The word is “clutter.” It keeps cropping up whenever a Realtor is asked for advice about selling St. Cloud homes.
The clutter factor might not seem to be so overpoweringly important. After all, a housekeeping crew can scour and shine most homes in a day or two–and that would seem to outrank the clutter component by a mile. So why all the fuss about clutter?
I believe the reasons are many. Of course, selling any St. Cloud home requires it to be at least freshly cleaned (best if immaculately so)—but everyone accepts that without a second thought. Clutter is another matter. It goes to what’s meant by the term.
After a home has been prepared in every other way, de-cluttering action means ruthlessly removing just about everything that tends to attract attention, fill the space, or otherwise distract the eye of the beholder.
In the living room, that means gathering up all the books and newspapers and removing them from the scene. It means doing away with the ashtrays, paperweights, and coasters. It means losing the magazine rack by the fireplace and pruning the number of throw pillows that usually populate the big sofa. It means dispensing with unnecessary throw rugs and any hall wall hangings that make narrow hallways more claustrophobic. Importantly, it means removing all the photos and memorabilia that make your house a home—because they make it your home when you want it to become their home.
The same goes for the kitchen, where it means gathering up all the paraphernalia that’s needed to fix a breakfast or throw lunch together. Salt and pepper shakers, spice rack on the sink, egg timer and spoon rest included. Does this make the kitchen appear less of a functioning kitchen? Yes! And that’s why the de-cluttering needs to be emphasized: the kitchen will be more appealing to most cooks if it looks open, nearly unused—in other words, awaiting their arrival to make it their own!
Now, it is also true that you may well return an object or two to the living room or kitchen just to offset a totally “deserted” feeling—professional stagers often do add one or two modest objects where needed. But check out the best upscale listing photos, and you will see expanses of unoccupied space and barren walls and surfaces. They make any St. Cloud home invitingly empty—awaiting their ultimate owner.
Selling your St. Cloud home for at its best price takes strategy and skill—and it’s always good to be able to call on a seasoned professional to bring experience to the effort. I hope you’ll give me that call!
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