If you're planning to put your house on the market anytime soon, the biggest task isn’t to address repairs or start renovations, as these require lengthy planning since they can be time-consuming and costly. The main task you should prioritize as a potential home seller is decluttering. It’s actually free, and you can do it way ahead of time. It’s best to do it in advance even if you’re not much of a hoarder, as you must have accumulated too much stuff after living in your house for years.
Not only can paring down your belongings help you when it's time for your move, but it can also save you money and potential headaches. Still not convinced? Here are five huge reasons why decluttering is crucial in your home selling journey.
The greatest benefit of decluttering, even if you're still deciding whether or not to list your home for sale, is that your home instantly looks more spacious and appealing. It all boils down to perception. No matter how big your home’s actual footage is, excessive furniture, decor, and clutter can make your place cramped and untidy. All of these elements also make the home unattractive to potential buyers. So if your house already feels smaller than it really is, it’s time to get serious about decluttering and organizing. Keep only the necessary furniture and decor that will define your space and highlight your home’s best features without being distracting. If you have too much furniture, you can put it in storage for the time being. Think of the phrase “less is more,” especially if you’re thinking of hiring a staging company to show your home. It makes a difference in your buyers’ perception of how big your house feels. Likewise, it is easier to clean a decluttered home. Air circulation is also improved, so it smells cleaner. And because the smell is one of the first things potential buyers will notice when entering your home, it’s a huge deal breaker.
It may be tempting to store everything away in your closets and cupboards but resist doing this. Too much stuff in your cabinets makes it seem as though your house doesn't have enough storage space. And storage is a top concern for serious buyers. They will want to open up closets, cabinets, and drawers to see how much storage the home has. You might have hidden your items from plain sight, but when buyers see cabinets full of stuff like miscellaneous food containers, it will give them the impression that there’s not a lot of storage in your home. Show off your storage space by emptying them or leaving them two-thirds empty. You may throw away, donate, or sell things you don’t want to take with you when you move. You can also rent a storage unit and put everything in there temporarily as you’re sorting through your belongings.
Decluttering can also help you identify potential problems in your home that can be deal breakers for many potential buyers. Where there is clutter, it's likely that pests are also around, such as ants, spiders, and rodents. By decluttering ahead of time, you can easily spot these pests and get rid of them. Moreover, you can deal with issues like cracks in the wall, mold growth, bad paint jobs, leaky pipelines, and other minor repairs when you start to lessen your stuff. By removing bulky furniture, you can locate where many of these problems could be potentially hiding. Decluttering before listing your home for sale will give you plenty of time to address these issues, so you can improve your home’s value and ask for a competitive selling price from buyers.
When you start your decluttering process with the goal of selling, you must see your home through the eyes of potential buyers. When a buyer views your property, they can easily get distracted if there's too much clutter. Instead of focusing on the home’s features and selling points (and even its flaws and potential problems which could affect the sale), they may pay more attention to items such as your furniture and personal belongings. You want buyers to fall in love with the house, not with your stuff that could be going with you when you move. Aiming to make your home a neutral space by removing most of your personalized items will make it easier for potential buyers to imagine themselves and their things in the home. Since there are fewer distractions, buyers can easily visualize themselves living there without being reminded that it’s someone else’s home.
Taking the time to organize and declutter before listing your home will aid in simplifying your move. Sorting through your stuff ahead of time will prepare you to finish packing when the time comes. Doing this will make your future move much less stressful and overwhelming. Especially if you have called your property your home for a while, it can be emotionally difficult to move out when the time comes. Dealing with your clutter beforehand will help you reevaluate your items, so you won't spend the extra money or energy to move things you don’t even use or want anymore. And when you start to see your home changing after packing and throwing away items, it becomes less and less your home and more of a place where you’re getting ready for your next adventure. After all, the memories will always stay with you, and you can cherish them forever. And you’ll be thankful you put in the work beforehand because aside from becoming emotionally prepared for the complicated moving process, your home will also be more attractive to buyers.