If your home is on the market, you may wonder whether decluttering can improve the prospects of achieving a sale. As it turns out, getting rid of excess stuff cannot only help your home sell faster, it may make the difference in getting a sale at all. It's definitely worth the effort involved.
Allow Buyers to Visualize the Home as "Theirs"
You may have invested a lot of time and money in making your house feel like home. That's great, but if you're hoping to sell your home, potential buyers need to be able to imagine how their possessions would look in the space. If your walls are covered with photos and art, people seeing your house during a showing may have a hard time imagining living there themselves. So take down your personal pictures and other artwork. Empty, clean walls help make a room look larger.
Give the Impression of Adequate Storage Space
If your closets and other storage spaces look like they could serve a set backdrop for a horror movie called "Attack of the Junk," it's time to get real about clearing them out. Potential buyers may see your overstuffed closets and worry that there won't be enough room for their wardrobes. Real estate advisers often suggest keeping storage spaces only 2/3 full or less. On the other hand, a few neatly stacked boxes in a basement let buyers know that you're serious about getting your home sold and you're ready to move on.
Eliminate Suspicions of Larger Problems
If your house doesn't look neat and orderly, potential buyers may not only criticize your housekeeping skills, they may wonder whether more serious problems are lurking beneath the surface. Excess junk and clutter may create the impression that your house will need major repairs before would-be buyers can actually move in, which can scare off otherwise interested house hunters. Along with applying a fresh coat of paint and keeping the lawn mowed, decluttering your home helps it show to its best advantage.
What and How to Declutter
Decluttering your home involves going through every room and removing any items that are not absolutely essential to your day-to-day functioning. If you have two or more items that serve the same purpose, one of them should go. You may also need to sacrifice having ready access to many items that you love having around. Collections of antique dolls or scattered yoga mats, weights and exercise resistance bands should be out of sight, either neatly stored in a closet or in your garage or, if necessary, in a rented storage space.
- Realtor.com: Declutter Your Home for Successful Sale
- Reader's Digest: 13 Tips for Selling Your Home
- Forbes.com: Selling Your House? Avoid These Mistakes
- Bankrate.com: 10 Must-Do Steps to Sell Your Home This Year
- MSN Real Estate: The Slacker's Guide to Decluttering Your Home Before a Sale or Move
- Dearborn Homes: The Home Sale Preparation Checklist
Chris Blank is an independent writer and research consultant with more than 20 years' experience. Blank specializes in social policy analysis, current events, popular culture and travel. His work has appeared both online and in print publications. He holds a Master of Arts in sociology and a Juris Doctor.