After living in a home for many years, almost all homeowners seem to collect the same thing; clutter. Clutter collects on shelves, counter tops, closets, garages, attics and basements. Most of the time we don’t even realize it’s there! But when it comes time to sell your home, clutter is one of the first things that needs to be addressed.
It slowly trickles in, and most of the time, we don’t even recognize that our space has become cluttered. This is why clutter is so hard to address when prepping a home for sale. Try to take a step back and pretend you are the buyer… still don’t see it? Maybe allow a friend or neighbor come in to point out areas that need to be addressed. Just remember that you asked for their advice and try not to become defensive about their opinions. Better yet, ask your hometown real estate professional to guide you in preparing your home for sale.
Even though we may not see it, potential home buyers can spot clutter immediately and believe it or not, it affects the way they view your home. Think of clutter as ‘visual noise’ to potential home buyers. You want to have as much open and clear space as possible (without becoming too sparse) so a person can mentally move their stuff into your space. Let them easily envision themselves living there, visualize the memories they can make and allow them to make an emotional attachment to your home. Your clutter is a distraction from this important attachment.
Overwhelming clutter can be deal breaker for potential buyers, even with the understanding that your stuff will be removed. Most home buyers subliminally judge a home by how much work they will need to put into it; an extremely cluttered homes may appear to be more of a ‘fixer upper’. A sense of overwhelming effort to make the home their own can potentially put buyers off.
Parting with clutter is really difficult because, like most of us, there are recollections attached to our stuff. Some clutter are items that invoke wonderful memories you made while in this home. Removing items like collections, pictures and souvenirs can be a little sentimental. It is important to keep in mind that you are not saying goodbye to this nostalgia, but simply securing your treasures so they can be proudly displayed in your next home.