Hi, I’m Warren Oberholser. I’m a realtor in the East Bay Tri-Valley area in Northern California. My goal is to help both buyers and sellers get maximum results for one of their biggest investments, their home.
You are about to put your house on the market, and you realize it’s a mess and it’s filled with all your stuff.
Congratulations on making the decision to sell your home. You couldn’t have chosen a better real estate market in which to do so. Now the journey begins. There’s a lot to do, and it starts with getting your home ready for the market. Deep cleaning is critical, but before you break out the Lysol and Dustbuster, you will need to declutter and depersonalize the home.
The reason behind decluttering: Did you know, there’s actually been studies on the effects of clutter on our psyche. UCLA spent four years studying the topic and found that clutter makes us stressed. Since a stressed-out buyer is one who won’t spend much time in your home, getting rid of clutter is crucial.
Now, why is it important to depersonalize your home? Well, there’s several reasons why it’s important to depersonalize your home before you put it on the market. The first is, buyers want to be able to see themselves living in your home. They can’t do this staring at strangers peering out of a photo, awards on the wall given to somebody else, and evidence that strangers brush their teeth in the bathrooms. Yes, personal items can be distracting and especially the very personal ones that we leave on our bathroom countertops.
Okay. Where to begin?
That’s simple. First thing to do is find some boxes. Since you’ll need them for the moving process later on, they’ll do double duty. Depending on how cluttered your home is, you may need several boxes in some rooms, especially the children. Grab some cushy material like bubble wrap or newspaper for the fragile items. Choose a room in which to start. Some organizing experts recommend that you choose to start in the right or left of the front door and work your way around the home. Pack up and box all personal items.
Let’s start with depersonalize and decluttering the bedroom
Think of your favorite hotel room. That’s how you want your bedroom to look. The master bedroom is especially important, and most homebuyers say that it is the number one priority, according to the National Association of Realtors. Remove family photos and replace them with something generic. Since the bed is typically the focal point, think back again to that hotel room and splurge on some new bedding and extra pillows. Clear off the nightstand, leave a lamp, a single picture, and maybe a floral arrangement or a plant. Need ideas? Check out pinterest.com.
Here are some tips for the bathroom:
Since a bathroom is where most of our real personal items go, this can be a challenge to depersonalize that. Start by removing everything of personal nature from the countertops and storing these items out of sight. This includes toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, cosmetics, and other toiletries. The rule of thumb for countertops, if it isn’t decorative, get rid of it. Extra toilet paper needs to go away, as well. Next, check the tub and shower area. Yes, home buyers will sneak a peek behind the curtain. Remove all razors, body wash, soap, hair products, back scrubs, et cetera. Make sure that they’re out of sight.
Let’s now go to the living room and the family room
Now, this is another time to go back to that memory of your favorite hotel room. Hopefully, there was a little area that had a sitting area. That’s how you want your living room and family room to appear to a buyer when they first walk into your property.
- CD and DVD collections
- Family photos
- Framed awards, degrees, diplomas
- Magazines, newspapers
- Anything of a religious or political nature
- Toys and other kid and pet paraphernalia
Okay. Let’s finish with the kitchen
Kitchens are notorious for holding too much clutter, not just in the drawers and cupboards, but also on the counters. Remember what we said about the bathroom counters, the same holds true for the kitchen. Countertops that are cluttered, they appear smaller and buyers love counter space. Clear off everything, replace the decorative items, no toaster, food processor, or waffle iron.
Get ideas on how to declutter and stage kitchen counters at:
One service I provide to my clients if they choose to stay in the house while it’s on the market, having a stager come out and advise them what items best to remove and what to leave. They may also want to bring some accent pieces to enhance your home.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Please let me know if you have any questions. Warren
Hello…I work with both buyers and sellers in the Tri-Valley area of Northern California. The Tri-Valley is comprised of 6 cities: Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon, Danville, and Alamo. To better understand what each city has to offer, I have created a Pros and Cons video and BLOG for each – (Pros & Cons for Pleasanton, Pros & Cons for Livermore, Pros & Cons for Dublin, Pros & Cons for San Ramon, Pros & Cons for Danville and Pros & Cons for Alamo). If you are thinking about purchasing or selling a home, please reach out to me by text, phone, or email. If it is convenient, I can schedule a Zoom chat so we can discuss your home goals. Wishing you all the best on your home journey. Cheers!
DRE # 01861944
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