When working as a real estate agent, we often encounter people that want to list their homes for sale but have a lot of work to do in order to get it ready to sell. One situation that comes up from time to time is when people are either looking to downsize in their retirement, or kids are working through their parent’s estate. Trying to sort through cherished possessions can be a challenging and daunting task, and it can often be a process entwined with emotion.
As real estate professionals, it is our job to help our clients get their properties ready to sell. This means making sure that the property is in the best shape possible to bring our professional photographer in for listing photos and prepare for showing your property to potential buyers. Taking the time ahead of listing your property to sort through and clean out belongs could help your property sell more quickly or sell for more money.
Looking for some helpful ways to get started with sorting through an estate or even your own home? Keep reading!
Where to start: If you are trying to tackle the estate or home yourself, it can often be challenging to even decide where to start! We recommend picking one room (and only one room, to start) or a single category (think clothes, kitchen supplies, books, etc.) as a starting point. Once you have done that, start diving things into four categories: sell, donate, keep and trash.
Before you begin, pick out a place close by that is currently accepting donations and set out trash bags for all of the items you will be tossing. If you’re looking to sell certain items, try social media platforms like Facebook Marketplace, community groups or websites like Poshmark or LetGo). Getting started can often be the hardest part!
How to deal with decision fatigue: You may start out energized and on a roll, but at some point, most people run into decision fatigue. Deciding which items go where can be exhausting and overwhelming, especially when it comes to sentimental items. If you are starting to struggle to make decisions over your belongings, try calling a friend to come help or consider hiring someone to take care of some of the challenging decisions (see the next step for more on that).
We also recommend saving all of the most sentimental items for last. Having everything else cleaned out can help free up the brain space and energy to make more challenging decisions.
Hire someone to help: If you are not up for handling this process yourself, consider hiring a professional organizer or someone who has experience in handling estates. This can be a particularly helpful option for estates that have been left to multiple people or when the family is feeling incredibly emotionally drained from losing a loved one. Hiring someone else to make the difficult decisions can save you and your family from hours of work and draining energy and help to speed up the process.
Final steps – getting ready to list: Congratulations! Getting to this point is like icing on the cake. After everything has been sorted and cleaned out, take another pass through your property with an eye towards getting it photo ready.
This might mean paring things down so that there are minimal items on surfaces, there are little to no family photos or heirlooms hanging around (potential buyers like to be able to imagine themselves in a new property which can be hard to do among someone else’s family photos!), making the beds “magazine-style” and giving things a thorough cleaning. Then it is time for photos and selling your property! (And if you missed our blog on cleaning your home to list, you can check it out here: https://weare307.com/307-real-estate-blog-the-listing-process/)
Thanks to agent Melissa Maier, for helping us with this blog and content. And as always, if you would like to talk to an agent about buying or selling property in Wyoming, call 307-587-4959. We look forward to working with you!