When it comes to selling your home quickly, it’s important to remember that your potential homebuyers aren’t interested in what your taste and aesthetics are. They want to be able to envision themselves in the space and making it reflect their personality and lifestyle. Of course, everything needs to be spotless from top to bottom, but no amount of cleanliness will make up for a cluttered home. Here’s what you need to know to help your home make a good first impression on potential home buyers:
When your home is filled to the rafters with furniture, rugs, artwork, personal photos, collectibles, and memorabilia, it can make even the largest rooms seem cramped. Make your entire home look more attractive and spacious by removing all your personal items – prospective buyers will find it much easier to imagine themselves making it their home. Decluttering is simply “editing” your furnishings and belongings in a space so it is less personal and more functional.
Grab some storage containers and go room to room minimizing or eliminating any distractions that could take away a buyer’s focus on what really matters – the bones of the home. Allow the buyers to really “see” the room, not your possessions. For example, while your child’s soccer trophies no doubt look impressive to you on the bookshelves lining the walls of their bedroom, they might actually hinder a potential buyer from being able to visualize the potential of the space. Their children may not be sporty at all. Pack them all away and make it easier for open house attendees to imagine the space as an office, crafting room, or personal gym.
Toss, sell, or put into storage anything you aren’t planning on taking to your next home. If you are still living in the house, pack up everything you don’t absolutely need in storage containers and place them in a storage facility. Don’t forget to clear out closets. If your closets are bulging it implies to buyers that the property doesn’t have adequate storage. Clear them out and install a good organization system. Go through your home from top to bottom, including the garage, basement, and laundry room, and do a hard “edit”. Make sure to label all of the storage containers with the room it belongs in and the contents, to make it easier settling in at your new place.
Staging is Impossible with Clutter
One of the reasons decluttering is important is because it’s almost impossible to stage a home well when clutter is everywhere. You might love your massive room-sized entertainment set, but it doesn’t leave much room for buyers to see the potential with their own furniture. Instead, keep a couple of nice seating options and put the rest in storage.
Staging is one of the most powerful things a homeowner can do to draw interest and receive multiple bids on their property. The goal of staging is to transform every room into an attractive, but neutral “vignette” that will appeal to a wide range of prospective buyers. The staging can be as simple as a thorough cleaning, decluttering, and repainting, or there may be a need to completely overhaul the space, including storing all personal belongings off-site and then renting furniture and décor in neutral colors to help your place show well.
After You’ve Decluttered
FSBO sellers have a disadvantage by not working with a real estate professional with experience and connections, so it’s important to do everything you can to make your home more attractive to the widest number of buyers. A good rule of thumb is to declutter once – and then go back in on subsequent days and edit the spaces again.