All things real estate: Don’t let clutter overwhelm your plans to sell home

Philip A Raices

You have had thoughts lately of finally moving and have a basic plan as to where you would end up. Some may already have a second home, which makes it so much easier as an end game of relocating. You have a wide smile on your face just thinking about it —finally to begin enjoying your retirement and the fun activities and things that you haven’t been able to do or accomplish and now look forward to. But as many people don’t have a second home to retire to and just thinking further about this monumental undertaking that smile suddenly changes to a more concerned and worried look about the process and the decisions that must be made.

For some, the frown turns into a little bit of a panic attack worrying about everything that needs to be done. The reality of this major move sets in and you begin looking around your home as to what has to be done to prepare it for sale. Now I suggest you first take a step back, try to calm down, and begin thinking about what you need to do, one step at a time. However, the clutter may be overwhelming and you want to pull your hair out, but again frustration sets in. Again, calm down, relax, and get your paper and pen out and begin taking inventory of what you own and have accumulated over the years.

First off, begin to note what do you really need to take with you and what can be either given away to your local charities, family or friends or given away for a tax deduction or just thrown out. Are there clothes that you will not need to take with you if you are going to a climate that would make them unnecessary? Am I going to purchase new furniture in my new home? Do I need a professional tag sale company or can I get away with just doing a garage sale? Do I need a certified professional to determine the value of my furniture and possessions? As you take notes and catalog what you are keeping and what you are not and all the decisions that will need to be made about your move, your frustrations and concerns should be reduced and a clearer picture will begin to slowly become apparent.

Your initial move into your home was probably very exciting many years ago and I am sure there might have been a few bouts of concerns but hopefully few frustrations. Now that you have lived in your home 10, 20, or even 30 or more years, I am quite sure there are many, many more items to deal with, and the sheer accumulation of stuff and decisions may be a lot more challenging and complicated. Take an hour or two every day or every other day and begin reducing your clutter by at least throwing out what you know you will not take with you. This would be an excellent first step as you are formulating your list(s). It may appear like an overwhelming task to undertake and so much to do, but doing a little bit at a time will make the process and end result very satisfying.

It should be a family responsibility and obligation to work together to get things done, although that in itself sometimes may not have everyone on board for various reasons. However, everyone should chip in to help and all should be responsible for providing a helping hand. Now, if you don’t have the motivation and don’t want to do anything, or don’t have any help and you have the budget, you can always rely on outside services to do whatever you want to be done to make your preparation to move smoother.

My suggestion is to take as much time as needed maybe six to 12 months in advance of selling. Then take it one day at a time as you are creating your “plan to move list” and it should make your job much less stressful, simplified, and organized. Most important and crucial is dealing with the current Covid-19 pandemic during your planning, so here are three sites that will assist you:

Good luck and remember take your time and keep a level head and as my dad always told me, “Don’t sweat the small stuff, for almost everything in life is the ‘small stuff.’”

P.S. Lastly, start looking at your home as a buyer and determine low-cost fixes you can do to prepare your home for sale as well as those things that might cost you more in your final sale price if you don’t make those repairs.

Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck. He has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute (G.R.I.) and also as a Certified International Property Specialist (C.I.P.S). Just email or snail mail (regular mail) him with your ideas and suggestions on future columns with your name, email, and cell number and he will call or email you back. For a consultation, he can be reached by cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email: Phil@TurnKeyRealEstate.Com to answer any of your questions or concerns.

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