Yes! Price might not be THE most important factor. Hear me out for a second. National Association of Realtors reports that over 96 percent of consumers start their home search online. So, how you present your house online is the most crucial factor. Imagine – if scrolling through homes our website (nextnewhouse.com) or the app and you see a house that kitchen stuff all over the countertops; the toaster, coffee pot, block of knives, the rooster that your kids gave you for Mother’s Day present eight years ago, six canisters and who could forget the instant pot. Do you think that you take time to pay attention to the other photos or even the price? The answer is NO. Research has proven that a consumer will just swipe to the next house. So, we must teach you how and what to declutter.
Here are several strategies to make your house more appealing to potential buyers. Some of these are quick fixes that don’t cost much money or time and can improve the value of your home and stand out online.
An easy way to increase your home’s salability is to remove excess furniture and items and declutter.
You’ve all seen the house that has too much stuff in it. The sight of clutter can bring negative feelings to potential buyers who are touring your home. The feeling of “what is the square footage question” instead of the statement of “this house seems spacious.”
Try these suggestions to improve your home’s salability by decluttering:
1. Start with the front view of your home from the street. Are there too many items in the yard or on the front porch?
- The first impression of your home is how it looks on the outside. If you declutter your front yard or doorstep area, you’re most likely helping potential buyers to experience a more positive first impression of your house. The buyer should not have to step over flowerpots and decorations to get in the house.
2. Continue with first impressions of your home’s interior. For example, as you step inside your front door and enter the foyer, living room, or great room area, how does it look to you?
- One recommendation is for the artwork to flow from one room to the next, for example, in color or theme. For example, if you use blues in your living room, stick with that color throughout your house. Don’t have a blue wall in the living room and then yellow in the kitchen.
- Look at the surfaces of all your furniture, like the dining table, the entertainment center, end tables, cocktail table, and even the kitchen countertops if they’re within your view. If the furniture surfaces are overloaded, removing some of the items will help the buyer see your space without getting distracted by all the items you display. In addition, if the furniture is not in good condition, try touching it with a new paint color (black or white works in almost all circumstances).
You are thinking right now, that is crazy talk, John. They are not buying my furniture; they are going to buy my house. Yes, that is correct. But they are going to judge your home by what appears to them on the surface level. So, clean it, paint it or throw it away.
Simplifying what your visitors will see makes it easier for them to look beyond your personal items and see what your home has to offer. Unfortunately, this is the hardest part for most sellers. As a seller, you want to continue to “live” in your home while at the same time presenting the best showing experience for the potential buyer.
Here are some more tips or more truth talk:
- I know you are proud of the deer you shot and have mounted on the wall. But, the buyer that is looking at the house might not be a fan of the sport. So, let’s go ahead and take those items off the wall and put it in storage.
- We know that you are religious, and I respect you for it. But, the buyer might not be or is not of the same religion or faith as your family. So, let’s take all the crosses and religious quotes and pack them away for your next house. Remember, the goal is to sell your house for the most money to a viable buyer.
- It is nice to remember all the special moments in your family through photos, but it is time to take down your wall of family photos and pack them. You want the potential buyer to see themselves living there, and a few tasteful photos are okay. But, even then, I caution you. (read more about those items in this blog)
3. Conduct the same examination of each room in the house. Look for too many items in a space. Notice if furniture pieces are scrunched together to fit in a space. Re-arrange or move pieces of furniture if you can’t see wall space in every room between each piece of furniture.
More truth talk:
Many buyers feel that pushing all the furniture against the wall makes it look a lot bigger room. In most cases, this is not true. It is best to just remove more items from the room or put smaller items in the room.
Light and Sunlight can make a space feel more alive and larger. So, make sure to keep the blinds or curtains all the way open and the light all on during all of the showings. Be prepared to pay a few extra bucks for electricity while your house is on the market.
In the primary bedroom, having a king-size bed might give you the best night’s sleep. But, if are wall to wall with the bed taking up almost the entire room. You will need to remove nightstands or downsize the bed until the house sells.
Bathrooms are often overlooked as “non-essential” rooms to declutter. But, that is the farthest thing from the truth. Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. So, make this room shine. Buy a new toilet seat. Put out decorative towels and threaten everyone in the house with their lives if they dare even look at them much less use them. Put away everything off the countertops. This includes make-up and daily routine products, this also consists of all items in the shower area. One of our professional stagers recommends that everyone have their own basket that is put away in a cabinet after use and covered with a hand towel. (read this blog on why)
Make the bathroom look as if it has plenty of room, even if you have outgrown it! Think Hotel Spa. Remove excess personal items.
The Kids Room and the toys are always a struggle point. The kids want to keep every toy they have ever owned out and in the middle of the floor ten minutes before a showing. Through years of experience, we have discovered that they are not trying to make their room look “terrible” for the showing; they are really just trying to display “show” their most prized possessions to the new buyers. So, you ask… that’s great, John. But how do I prevent this from happening? Simple, go through all the toys and pack most of them up away. Do this with your children, don’t try and hide this from your kids. It will backfire on you! I would even take pictures of the entire process, so they know the toys are safe.
Then there are the teen’s rooms. Let’s just say buy-in of the entire process is the best option. They have to understand the reason for the move, even if they don’t necessarily like it. Bribery “reward” often works best to encourage them to keep their rooms clean.
The kitchen will be an important area in making sure that it looks clean and roomy. Clean off the countertops to have only a few accents pieces—for example, a bowl of plastic lemons or apples. The goal is to make it appear that the buyer will have enough space for all their kitchen items.
Think of decluttering as making your home more attractive to people who might want to buy it.
4. Put away most small items. A quick and handy method to clear out the “small item” clutter is to grab a storage cardboard box and walk through each room, plucking up items that don’t need to be there. Deposit them in your box. Then, take them to your storage unit. Notice, I did not say the garage. More on that is a few…
If you do this activity periodically, you’ll find that surfaces won’t get cluttered as quickly as they used to.
Seriously consider whether you must display the personal items that are cluttering your living areas. Improving your home’s salability means you’re helping potential buyers to see themselves living in the house. Unfortunately, too many of your personal items tend to hamper that vision.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to improve the salability of your Missouri City house, use a discerning eye, and you can make your home shine for prospective buyers.