Selling Your Home? Why Decluttering Should Be Your First Step

Declutter Your Home

Declutter Your Home

The real estate market in the United States is as robust as it’s been for several years. Home prices are increasing, more people are in the market to buy a home, and the combination of those two factors result in the market currently favoring the seller. 

However, this doesn’t mean that your home is necessarily ready to sell nor will prospective buyers choose your home over another in the same price range and neighborhood. Why? According to many real estate agents in some cases it all comes down to how your home looks. Whether that’s what the buyer sees from the outside or what they see on the inside of your home it all comes down to visual appreciation. 

If you’re planning to sell your home in the near future these are a few things you can do to make your home more visibly appealing to buyers which can help your home sell more quickly and can even help ensure you receive your asking price. 

Outside First 

Curb appeal is what real estate agents refer to when they’re discussing how the home looks from the street. For many buyers this is a deal breaker. If the home looks shabby or unkempt from the street some may pass it up entirely. Other buyers might be more flexible but it certainly increases your chance of a quick and profitable sale if your house looks tidy from the outside. 

Keep the grass mown, trim any bushes and hedges, rake leaves and pick up any tree branches that might have fallen, and keep outside clutter to a minimum. This means that yard and garden tools, children’s toys, and other outdoor items should be stored neatly out of sight if possible. Additionally, if any maintenance needs to be done on the exterior of the home, talk to your agent as soon as possible. They can advise whether it’s more economical for you to pay for it before the sale or, for instance, to use the fact that the home needs a new coat of paint when price negotiations come up. 

 It’s the Inside That Counts 

At the end of the day it’s the home’s interior that’s going to make or break a sale. Today’s home buyers are very specific when they decide what they’re looking for in a home, whether that’s space, an open floor plan, or ample storage. Your real estate agent will tell you from the start that your home needs to look as nice on the inside as it does on the outside and one of the first things that needs to be addressed is clutter. 

Ideally, if you’re selling your home and planning to move then you’ve already begun the decluttering process. It’s the perfect time and excuse to pare down the items you don’t use, determine if furniture will go with you to your new home or not, and to get rid of larger items that are taking up valuable storage space. Determine what you have that’s worth trying to sell, donating, or simply tossing into the dumpster. Large, ignored items in your garage, like an old boat or car, might be better off donated, rather than going through the hassle of trying to sell, especially if it barely runs.

Staging your home is important as well. There are professionals that can be hired to artfully arrange your own furniture or even bring in other items to make the interior of your home as inviting as possible. The goal is to make it easy for a prospective buyer to imagine their style, furniture, and taste in your home. So, if you do the decluttering prior to the showings of your house you’ll likely find yourself with more interested buyers. 

Most financial and real estate experts agree that right now the market is definitely favoring the seller. But, again, that doesn’t mean you can simply put a sign in your front yard and expect the buyers to beg you to take their money. In order to compete with other sellers your home needs to offer something special. Your agent will market your home according to their standards but you’ll need to make sure that the home the agent is trying to tell is in good shape. 

So make decluttering a priority the moment you decide to sell your home. Not only will you move into your new home without unwanted or unneeded items but prospective buyers will appreciate seeing a clutter-free house that they can easily imagine as their dream home.  

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