Clutter is the homeseller’s seemingly innocent but conniving mortal enemy when trying to sell their home in the least amount of time for the most money.
“Over 140 million people over the age of 50 years old are now facing the overwhelming task of downsizing and handling all the personal possessions found in estates,” said Julie Hall, The Estate Lady, in her ebook “What Am I Going to Do With All My Stuff?” And clutter is by no means a generational phenomenon — clutter clings to the best of us.
Decluttering connotes work (it might take hours, days or weeks to purge), emotional anguish (it is hard to say goodbye to yesterday) and insult (what do you mean would-be buyers won’t like ____?) for many. Yet sometimes, the sting of decluttering is minimized when homeowners realize they can declutter for cash.
D-Day is not just a matter of taking everything to the dumpster — talk about adding further insult. And D-Day isn’t the time to annoy your neighbors with an obnoxious yard, garage or estate sale that takes time and planning for little result.
Instead, help your homeowners see that their treasures might be worth a pretty penny to others without the nuisance of setting up, policing and haggling a yard full of strangers on their off day.
Here are three no-fee apps/websites to get your moderately tech-savvy homeselling clients excited about the prospects of cashing in on their D-Day:
Letgo is a free app and website that allows your sellers to visually catalog and market the home goods that they want eliminated for D-Day.
Your homesellers can post each item in less than 30 seconds from their smartphone or tablet. Plus, your clients can easily share the details of their goods with their Facebook, WhatsApp, email and other contacts with just a few extra clicks.
No more unattractive, awkward emails from homesellers to their family, friends, neighbors and co-workers desperately and annoyingly trying to pawn off their discards.
Letgo allows shoppers to search for items that are near them, which is great for shoppers that are not looking for anything in particular but will buy something that grabs their attention — great pictures matter. Shoppers can also search by category or a specific item type on letgo.
Shoppers can ask questions and submit their offers to yoursellers either in the exact amount that was posted, or they can try to negotiate with your clients. It’s up to your homesellers to decide if they want to do the dance.
As a bonus for you, this might give your homesellers some practice in negotiating before receiving offers from homebuyers.
Wallapop is the newcomer of the bunch. It has the same great features as letgo, but it might not have as many users near your homeselling clients — meaning a smaller pool of shoppers — based on how popular it is in your area.
However, Wallapop can still be an effective app to use because fewer users also means less products to compete with. This might work well for your homesellers that have large networks and just want a free organized catalog system to share and sell their home goods.
OfferUp is the sophisticated cousin of the other two apps. In addition to the features of the other two apps, OfferUp allows shoppers to specify a search radius, manually edit the search location (the default is based on one’s current GPS location) and sort items by how close they are in proximity or how recently they were added to the app.
OfferUp has an Instagram feel, in that you don’t get bogged down in the details and descriptions. Instead, shoppers are able to scroll through the picture gallery to see what catches their eye and suits one’s fancy.
Then they can message your homeseller, who will receive an alert. As with Wallapop and letgo, shoppers can accept the posted price or negotiate.
Tips to add value with your homesellers as they use these apps
Encourage your clients to follow prudent safety practices to make sure they are not dealing with criminals or others that mean to do them harm.
For example, your clients can avoid having strangers traipse through their home by arranging to meet at a nearby Starbucks or another busy, public store.
Also, your clients would be smart to do what we do and ask for a copy of the shopper’s driver’s license before a meetup and send a picture to their family members or friends. Or you could recommend your homesellers use an app such as bSafe.
2. Extra exposure
Suggest to your homesellers that they use all three apps simultaneously. Because all of them allow quick picture uploads and written descriptions, why not cut and paste the text to each app?
Your homesellers’ belongings will have wider exposure, and they will likely sell faster.
If your homesellers are not financially able to hire a home stager, these apps can also be used to purchase a few tasteful inexpensive pieces that can complement and accent the existing decor.
For this reason, you or someone from your team might want to download these apps and send recommendations from time-to-time to your clients.
Will everything sell? It depends on if there are buyers looking at that moment for what your homeseller has to offer.
Thus, I highly recommend you add some time constraints to D-Day preparation. For example, “if the items do not sell in ___ days, the items will be donated.” These deadlines will ensure you can list the home at the most opportune time.
It makes no sense spending the best part of the summer trying to declutter only to miss ready and willing homebuyers.
I hope that was helpful for you. Good luck decluttering and selling the home.