Selling your home quickly and for your target price requires careful planning and knowing how to prepare the space to convince buyers it’s the one for them.
Over time, most homeowners accumulate more and more belongings that find their way all over the house. While this may not affect your day to day living, it absolutely affects your ability to market your home as a welcoming space for prospective buyers to imagine themselves in. Getting rid of the clutter should be the first thing you do when preparing to list your home on the market, as it makes your home feel genuinely livable and increases the interest of all of your potential buyers.
Let’s take a look at the major reasons you should declutter your home and go over some of our favorite tips for getting your house ready for sale.
Reasons to Clean up the Clutter
1. Decluttering Helps Buyers Stay Focused
Extra furnishings and personal items are all distractions. You don’t want buyers to be so focused on the stuff in your house that they forget about the house itself. When potential buyers visit your home, you want them to look at the space and be drawn to its best features and be convinced it’s the right choice for them and their family.
2. Buyers Need to Be Able to Imagine Their Lives
Too much clutter makes it hard to think. When your home is overrun with small objects, buyers have a difficult time imagining themselves in your space. To increase their interest in the property, you need to make room for them to imagine their lives in what could soon be their home. Decluttering your house will help buyers see the space as theirs and will increase the likelihood of an immediate offer. Imagine your house as both a blank slate and a springboard for your buyers’ imagination – welcoming and with endless possibilities.
3. Well Staged Homes Photograph Better
While you may get a viewing after an open house or from someone who drives by the property, most potential buyers discover your house through its online listing. Great photos make the difference in getting buyers interested in your home and you’re not going to keep their interest if your house is cluttered and messy. You can make your listing stand out by simply taking the time to tidy up the space and openly show how inviting and livable your space is in photos.
4. Lack of Clutter Creates an Illusion of Space
Empty rooms always look bigger than ones filled with furniture. By clearing out your closets and pantry and getting rid of extra seating, you create the illusion of more space in your home. This is a good thing as larger homes are typically more interesting to potential buyers. Open up the space and let your potential buyers minds (and feet) roam.
5. Too Much Clutter Makes Your Home Look Uncared For
Cluttered homes can make potential buyers feel uneasy. This is because clutter is not only distracting, it also makes your home look uncared for. Potential buyers may start to wonder about other potential problems with the home. After all, if you haven’t taken care of your possessions or the space, why would they expect you to have taken care of the house? You could lose an offer quickly if a buyer starts to doubt if the home has been cared for properly.
Tips for Getting Your House Ready to Sell
Maximize Counter Space
Your family may use appliances like the blender and toaster every day, but putting them away in cupboards before viewings can help provide a clean slate and help potential buyers to imagine all the meals they’re going to prepare in their new kitchen and all the guests they can entertain for cocktails.
Imagine that your home is being shown to first-time home buyers. Chances are high that they’re looking for more kitchen space. Help them believe they’re going to have the perfect new place to host guests and prepare meals by giving them the visual space they need.
Depersonalize Your Home
You want to present buyers with a clean, impersonal environment so that they can imagine the home decorated with their own photos, art, and furniture. Depersonalizing your home makes it easier for potential buyers to visualize how the property might look when filled with their own items.
Pack up your family heirlooms, personal photographs, and other objects that distract buyers and make the home feel like it belongs to someone else.
For furniture, only leave understated pieces that aren’t too distracting and don’t create an unintended impression. For example, it would be hard for a buyer to visualize their classic furnishings in a place with a leopard print couch and a bright yellow chair.
Organize Bedroom Closets and Storage Cabinets
Buyers will always be interested in storage space and will invariably want to check closets and cabinets to see how spacious they are. You want to ensure these are organized as it sends the wrong message when your storage spaces are cluttered and stuffed to the brim.
When a potential buyer sees all your items organized down to the finest detail, it shows that you take good care of your possessions and signals that you take good care of the home as well. Don’t pile and squeeze your items together, as it only makes the space look cramped and more uninviting.
In kitchen cabinets, neatly stack dishes, alphabetize spice jars, and turn all coffee mug handles so they’re facing the same direction. In closets, shoes should be lined up neatly and shirts should be buttoned and hung together.
Make the Home Sparkle
Preparing your home for viewings may require hiring a professional cleaning crew. This cleaning may include:
- Using a pressure washer to spray down the exterior and sidewalks
- Washing the inside and outside of windows
- Recaulking tubs, showers, and sinks
- Polishing chrome faucets and mirrors
- Removing dust from under furniture and other hidden places
While these may seem like an undesirable upfront cost, you will reap the benefits when it comes to your final selling price.
You can maintain the cleanliness of the home by dusting furniture, vacuuming daily, waxing floors, and keeping the kitchen and bathrooms spotless. Keep the toilet closed and hang up fresh guest towels.
Most importantly, clean and air out any musty areas. Avoid cooking the night before a showing – especially odorous foods such as garlic, fish, or cabbage. These smells can linger for days and may cause the wrong impression from someone visiting the home.
Looking to Sell in Seattle?
There are many factors to consider when getting your house ready to sell. As your neighborhood expert, Vicinage Real Estate Group shares extensive experience in the Seattle real estate market, and has the knowledge to make your home selling process go smoothly. Get in touch today and let’s get your transition to your new life started.