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Home Staging Tip For Sellers: Capitalize On Your Closets

 

 Home Staging Tip For Sellers:  Capitalize on Your Closets.  Every closet, cabinet and drawer in your home has the potential to impress a buyer.   Home Staging isn't just about furniture, paint color and fresh towels.

 Home staging is about creating a perception of value in the minds of potential buyers. 

Advertisers spend a lot of time, effort and money making their products appealing.  Every image, color and font is specifically chosen to be attractive to buyers and to make the product stand out from the competition. It's no different when selling your house.  If you want buyers to choose your home over the others on the market, you need to make sure it's more appealing and more memorable.

One seldom used strategy for appealing to buyers is impressing them with organization.

closet

 

Clean, organized cabinets and closets send a message to buyers that a very organized, meticulous person lives there.

The entire house is then perceived as being well maintained. 

It really isn't that much extra work...consider it a headstart on your packing.

Take one room or closet at a time.

Remove all off-season clothing.

Pull out everything you don't use on a daily basis.

 

Divide into three piles...

1.  Trash  

   2.  Donate  

   3. Pre-pack

All remaining items should be arranged neatly, putting like items together and storing small items in matching storage containers. 

Having labels facing out will create an even greater sense of order.

 

Make sure closet floors are free of clutter, swept, and clean.

Make sure cabinet shelves are clean and either painted or covered with shelf liner. 

Wipe all drawers in kitchen and bathrooms with a damp cloth.  Don't forget to clean out medicine cabinets.

Hire a cleaning service or professional Home Stager to do the work for you, if you prefer. 

 

Your competition will not be making the extra effort ... giving you the advantage.  

So, why not capitalize on your closets?

 

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Comment balloon 61 commentsSharon Tara • July 22 2011 08:29AM

Comments

Great tip, thanks for sharing!  Buyer's always seem to open up the closet doors, as they want to see how much space there is.  It really deters them if it is completely filled.

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Arizona Focus Realty) about 8 years ago

on target Sharon once again and love the graphic.  Closets are critical and people tend to forget that they can be a great selling point for all their storage capability!

Posted by Joanna Cohlan, Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes (Fresh Eyes For Your Home) about 8 years ago

This is really a true indicator of how well-maintained the entire house is, Sharon. Good post.

Posted by Toni Weidman, 20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) about 8 years ago

Oh so true....and I need to work on mine!   LOL

Posted by Deborah Byron Leffler BzyBee Real Estate Lady! (Keller Williams Realty Boise) about 8 years ago

Look at you, a Feature, and so well deserved Sharon...........great tips!

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) about 8 years ago

Congrats on the feature Sharon!  Excellent post and I oh so wish someone would stop messing up MY closets!  LOL

Posted by Debbie Walsh, Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036 (Shahar Management) about 8 years ago

You hit the nail on the head with your closet article.  Closets so often get overlooked. Storage is so important when selling a house.  We offer a closet check list as part of our do-it-yourself package. Clients are amazed at how well organized they can be when they follow a plan.  Good luck!

Posted by Tammy Benson, Finishes By Design about 8 years ago

The inside often tells us a lot about the outside...closets are loaded with messages. An orderly one says loads

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 8 years ago

Great point Sharon. Especially in the bedroom, even if its a good size but that closet doesn't look organized and roomy that could make the difference. Congrats on your feature too.

Posted by Lee & Carol Barbour, REALTORS, Mountain Living Team in Murphy NC and North GA (Murphy and Hayesville, NC; Hiawassee, Blairsville, Blue Ridge GA and Copperhill TN) about 8 years ago

Thanks for such a timely post.  My newest listing is beautifully furnished and impressive unti you open any closet door.  It looks like the clutter of a lifetime has been allowed to accumulate and negates the positive impression that the rest of the house presents.  My seller will be spending the next few days discarding, organizing and cleaning.  For some reason, advice from yet another realtor always carries more weight!  LOL

Posted by Marnie Matarese, Showing you the best of Sarasota! (DWELL REAL ESTATE) about 8 years ago

I have the perfect opportunity to get my stuff junk cleaned up. Getting the floors redone, which means I have to move out all the furniture. Time to get cracking. I will make sure I use the three pile method of sorting. :D

Posted by Judy Jennings, Broker - The Lanterns at Warren Woods - Ashland MA (The Green Company) about 8 years ago

Sharon....GREAT advice and would also add...same for garage.  I'm staging a large townhome today where the home is "vacant"...but the closets & garage are chucked full.  I'll do a picture of the garage and post later today....if I can open the door w/o being crushed by the contents spilling out...LOL!!!!

CONGRATS of the Feature!!

