Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Tips for storing items in your home while preparing to sell...

When I meet with potential home sellers, frequently sellers ask me how best to prepare the home for photography and showings. Often, sellers are inclined to remove belongings from the home and just cram every closet full of stuff. Or they throw everything into the garage or the basement. While this is an adequate solution to thinning out what is inside the home, homeowners must be strategic and intentional about how items are stored. While readying the house for photography and showings is super important, filling every spare nook and cranny in your home can really hamper a buyer's ability to do inspections or appraisal. So here I offer a few tips when it comes to storing items.

Tip #1: If filling your garage or basement with items, arrange things neatly in the center of the space. If you stack things up against the walls, you create "inaccessible areas" for termite and home inspectors. Most astute buyer's agents will request you make these areas accessible visually and physically, so if you pile boxes and furniture up against the walls, you will end up creating more work for yourself and just have to move items again later. If you arrange things neatly in the center with an accessible walkway around the perimeter (like in the photo), this is the best way to leave the garage or basement accessible for inspection.

Tip #2: If filling closets, be sure not to stack items on top of a crawl-space access door. Often in homes with raised foundations, the access to the crawl-space is in the floor of a closet. Termite and home inspectors must be able to have access to the sub-area of the home. Depending on the buyer's loan type, appraisers need crawl-space access too. So please do not send everyone on a hunt for access to the underside of the home by covering it. Inspectors and agents will not move items from a closet to create accessibility.

Tip #3: Again, if filling closets, be sure not to block attic access doors. Often, attic access doors are also in closet ceilings and sellers tend to stack items so high that the attic door is blocked. If there is an upper shelf installed blocking access to the attic door, you should remove it to provide unobstructed access. Again, inspectors and some appraisers will need access to the attic.

Tip #4: Have a garage sale and get rid of items! Selling and moving can be a great time to purge unused or unwanted items. Rather than stash things in the garage or closet, if you have time on your side have a garage sale so you don't end up storing or moving stuff you won't use.

Tip #5: Get a storage unit. You will need to pack things up to move them into your next home anyway. I know, I know...you aren't excited to move things twice. But you probably have a friend with a truck who can help you remove things from the house completely. I have a truck and occasionally have helped my clients relocate items as well. Just sayin'.

Most people do not roll out of bed one day and decide to sell their homes, so with a little planning and strategy you can make things easier on yourself...

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