Why Decluttering Is Important Before Selling A Home
For most people, selling a house can be a complex emotional and financial decision. You are saying goodbye to the place that sheltered you and your family and is riddled with happy memories. But it’s imperative that you come to terms with the emotional aspect of selling your house so that it doesn’t hinder the financial transaction.
You have to get over your personal “biases” regarding your house and start understanding the buyer’s perspective. If you can’t present an attractive property to potential buyers, you might have trouble selling it at your desired price or within your ideal time frame.
Decluttering is important for making your property more attractive to potential buyers.
What Is Decluttering?
The habit of “collecting” stuff can be traced back to humanity’s good old cave days. Fortunately (or unfortunately), we’ve come a long way from spacious caves, and now our habit of collecting stuff results in cluttered living spaces. I’ve seen potential sellers packing enough items in one house that can be used to furnish three small condos. While it’s “tolerable” if you are occupying the space yourself because you do not mind squeezing yourself between your pet sofa and a coffee table that is too big for your living room, it’s not advisable when putting your house on the market.
The process of removing extra furniture and other items occupying precious square footage and making your house seem more spacious and less overcrowded is called decluttering.
The Importance of Decluttering Your House
Decluttering is one of the first steps you need to take before you put your house on the market and open your doors for potential buyers. And it’s an important one for several reasons.
Uncovers Hidden Problems
A cluttered house might be hiding several different problems in your property: Scuff marks on the floor, crack on the wall, water damage, etc. It might also be hiding a pest infestation. Decluttering helps you identify and rectify these problems before putting your house on the market. If exposed later, at best, these problems can turn potential buyers away. At worst, they can halt a deal midway (if exposed during an inspection), run you a costly bill, or force you to drop your asking price. Understand that even if the problems decluttering uncovers seem small to you, they will appear quite significant to your potential buyers, who are hoping to get the most bang for the buck.
Did you know that the median Condo size in Toronto is smaller compared to Vancouver and Montreal? But relatively few people might be able to differentiate between 750 and 800 sq. ft. of space. What they will understand, though, is how much space a house offers. By decluttering, you can make your house “appear” more spacious and airy. A properly decluttered house might even look bigger compared to a relatively larger but cramped house (on the inside). It also has a subtle subconscious impact on potential buyers that they are getting more space for the amount they are paying, making them more likely to buy.
More of Your House Is On Display
When a potential buyer walks through a decluttered house, they feel like they see all or most of it. A cluttered house, on the other hand, gives an impression that a significant portion of the place is hidden away, which is not the feel you want to convey to someone who is planning to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on buying your house. They should feel like they can see what they are about to buy, and your household items are not hiding away parts of the property in a cluttered house.
A decluttered house is important for two other reasons as well, one tangible and one psychological. The psychological benefit is that with more space available for them to see, potential buyers will have an easier time imagining themselves occupying that space. They will think about how their furniture and other items will look like in the empty spaces. The tangible benefit is along the same lines. Thanks to the power of augmented reality, people can see how their furniture pieces or other items will look in a place. And if there is plenty of vacant space available (thanks to decluttering), potential buyers might be enticed to do so.
Makes Navigation Easy
This is especially important for open houses. Before you invite a lot of potential buyers to walk your property, declutter it to make sure there is enough space to “walk.” You don’t want potential buyers tripping over cluttered items or squeezing together in close confines when the fear of COVID is still lingering. Potential buyers might love the open space that your decluttered house provides so they can easily navigate around.
Decluttering is akin to turning your home into a blank canvas. It’s ready for the next “beautification” step, i.e., staging. But decluttering alone gives you enough to work with. You can rectify any hidden problems you find, and even if you can’t work on them right away, you won’t be surprised when they are exposed during an inspection. Decluttering is one of the very first steps you need to take in order to “ready” your home for potential buyers. So as soon as you’ve made up your mind about selling, start decluttering. The more time you have to sell, give away, or temporarily move the items away from your house, the less resource-draining it might be when the time for shifting comes.
If you still have qualms about decluttering’s potential to aid your sale, feel free to reach out for a professional consultation.