People who have a neat and tidy home tend to sell their houses faster than people who don’t. Why is this? Simple psychology — tidy homes are pleasing to the eye, which encourages buyers to get off the fence and make an offer on your home. However, many homeowners do not declutter before they put their home on the market because they think it will take too much time or work. I tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. Having spent many years in real estate, I have learned that there are things you can declutter right before you list your home that will help you sell it faster without spending a ton of extra time.
What You Should Declutter Before Selling Your Home?
Houses should be a clean slate. It’s easier for people to picture themselves in a gentle, well-lit room with minimal furniture than in a cramped, cluttered space. We’ve come up with a list of things you need to declutter before selling your home. Disposing of them properly will make it much easier to sell your house. Decluttering can be an overwhelming task, especially if you live in a cluttered home. The following are the most important things you need to declutter before listing your house for sale:
Closets, in particular, should be decluttered because they’re among the first things that buyers look at while touring your home. If they see a disorganized closet with clothing strewn everywhere, they’ll assume there’s not enough storage space in the house. Look through your closets and dressers and ask yourself if you have anything you don’t wear. If you haven’t worn something in the past year, you never will again.
2. Old Electronics:
If you have outdated electronics that no one in the family uses, it’s time to get rid of them. You might even be able to make some money by selling these items on Craigslist or eBay. There’s no good reason to hold onto old electronics when it comes to them. If they’re not in use and taking up space, it’s time to get rid of them. If you have a collection of DVD players, cell phones, and computers that are more than five years old, it’s time to go. You can sell these items online to make a little money on them. Otherwise, throw them away or donate them to charity if they still work. Just don’t leave these items lying around in your home if you want to put your house for sale for a good price.
Children grow up fast, and you probably have an entire closet filled with toys that will never be used again. These toys may be better off donated or given away as gifts rather than hanging around the house for sale. The same goes for old children’s clothes and furniture. If you have kids who are in the process of moving out, you might want to turn their rooms into something else entirely, so they don’t feel like they’re coming home to their childhood bedrooms when they visit you.
4. Personal Items:
Personal items like family photos, certificates and awards, art projects, children’s artwork, and trophies. Your real estate agent may need to use some of these items for staging purposes, so store them away in boxes until after your home sells. From photographs to mementos of your children’s early years, personal items are reminders to the buyer that this is someone else’s house. It’s important to depersonalize your home and make it feel like a canvas on which the buyer can paint their own vision of what they’d like in their new home. Take down family photos and put away all but the most basic and neutral everyday items.
5. Collections and curiosities:
Collections are personal, so they’re not going to appeal to everyone — and they may actually offend potential buyers with different tastes. Please get rid of them! Even if you think you have a very cool collection of military memorabilia or antique clocks, it is best to box them up and store them away from the house for sale. This is even more important with collections that may have religious or political significance to them. These are things that people might not want to see in your house, so they might decide not to buy the house because of them.
6. Excess furniture:
Too much furniture takes up valuable space and makes rooms appear smaller than they really are, so many real estate agents suggest renting furniture for staging purposes. While you want to show off the spaciousness of your house, that doesn’t mean that you should cram it full of furniture pieces. Too many pieces will make the rooms seem smaller and cluttered, so buyers won’t be able to imagine their own stuff there. Take out any extra pieces of furniture and put them in storage until after the sale of your home is completed.
To conclude, decluttering doesn’t have to be hard. It’s something we should all be doing in our everyday lives, so it can easily become more of a habit than anything else. As for decluttering for your home sale, there are some crucial items you’ll need to deal with before listing the property; things like those I detailed above. But don’t worry—there are plenty more that will come up in the process, so it’s important to keep this decluttering list handy through the entire house-selling journey.