If you need to sell your home, expect stiff competition. There are homes for sale on just about every street corner. While homes are selling more quickly recently, some homes can sit on the market for months without a single offer — and they are priced at fair market value. If that's the case, clutter is often a contributing factor to a home‘s failure to sell. By reducing the clutter around your home, you can help potential buyers to see its beauty and set it apart from the other homes for sale in your neighborhood.
What Is Clutter?
When you think of clutter, you probably think of toys scattered across the floor or a pile of unopened mail on the counter. Clutter, however, goes far beyond such a simple definition, especially in the real estate world.
Clutter is anything that breaks up a room. To get an idea of what you should strive for, think of staged homes. Staged homes have the basics — furniture, sparse decor and plenty of light. Other than that, there is little to stop your eye from taking in the entire room. Clutter draws attention away from the home itself and onto items that simply do not belong.
Any personal belongings in your home could be considered clutter if not stored appropriately. For example, your refrigerator may be covered with pictures of family members or drawings from your children. Although you certainly would not view this as clutter, potential buyers will.
Don’t Just Move It
You may be thinking of simply packing away your clutter and putting it into a box somewhere. By all means, keep items that are precious to you, but get rid of things you don’t need.
If you were having company, you would have the option of quickly hiding your clutter away in the garage or in a closet, but you do not have that option when your home is for sale.
Any potential buyer who is truly interested in your house is going to look in your closet and explore your garage, basement and attic for himself. You don’t want to prevent him from being exposed to your clutter in one area merely to have him discover it in another.
Consider having a yard sale or giving old items away that you do not need. Large clutter, such as exercise equipment, can even be sold in the classified section of your local newspaper.
Keep in mind that packing items up neatly and storing them away is acceptable, but the more open space you have to show your potential buyers, the more appealing your home will be.
Unfortunately, many buyers cannot visualize their own personal items in your home with yours in the way. Make the home as neutral and open as possible before permitting your real estate agent to show it.
An added benefit of reducing clutter is that the rooms in your home will appear larger and appeal to more buyers. Although numerous factors contribute to an individual’s decision to purchase a certain home, getting rid of clutter can help you sell the home faster and for a better price.