When a home is listed for sale, its “clutter” can be the difference between a rapid sale and no sale at all.
Clutter, in its strictest sense, is defined as anything untidy; or in a disorderly state. In real estate, the term is broadened to include unnecessary furniture pieces; unwieldy artwork or collections; stacks of papers and/or magazines; and anything that otherwise restricts the open flow of a home’s floor plan.
In other words, clutter is anything that distracts from your home’s natural footprint.
As a home seller , understanding how your home’s clutter can affect a buyer is paramount to helping your home sell faster, and at a higher contract price.
First, there’s the psychological angle. A potential home buyer may see clutter and think “mess”. Few people want to buy a house they find messy or otherwise disorganized.
Second, there’s the practical angle. A home that appears full of “things” also appears as if its lacking in storage space. This, too, can turn off buyers.
When you list your home for sale, here are basic tips to de-clutter your home. Some of this advice may not be practical with respect to your home, in particular, so make sure to ask your real estate agent for follow-up help.
- In each room, remove photos, trophies, plaques and other personal items on display.
- Remove large collections such as dolls, cars, miniature cans, and the like.
- Remove worn throw rugs
- Remove items from kitchen countertops, including small appliances
- Remove items from bathroom countertops
You should also consider removing distinctive artwork from your walls, or replacing pieces with items that are more bland.
The over-reaching goal of de-cluttering is to depersonalize and neutralize your home so a buyer can visualize himself/herself living there. De-cluttering your home can also make your home appear larger, accentuating the features of each room.
It’s no wonder that minimally-cluttered homes tend to have a wider appeal among buyers.