One of the best ways to sell your home as quickly and at the best price possible is to ensure potential buyers easily can imagine themselves living there–decluttering is the first and most important step. Your goal should be to make the house look as welcoming and homey as possible – but without all of the personal knickknacks, photos, and clutter that make your house yours. It’s natural that our houses reveal our personalities, but when you are hoping to entice someone else to make your house their new home, depersonalizing the space can shorten the amount of time your house is on the market.
Imagine walking into a house you’ve never been in before, and it looks like this:
Notice the clutter? If you’re like me, your eye is drawn to the television, the greenery, and the miscellaneous stuff everywhere. Now compare the feeling you got looking at that picture and compare it to this one:
When you look at this picture, you’re likely paying more attention to the beautiful natural light and lovely hardwood floors than the few tastefully chosen accessories and furnishings.
These images illustrate the point we’re trying to make: The second room focuses your attention on the house itself, while the first focuses you on the “stuff” in the home.
There are many things you can do to de-clutter your home to make it more visually appealing and less personal. In the following sections, we’ll give a few suggestions for getting started on the decluttering process…and you can search the Internet for many other ideas (check out our earlier blog post on staging, too). All of us at The Vincent Group at Help-U-Sell Triad Realty can offer sound advice on getting your particular house staged and looking its best for potential buyers.
General Advice for Decluttering Interior Rooms
- A good rule of thumb: remove 1/3 to ½ of the furniture in each room. Fewer items of furniture make rooms look larger and have less surface area for clutter to accumulate.
- Take down or put away most – if not all – photos of your family and friends. Remember, you want people to imagine themselves in the house, not wonder about who lives there now.
- Remove piles, whether it’s piles of laundry, piles of old magazines, piles of books, or piles of folders to be filed. There’s nothing that makes a house look more cluttered than messy piles!
- Box up and store any rarely used appliances. Remove any appliances you use regularly from countertops and put them in cabinets or the pantry.
- Store sponges, dish and hand soap, towels, and potholders out of sight when not in use.
- “Edit” cabinets and drawers – you don’t want potential buyers to see overstuffed drawers and an overflowing pantry. It will make them think there’s not enough room in the kitchen!
- Corral personal care products, makeup, cleaning supplies, and other often-used bathroom items in neat containers.
- Clean grout, make any needed repairs, and keep it clean!
- Refresh or install drawer liners
- Keep towels neatly folded on towel bars.
- Keep beds made up neatly, preferably with attractive, matched linens.
- Pack up and store out-of-season clothing and accessories.
- Keep window coverings open to let the natural light in.
- Ensure bedside tables and other surfaces are tidy and clean.
Some sellers rent a small storage unit for items they’ve removed during the decluttering process but wish to keep. This is a cost-effective solution, as most storage facilities offer inexpensive monthly rentals on a variety of sizes of units. We caution against putting too much into the attic or basement – if you fill up this “extra” space, potential buyers may get the impression that the main part of your house won’t have adequate storage space. Good luck, and happy decluttering!
We are proud to save our clients money by charging a low set fee instead of a percentage commission, offering complete real estate services for buyers and sellers in Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, Summerfield, Oak Ridge, Jamestown, and other Piedmont Triad areas. Please get in touch with our experienced real estate professionals by calling (336) 790-5210 or by emailing Steve Vincent. Visit our website at servingthetriad.com.