Posted by Kathy Burke, S.F. East Bay Home Staging (Sensational Home Staging~~Danville, CA) about 8 years ago

Brian:  That's what I tell my clients...buyers are going to look and the seller has control of what their reaction will be.

Joanna:  Thank you.  It is surprising to me just how many sellers don't even consider that closet space will matter.

Toni:  It sets an impression and sets the tone of just how valuable the buyer perceives the house to be.

Deborah:  Get to it then!  You will feel so good when you do!  It's quite liberating!

Roger:  I think I found the secret to getting featured....once you post it, leave the house for a couple hours!  This has worked the last couple times I've gotten the star!

Debra:  I think we all have the mysterious someone who sneaks in and messes our closet!

Tammy:  Having a checklist is a great idea...making the sellers job less stressful is a huge part of staging.

Richie:  I love how you phrased that!  Thank you!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 8 years ago

Donate or "part with" will most likely be the most challenging for many.  Great tips!

Posted by Irina Netchaev, Pasadena CA Real Estate (Pasadena Views Real Estate Team, Inc.) about 8 years ago

Sharon- congratulations on a great and well deserved Feature!  Many sellers will look at me in disbelief when I tell them how important it is to clean and straighten their closets.

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 8 years ago

Sharon,

I will give your to-do list to our sellers today. Your list sounds so much more authoritive than when it is from seller's own agent.I would call you if you are in my town for staging.

Thanks for sharing!

 

 

 

Posted by Susan& Charlie Ahern, Owner & Broker, Coronado Real Estate 4 Sale 619-92 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties) about 8 years ago

This is a really clever and underused set of tips Sharon !

...and so true, when I open that closet door and it's pristine and organized, it gives a very impressive shine to the room !

Love this :o)

Posted by Sheldon Neal, That British Agent Bergen County NJ (Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited) about 8 years ago

Lee & Carol:  Thanks!  Space is so important, but it's not just about space.  It's about giving an impression of the type of person who lives there and how they have treated the house.  That's the part that sellers never think of.

Marnie:  I've seen sellers remove all their clutter and stuff it in the closets...it's not a good idea!  Moving it from one place to another isn't the answer, unless the other place is out of the house!

Judy:  Great opportunity for some purging!  How exciting!!

Kathy B:  Thank you!  Would love to see the pic of the garage, I'll be looking for it.

 

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 8 years ago

Closets are an important part of the home. Just like the kitchen or the bedrooms, they need to be shown at their best

Posted by Donald Reich (Prudential Centennial) about 8 years ago

Irina:  True, people have a very hard time parting with their "stuff" and letting go...but once they do, they feel much better.

Kathy:  You know they aren't really hearing what you are saying when they say they'll take down all the family photos... and put them in the closet.  You can bet they look in the closets when they shop for their new home.

Susan & Charlie:  Wonderful!  I can't think of a better compliment than hearing you would use my service!  Good luck with the sellers today!

Sheldon:  Thank you!  I appreciate it!

Donald:  "Shown at their best" is a great way to say it!

 

 

 

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 8 years ago

Great tip, and it's obvious. The closet stay with the house. The buyer will be impressed.

Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) about 8 years ago

Wonderful post. Thanks for making it available for a re-blog. It's so important that buyers feel there's space for their belonings in any home under consideration

Posted by Vickie Nagy, Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen (Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate) about 8 years ago

Sharon congrats on the feature! Storage is definitely part of the equation when selling!

Posted by Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional (Janice Ankrett Home Staging) about 8 years ago

Wonderful info Sharon!!  I totally agree that buyers are evaluating not only whether there is adequate storage in a house - but they do make those judgements about whether everything seems well maintained because it is orderly - or not...  (Now I need to go clean out MY closets!)

Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA about 8 years ago

Great advice! a lot of people use drawers and closets as storage space for "CLUTTER". I will have to forward this advice on to others!

Thank you!

Posted by Tyler Rackley, www.gorichmondrealestate.com (The 20/20 Team) about 8 years ago

That's a great tip for closets, Sharon - I have seen very good homes with everything stuffed in closets...good point.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) about 8 years ago

Brian:  Impressing the buyer is what's important!

Vickie:  Thanks for the reblog!  Glad you enjoyed it enough to share it.

Janice:  Thank you!  And, thanks for reblogging too.

Nancy:  Your choice of the word "judgments" is perfect...sellers should remember they are being judged by buyers.

Tyler:  It's best to deal with "stuff" rather than shove it somewhere else only to have to deal with it again later.  Some sellers understand the concept, and some don't!

