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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, May 06, 2017 1:00 am

An organized home sells better

It requires a lot of time and energy to maintain an organized home, but the benefits of that labor can pay off, while you're living in your house and when you're ready to sell.

Real estate agents consistently report that potential buyers don't overlook a house's organizational elements and, in fact, really seem to value them. Orderly storage spaces signal that the current owners have carefully maintained their home. This, in turn, can translate to less time on the market and higher sales prices.

Here are four things you can do that will not only make your home more organized now but also potentially increase its value and help it sell quickly when you're ready to move.

Don't wait to get organized. Don't continue to stash things that you're not sure what to do with in your back basement closet or attic, thinking you'll get to them later. No matter the circumstances surrounding your eventual move, you'll probably be too busy or distracted to properly deal with the contents. Plus, why let all of that stuff weigh you down when you could take one weekend day or a couple of hours each week to get things in order?

Outfit closets properly. Every closet and cabinet does not need to be ready for public viewing at a moment's notice, but it is useful to have your main storage spaces outfitted properly so you're able to keep them reasonably neat and find what you need. Don't wait until you're about to sell your home to make your closets and cabinets work well.

Make smart renovations. The primary goal of any renovation is to improve your home's functionality, appearance and style for you and your family. But if there's a chance you might sell in the next five to 10 years, it is also important to consider whether your changes will be desirable to future buyers.

Keep up with repairs. Stay current on home repairs and upkeep to ensure that you don't have to sink a lot of money into your house right before you sell. Keep a running list of maintenance for your systems and appliances – HVAC, water heater, boiler, refrigerator, stove, etc. – that you'll eventually be able to give to a prospective buyer.

– Nicole Anzia, Washington Post