Welcome to Centers and Squares

As a Cambridge real estate agent, the city squares of Cambridge, Somerville and Medford and the town centers of Arlington, Watertown and Belmont, Massachusetts are my home turf. And as a lifelong New Englander who’s lived within twenty miles of Boston most of my life, I can introduce you to other nearby towns as we search for your new home. If you’re planning to sell your home in Cambridge, MA or nearby you’ll find plenty of info about the home selling process here too. Questions? Send me an email or call me at 617-504-1737.

Declutter Your House To Get It Sold

Staging your house to sell has become much more important in today’s competitive real estate market. Clearing away clutter is one of the best – and least expensive – things sellers can do to make their home sell for more money in less time.  After you declutter, your house or condo will look larger, more attractive, and much more appealing to home buyers. 
 

You Don’t Sell Your House The Way You Live In It

Messy ClosetWhen I work with sellers to prepare their property for sale we go room to room to identify anything and everything that should be removed.  The goal is to have clear surfaces everywhere you look.  No piles on the nightstand, no tchotchkes on the bureau, the desk a clear expanse.  The miscellanea stacked in a corner that you don’t even see anymore – it’s got to go.  The notes and magnets covering the fridge – not while you’re selling your home. The toiletries arrayed in the bathroom – not acceptable.  We’re aiming to get as close to the model home look as we can.
 
One challenge while living in the house that you’re selling is that buyers are able to peek into your cabinets, your Neat Closetclosets, even your medicine chest.  If it’s built-in it’s acceptable for buyers to take a look inside.  This means that you can’t use those areas to stash your excess stuff.  In fact, it’s almost as important to declutter your closets and cabinets as it is to declutter the rooms.  A crammed closet sends the message that you don’t have enough closets and storage space is an important point on most buyers’ wish lists.  Thin the clothing and clean up the shelves and floors. 

Too Much Of A Good Thing

One of the bonuses of selling real estate in Cambridge and other nearby towns is the opportunity to spend time inside some truly fascinating homes.  Filled with books, fine art, collectibles, and memorabilia, many of the homes we tour are visual feasts.  But though agents and buyers may linger, gazing at the art or collectibles, the details of the house or condo fail to register.  There’s too much to see, too much beauty to absorb.  So don’t be offended when your agent suggests some thinning of the accessories.  Too much is really too much when you’re selling your home.  And I speak from experience as a lifelong collector (some would say packrat) – I live surrounded with the things I love but when it’s time to move I live like a minimalist. 

So where do we put the stuff? 

Decluttering your house before listing it for sale is a great opportunity to start packing or to weed out those possessions you don’t want to move. Some ideas: 
  • Hold a garage sale
  • List items on Craigslist for a price or for free. Freecycle is another option for giveaways
  • Buy some plastic bins and stack the filled bins neatly in the basement or garage
  • Rent a storage space. It’s well worth the relatively modest cost. One of my favorite storage facilities is the U-Haul on Route 16 at the Somerville / Medford line
  • Ruthlessly weed out and bring things to the curb. Curbside trash pickup – what could be easier?

The Reward

Why go to the trouble?  It’s simple – your house will sell for top value if it’s presented at its best.  If your agent isn’t giving you some “tough love” and advising you on how to prepare the house, you’re not getting good service.  From the moment the first buyer’s agent or buyer walks through the door you want to be show ready.  For more tough love for sellers see:

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  1. Joel Vanderford

    Hi there, I found your website via Google while looking for a related topic, your website came up, it looks great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

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