You’ve got several people in line to take a look at your house that you’ve just put up for sale. The lawn is immaculate, the driveway is as smooth as glass, and there isn’t a single wrinkle in your clothes. However, behind closed doors lies a completely different story.
“I know where to find everything in my own house!” you might argue. That might very well be true for you, but what about the couple looking at your home for the first time? Are they convinced?
It turns out that it does matter to other people whether your home is presented as spic and span or as the remnants of a hurricane. The “hygiene” of your house can potentially be the difference between a brief, disinterested house tour and an enthusiastic down payment.
Here are five reasons cluttered houses don’t sell and why you should clear the clutter before putting it on the market.
1. First impressions are critical
From the moment a potential buyer sets foot in the house their opinion on how suitable it is as a home depends greatly on first impressions. It makes sense. Why buy something that doesn’t deliver your specific needs?
It’s critical to ensure that every room conveys its purpose. There shouldn’t be plates in the living room nor should there be newspapers scattered in the kitchen. Only when everything is in its rightful place can a potential buyer assume that the house offers living space appropriate to his or her needs.
2. Potential buyers need to be able to visualize themselves in the home
Not that you need to encourage anyone to make themselves feel at home but if you’re hoping to make a sale you want potential buyers to relate to you as a homeowner. The couple taking a look around your living room should be able to picture themselves sitting on the couch with their feet on the coffee table after a long day.
If your couch is covered in dog fur and your coffee table is littered with old mail, chances are they’re not picturing anything of the sort.
3. Buyers want a home with lots of space to live in
Ultimately, you want to present your house as a place that is suitable for comfortable living. Spaciousness is crucial in illuminating the potential of the house in that regard.
With the right furniture arrangement you can make that effort to appease potential buyers and demonstrate that they too can enjoy living in this very house with as much or as little space as they desire. But of course show them more space as opposed to less and let them see what they’re working with.
4. Your closet says a lot about you
Someone taking a look in your bedroom might like to see how much closet space your room has. Probably so they can know how much junk they can store inside without rhyme or reason.
You should not, however, use your closet that way, at least not during a tour of the closet. Everything inside should be neat and orderly. If you have clothes or other items spilling out, a potential buyer might believe that their own mess won’t fit inside. The trick is to avoid presenting them with a mess in order to show off how much space there actually is.
5. Messy home = messy owners
You know that saying “never judge a book by its cover”? Forget that. Consider yourself judged. How you physically present yourself doesn’t matter nearly as much as how you physically present the house, seeing as it’s the house people are interested in buying.
A messy, cluttered house tells potential buyers that the owners have messy, cluttered minds. If you don’t even have time to wash that tower of plates on the kitchen counter, how is anyone supposed to believe that you have time to clean and maintain facilities within the rest of the house?