was newer, the interior was painted in tasteful colors and the yard was meticulous maintained. They were proud of their home and rightfully so.


Everything was nearly perfect until I started opening closets. It's not that they were horrible, they were just very, very full. And when I got to the basement, there was a room just jambed packed with stuff. You see, this family has a young child and another on the way. And young children require lots of stuff.
When I suggested that to prepare their home for the market, they empty the storage room and clear out their closets, they gave me one of those looks. It's like, what buyer is stupid enough to not know that the closets and basement will be empty at the time of closing? You know the look, right?
Cleaning out closets is all about subtle messages to potential buyers. If you've outgrown the home, as demonstrated by overstuffed closets, then maybe they will too. And they will move on to another home that feels bigger to them.
A well organized closet may even give buyers a sense of security about the maintenance history of your home. I once showed a property where even the attic had been recently vacuumed and the family's collection of used gift bags were organized by color, then size. It's like, wow, these people really take care of their stuff. It's a subtle message but one that could lead to a contract on your home.
The Rochester real estate market is pretty slow right now, but it almost always is in January. For most buyers, there are plenty of options and they can be picky. So if you are considering putting you home on the market, invest the time in clearing out those storage area. Honestly, it's worth it.
Mary Shelsby, ReMax First
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