There is a lot being written about how an organized home means a better life. Though, if you’re selling your house, there are added benefits to the decluttered, clean look: higher offers from buyers, a sale with fewer days on the market, and an easier move to your next home.
Real estate professionals have found that when sellers declutter and stage homes for viewing, they can get 3-5% higher offers and spend considerably less time on the market.
Why? First, the #1 reason people move is for more space, and a decluttered house looks spacious. Second, buyers connect with houses they can imagine themselves living in. Decluttering hides your daily life and lets them imagine their own. Third, it’s likely they have seen houses that weren’t decluttered and lacked that spacious sense of welcome. Decluttering gives your house a “wow” factor, and buyers will enjoy looking around.
Decluttering Tips for Home Sellers
Dealing with Clutter
Clutter seems to grow by itself as we live our lives, both the clutter we love (shelves jammed with family photos), and the clutter we don’t love (the junk-mail pile, scattered toys, whatever’s in the bottom of that closet). It can seem overwhelming.
Smaller steps make this big task manageable. Tackle one room, or even one area in a room, at a time. Have boxes or bags for items to keep (and pack away for now), items to donate, and items to trash. It’s time to be firm: who wants to pay to move stuff you don’t need or really want? Fill the boxes once, and deal with that stuff, and you’ve made a good start.
As you go through decluttering, which you will thank yourself for later, consider these tips:
- Surfaces and walls need to be almost empty. Remember, you want to show off the house they’re buying, not your stuff or style.
- Closets, drawers, and other storage should be neat and partially emptied to look spacious.
- Renting storage space temporarily can help you pack away the things you’re keeping.
- The outside of the house needs to be decluttered just as much as the inside does: remove toys, tools, and detritus, mow the lawn, etc. Curb appeal is vital to a great first impression.
- Pay special “curb appeal” attention to your walkway, porch, and front door. The first areas buyers walk through should look their best.
- Color can contribute to a cluttered look; purple bedroom walls aren’t everyone’s taste. It is time to go neutral and paint a clean slate. One exception is the front door, which can be a bold, welcoming hue.
- Once you declutter, clean the house like you have never cleaned before, including inside cabinets, and every nook and cranny. Then do daily maintenance to keep it spotless so that it’s always ready to show.
- Vignettes of the home’s lifestyle attract buyers’ eyes. Arrange chairs into a cozy reading or conversation nook, with mugs on a tray or an open book as props. Add tempting color pops with comfy pillows, beautiful flowers, or bowls of bright fruit. Let vignettes “flirt”: buyers who see a glimpse of an appealing scene in the next room will want to keep exploring.
- Once you declutter, don’t sabotage your efforts by leaving beds unmade, letting dust settle, or being noseblind to cooking or pet smells that turn buyers off.
- If you can’t manage, or don’t feel confident about, any of these great tips, the pros are there to help. Investing in professionals to organize, clean, paint, and stage the house makes life easier for those who don’t like DIY.
An Excellent Resource
A local realtor with an excellent track record knows the market in your area. He or she is a great source of advice on what, and how much, prepping your house needs in order to stand out from the rest of the competition. Your realtor will give you expert feedback on your decluttering mission to help you get the best, quickest house sale possible.