Praful:  Opening a cluttered closet can really kill the moment!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 8 years ago

Sharon,

That is one area that tends to be overlooked. The closet sometimes is packed full of the stuff that Sellers have from decluttering the house. I will make sure that is on the checklist next time :-)

Posted by Ann Nguyen, Lake Tahoe Truckee Homes For Sale (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) about 8 years ago

Sharon:

Your point about clearing the closets and making them look organized and neat will give the buyer the idea that the rest of the house is equally well maintained is right on.  This can't be stressed enough.

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) about 8 years ago

Sharon I couldn't agree more...even I get messy some times in my closet and when I do, I clean it up and donate and throw out!

Posted by Ellen Caruso (Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty) about 8 years ago

Wish my closets were organized, but no such luck.  When I see crowded closets in a home I'm selling its a red flag  - NO  STORAGE SPACE.

Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) about 8 years ago

Great Staging tips.  I don't think most of us think of this part of staging.  Thanks for the post.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 8 years ago

OK....as promised here's the garage of the home I staged today.  House looks terrific now....garage and all the closets:

 

AND....I had to add some "stuff" that needed to come OUT of the house.  Actually....there is tons of room in the garage...it just is SO unorganized that it looks like a hoarder lived here!

Posted by Kathy Burke, S.F. East Bay Home Staging (Sensational Home Staging~~Danville, CA) about 8 years ago
Excellent ideas. Since they need to pack to move might as well get a head start.
Posted by Mike Yeo (3:16 team REALTY) about 8 years ago

Super tips on staging a home, which is more important than ever. Our company recommends literally getting at least half of your belongings out of the home and that means some closets are empty and the other close to it. It also makes packing up at moving time easier since the job is half done. It's easier to do two medium size jobs than one huge one.

Gretchen

Posted by Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate, Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs (Kelly Right Real Estate) about 8 years ago

My closets are in desperate need of some of this attention for sure! Excellent tips!

Posted by Kristi DeFazio, Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468 (RE/MAX Advantage) about 8 years ago

Sharon, very often people think that "cleaning"="tucking extra stuff into closets" .Big mistake. great advice and congrats on feature!

Posted by Anna Dovger, Home Staging -The Woodlands, TX (Add Value Home Staging LLC, 281-704-6607) about 8 years ago

I like the positive idea of packing early!

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) about 8 years ago

Hi Sharon--congratulations on the feature.  I think it's always funny that closets are the places sellers try and hide things--like they are not part of what a buyer is buying.  I worked with a client a few months ago who could not believe that a buyer would actually look in her closets or kitchen cabinets.  Oh, and what a surprise when they did look there--since things came tumbling out when you opened the door. 

Posted by Janet Jones, Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii (Just Your Style Interiors, LLC) about 8 years ago

Great tips. Also good advice if you just want to declutter.

Posted by Bernadine Hunter, SFR, ACRE, "Finding Solution to Your Real Estate Needs" (Keller Williams Greater Columbus Realty) about 8 years ago

Sharon, excellent point! Buyers want to envision their things in a closet. If they are jammed packed full, the buyer will assume their things will not fit.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA about 8 years ago

I have been working on my own closet this week.  So great to get it done and to get rid of clothes that I no longer wear.  As far as showing a home, you are so right that organized closets make a huge difference.  A must-do for all sellers.

Posted by Paula McDonald, Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Beam & Branch Realty) about 8 years ago

Sharon -- great advice.  I opened a closet last week and a bunch of 'stuff' rolled out. The buyer just laughed it off saying that it looked like her closets.  But when she then went to a house with orderly closets, she was quick to make a comment on how clean and well kept the house was.  An organized closet  definitely leaves the buyer with a positive impression about the overall maintenance of the home.

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (Kinard Realty Group - RealtyQuest Team, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) about 8 years ago

Ann:  Many times sellers think it's out of sight and won't do any harm...great idea to add "organizing closet" to the checklist.

Evelyn:  Perception is very important and not to be taken lightly!

Valerie:  Excellent advice!!  Saves time later on and keeps closets all uniform in color...another sign of good maintenance.

Ellen:  We all have messy closets at one time or another....or most of the time, LOL!  But as long as the house isn't listed, it's nobody's buiness but your own.

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 8 years ago

Ruthmarie:  If you want organized closets, then organize your closets.  It's not really that hard and you will feel so good afterwards that you will wonder why you didn't do it sooner!

Gene:  Now you won't be able NOT to think of it!

Kathy:  Wow!  It does look like a hoarder lives there!  Good thing they have your help, they obviously needed it.

Mike:  That's all I'm saying...you are going to do it anyways, doing it now will help the whole process go faster!

Gretchen:  Baby steps!  Much better to take some bites out here and there than to try and do it all at once!

Kristi:  Get to work!  LOL!  Let us know how fabulous you feel with your new organized closets!

Anna:  No sense sweeping the dirt under the rug...hiding it isn't dealing with it.

