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The Clutter Effect on Appraised and Perceived Madison, Wisconsin Values

Whenever you read up on important aspects of selling a home, the word ‘clutter’ keeps popping up everywhere (if you doubt that, just Google “clutter”—this morning, I got 7 ½ million entries!).

Most elements that go into selling a home are self-explanatory—since Madison, Wisconsin homeowners have by definition been through the process of buying at least one Madison, Wisconsin property, they have personal experience to go by. Chances are that they already know that one detail that can have a disproportionate impact on the final price a home fetches is the presence of clutter.

Impact of Clutter on Appraisals

Unless the clutter inside and around the home actually begins to impact the structural integrity of a home, it will not affect the appraised value. An experienced appraiser will have encountered numerous cluttered and messy homes, and will be well able to focus on the actual value of the property without being influenced by its contents. After all, as far as the appraiser is concerned, since any disorder will be long gone once the current owner moves out, the property’s intrinsic value remains unaffected.

But a property’s appraised value is one thing—what Madison, Wisconsin homebuyers decide to offer is quite another…

Impact on Marketability

An appraised value may seem as if it’s the most important figure—after all, professional appraisers know what they’re doing, right? And the appraisal will play an important role when it comes to how much the bank decides to lend as the mortgage, right?

True—but the far more important figure is actually what real life prospective buyers decide to offer. That will be a complicated personal decision that is just as dependent upon the perceived value of the property as on anything else. If the buyer has visited other local homes, a comparison with them will be part of the calculation. Added to that will be what happened—how it felt—during the walk-through: how pleasant an experience it was on the first and subsequent visits; how easy it was for the prospect to picture their own family at home there. If any amount of cluttered, disorganized personal items were part of that experience, it’s nearly certain to literally cost thousands on the bottom line—appraisal or no. It’s why any veteran real estate agent will advise clients to make sure that their house is thoroughly “de-cluttered” before the first potential buyer crosses the threshold.

Important as it is, the clutter factor is just one element that goes into creating the attractive package—one sure to motivate the buyers. If this winter will see you listing your own Madison, Wisconsin home, I hope you’ll give me a call to discuss all the other pieces of the marketing program that I will bring to your sale!

Jen Stauter Kornstedt
HomeTeam4U-Stark Company Realtors
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Our agents write often to give you the latest insights on owning a home or property in the local area.