Most homeowners who are listing their homes for sale don’t realize that one can add value to a home by cleaning and reducing clutter.
Homeowners understand that upgrades such as new flooring or countertops will instantly increase the value of a home. What many owners don’t realize, however, is that a little elbow grease will bring value as well! Where owners leave money on the table is by not giving their home a good scrubbing and removing all the clutter, which are knick-knacks, family photos, and too many side tables, chairs or other smaller furniture that make the home look small. In fact, according to the Federal National Mortgage Association, appraisers use six levels to describe the condition of a home with the first level being a newly constructed home that has not been lived in to level six, which is basically uninhabitable. Clutter and cleanliness can move a home up or down a level or two, depending on the appraiser. Condition can become a very important variable when determining value.
Another unfortunate drawback to a home for sale is if the air conditioner is turned off or turned up so high that air does not circulate leaving the home smelling musty and extremely hot. Nothing moves a buyer through a home faster than when it is so hot, it is uncomfortable to look at. When a home is for sale through the hot Florida summers, be sure to turn the A/C down to a temperature that will allow the unit to run. The Florida Dept of Agriculture and Consumer Services recommends a setting of 78 degrees. They also recommend that the indoor and outdoor coils are cleaned, add shades on east and west facing windows to reduce heat and leave ceiling fans turned on to help circulate the air.
If a homeowner doesn’t have the time or ability to clean, then an option could be to hire a cleaning company or friends and family to not only clean the home but de-clutter, as well. Since the owner will be moving, boxing up personal items and giving away or selling furniture that is not being used is a great way to make the home “show ready.”
“Most homeowners don’t enjoy cleaning or decluttering but when they realize how much more money they can add to the value of their home, then they know it’s worth it to make the effort,” says Broker Marty Pozgay.