Sharon:  It makes life easier, and isn't that a good thing?

 

 

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 8 years ago

More excellent advice from Sharon.  I completely agree and I think you should market a video for Realtors to lend to prospective sellers.  I'll buy one. 

 

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) about 8 years ago

Sharon, 

Absolutely brilliant - this is a simple, smart idea to help make the hous look good, as well as keep the move to a easier one!  

Love it, off to re-blog.

All the best, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) about 8 years ago

Woo Hoo!  I tell clients to make their linen closets look like the towle section in a department store:  neatly folded, sorted by size and color...

Posted by Julia Maher, Connecticut Home Stager (Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes) about 8 years ago

Sharon - this is excellent and a well deserved feature!  This advise is like the "cream" on top of a well staged home - open the closets to find everything in place and you have to know that this home has received the highest level of care and maintenance.

Posted by Barbara Hensley, Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas (RE/MAX Properties) about 8 years ago

Sharon, as an Interior Designer and a realtor, also, I agree whole heartedly.  My experience with buyers has also shown me that decluttering the entire house is a good idea even if you have to rent a storage room to put all those boxes of pictures, nick nacks, and happy mementos that you love but make the house look small and cluttered.  It is inconvenient and can be a little uncomfortable, but buyers can't imagine how a house will look decluttered.  I've even had interior designers as buyers who would not buy a home because when the sellers moved out, they did not clean the walls or paint.  They told me it looked like the house had been used very hard and not well maintained when all it needed was a coat of paint.  Jane Foster of Masterpiece Realty Associates of Del Mar, CA

Posted by Jane Foster (Masterpiece Realty Associates) about 8 years ago

Janet:  I'm surprised at this response from sellers too.  I had a seller tell me once that she has never looked in the cabinets or closets when buying a house....I can't imagine!

Bernadine:  True, you don't have to be moving to live in a clutter free environment!

Michael:  Buyers will visualize their life in the house, just as they see yours presented to them.  Show them space so they perceive it as spacious.

Paula:  It's a great feeling!  I bet it makes you smile everytime you go in there.

Erica:  And it sends a clear message to potential buyers that a pack rat lives there, LOL!

Barbara:  Perfect example, thank you for sharing it!

 

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 8 years ago

Lloyd:  The nicest compliment I've gotten all week!  Thank you!  If and when I decide to make the video, I will let you know!

Michelle:  I appreciate that, thank you so much!

Julie:  Great way to explain it, that is something they can visualize easily.

Barbara:  I appreciate that, thanks!  It's the little touches that make a house stand out from the others on the market.

Jane:  Paint will make a huge difference and I just don't understand when sellers don't use it to their advantage.

 

 

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 8 years ago

This can be a big plus when the seller does this.

Posted by Michelle Carr Crowe,Altas Just Call...408-252-8900!, Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years (Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty) about 8 years ago

Excellent advice, Sharon! The first thing many buyers do when they walk into a home for sale is go into the kitchen and start opening drawers and cupboards...and they almost always look inside the closets! I re-blogged this post. :)

Leilani

Posted by Bob & Leilani Souza, Greater Sacramento Area Homes, Land & Investments (Souza Realty 916.408.5500) about 8 years ago

Sharon ~ Sellers sometimes seem surprised when I advise them to stage the closets -- your tips are excellent.  As you pointed out, taking everything off the floor of the closet is one way to make the closet look much bigger!

Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging that Sells Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) about 8 years ago

Fabulous post, our home is on the market and I cleaned out as much as I could, stored, donated and sold what was needed. Worked for months getting ready!

Posted by Cathy Lee, ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA (CL Design Services Home Staging) about 8 years ago

Michelle:  And yet, many don't.

Leilani:  Thank you so much for the reblog!  Glad you found it share worthy.  Kitchen cabinets are so important, they really leave an impression...especially if they have sticky rings and crumbs in them!

Maureen:  It's not always realistic to LIVE this way, but when SELLING...it's worth the inconvenience to put a little effort in and create a lasting and positive impression.

Cathy:  Of course you did!  I would expect no less from you! Best of luck for a fast sale!!

 

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 8 years ago
Thanks for the blog always nice. To have a reminder.
Posted by Wendy Tomm, CCSP, RESA-PRO, BBB - Wpg Realtors (Beyond the Walls) about 8 years ago

Wendy:  You are welcome!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 8 years ago

just cleaned out all of my closets for the new year, threw out a ton of stuff.

Posted by Tori Toth, 888.667.6643 NYC & Beyond, HSR, SAR, RESA, LIBOR (Tori Toth, International) over 7 years ago

Tori:  Feels great doesn't it!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) over 7 years ago

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