It’s summer, which means for many properties that were sold during the spring selling season are now approaching their settlement date. Many older properties have been left vacant and untouched with many of the owners possessions still inside, as a loved one may have passed away or needed to downsize to retirement living or aged care. This leaves loved ones, families or executors of estates with a major task of clearing the estate prior to settlement. Often ours or our loved ones homes are filled with a lifetimes worth of possessions, most of which cannot be taken to a new smaller home if they have downsized, and must be cleared from the property in order for it to settle.
House clearing and estate clearance for sale or settlement, can be an overwhelming and stressful process, so it’s best to be prepared to avoid any headaches. We have put together below our 5-step plan for clearing the property, to help make the process as stress-free as possible
- Planning and starting early: create a timeline for when tasks need to be completed by, and start actioning these as soon as possible to reduce feeling overwhelmed as looming sale or settlement days approach. You should allocate at least half a day of clearing work to each room in the house; with this in mind it could take a week to two weeks to clear a property depending on the size of the house and amount of possessions.
- Get family members to select and remove their wanted items: it is best to start the clearing process with family members going through and pulling out items that are wanted first. This way the remainder of the items in the property can be removed more efficiently. It is easier to start the clearing process by removing wanted items, rather then getting bogged down with what to do with unwanted items and getting overwhelmed by the amount of things to sort.
- Sorting and decluttering: Set up 3 designated workstations for the remaining items: one for rubbish, charity, and items to sell. It is best to work on one room at a time and clear this completely before moving onto the next room. A completely clear room will help to stay on track and work methodically, as well as motivate you to continue with the other spaces.
- Organise the removal of unwanted items: Once you have decluttered and sorted your items into 3 designated piles, it is time to organise the removal of the items that need to be sold, go to charity or rubbish. It is best to have second hand dealers and auction houses come through first so anything that may not be saleable can be put into the charity pile. For items to go to charity, many companies will come and collect items from your home for free if they are in good condition. Other smaller local charities may also have stores where you can drive down and donate small goods.
For items to be disposed of, we suggest ringing up your local council and taking advantage of any hard rubbish collections you may have, before hiring a rubbish removal company. Avoid using skips as these are costly and often your neighbours like to use it to get rid of their items at your expense! Rubbish removal companies (like us!) have their own truck and trailer where you only have to pay for the rubbish that has been removed, whereas with skips you have to pay for the full bin even if it is not completely filled.
- Clean the property: It is important that your property is left clean and presentable for the new owners otherwise this could cause issues at handover and potentially delay the settlement. Focus on the rooms that potential buyers are most interested in, giving major attention to the kitchen and bathrooms. Try to look at each room with a fresh eye and see what catches your attention first. Make this the starting point for the cleaning process. Then, follow the top-to-bottom, left-to-right rule for cleaning each room. That way, no surface is overlooked.
For many the task of clearing a property for sale or settlement can be too overwhelming and it may be best to enlist the help of an expert. At Home Moving Planners we provide a fast, respectful and professional estate clearance and house clearance services. Our empathetic team of staff has had years of experience clearing estates for sale and settlement. Our staff are trained experts at finding important personal papers and documents that could be crucial to solicitors executors of estates and family in winding up a probate or other legal and financial matters on the estate. We are also able to identify and locate other important items, valuables and even money inside the home. The remaining unwanted items will be removed quickly either through donations to charity or disposed of.
Home Moving Planners is here to help you during this challenging time and managed the clearing of yours or loved ones home respectfully and empathically