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Learning How to Reduce Clutter

Katie Davis with Just Move, an organization and move management company, shared ideas on how to declutter and downsize in preparation for the sale of a home and the move to a retirement community during a special at Carroll Lutheran Village in Westminster on November 14. 

Participants learned how to reduce the amount of furniture and personal items in each room and closets to make them appear more spacious to potential buyers.

Pam Hamburg December 13, 2013 at 09:53 AM
Trying to sell a home today is a lot of work, headache, heartbreak and stress for the seller (me). Buyers want everything PERFECT, even in a 25 year old home. If things are not perfect, then the buyer requests 'remediation', like having the chimney or septic cleaned (routine maintenance). THEN to add insult to injury, sellers have to give what I call a bribe to the buyer, even if this isn't their first home and they are wealthier than the seller and this home is a downsize for them (3,700 sq. ft, not including two-car garage). The bribe can be more than $5,000 off the purchase price, maybe even $8,000 to $10,000. My buyers wanted me to give them an additional $10,000 off so they could redecorate! I'm sure you can guess what I said to that. I'm not a pack rat, so my home was far from cluttered, though downsizing from 3,700 sq. ft. to 1,400 sq. ft. was a huge job in and of itself, and also a heartbreak as I had to get rid of many sentimental items. My original selling price was more than fair and my home appraised for more. Let's see: $5,000 bribe, $1,800 in 'remediations'. The sellers got a really good bargain. I ended up resenting them to the max, but I had to keep my mouth shut. At settlement, after all the documents were signed by me, the buyers had the nerve to ask if I would chip in for something else. I had to get out of there. Even my realtor was aghast by this request. Too late, everything was signed, a done deal. I pray I never have to do this again...it was a nightmare.
Josie December 29, 2013 at 11:53 AM
I agree I to have sold a house that I lived in for 23 yrs. We not only painted but replaced the kitchen now-tiles with ceramic. There was a counter and backsplash replaced. We had built a brick garage for us but the buyers benefitted from. We sold for a lot less than the house was appraised. These people also benefitted by being first time buyers and were had to give money toward settlement. I am truly surprised they didn't take our first born. On tv the case is so different, were are these people when it is you turn to sell. Also, I had to give so many things away because the realtor thought the house was to personal. Imagine , a home with kids, pets, and memories, to personal. We had to turn it into a model home. My home was never cluttered, my kids complained that it wasn't like their friends home. Oh well the saying win some lose some.
Pam Hamburg December 29, 2013 at 08:36 PM
I hear your pain, Josie, I hear your pain. Yeah, sellers have to 'stage' the home now...what a load of horse hockey. Fresh flowers. Fresh baked cookie, for Pete's sake. Clear the counters in the kitchen/bathrooms. Hide your pets and their things. Pack away all family photos. Empty out your storage areas of keepsakes and whatnot. And so much more. The whole thing was horrible for us. It's been over a year now, and I'm still carrying resentments that I'm trying to let go of. I've been hoping *evil grin* that things that worked that were a little bit older have gone up since then, like the hot water heater, washer/dryer, pool pump, lol! I know it's bad of me, but I just can't help it. My buyers were NOT first time buyers...they had plenty of money. Had it been a first timer, I wouldn't have had a problem. They nickled and dimed me all the way to the settlement table. In the end, though, I got 'em back in my own little way. Yet..I'm still carrying the resentments. I guess I have to just give time, time. Happy New Year and yeah, win some, lose some. If you're a home seller, count on losing, sometimes a lot.
Pam Hamburg December 29, 2013 at 08:44 PM
Oh, and had they wanted my first born, I would have told them to go to the cemetery and get her. My second born (adopted) I would have killed for rather than give up. LOL! I don't mean to be morbid. It's been a long time now. In the end, I stripped my home of EVERYthing that wasn't nailed down, whether I needed it or not. Gave most away to the needy. Our pool table was part of the deal (a Brunswick Seville) as I had nowhere to put it. I took my late husband's pool cues, of course, and left the junky ones. I also took the cue ball and 8 ball from the pool ball set ;) All the fireplace stuff (though I don't have one now). Switch plates replaced with cheap ones. Banged up a few walls moving the last of the furniture out. Those were just a few things I did. They couldn't 'get me' for any of it. Gee, I had SUCH a good time! I know, I'm bad. As I said and I'm sure you agree, I pray I never, ever have to do this again.
Pam Hamburg December 29, 2013 at 08:46 PM
Never told them that my late husband died in the master bedroom either ;)

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