Importance of decluttering prior to sale

It’s no secret that buying a home is partly an emotional decision and partly a financial one. And a key way of creating that emotional connection is by decluttering a home to ensure buyers can imagine themselves living in it.

So, when we talk about decluttering how far should you go and exactly what do we mean?

The art of decluttering

Decluttering doesn’t mean stripping your home bare, rather it’s about highlighting the property’s assets by removing items that will distract or deter a buyer.

The aim of the game is to showcase the space available within a property and to create a neutral yet welcoming ambience that allows the buyer to see the size and condition of the home, and envisage themselves living there.

In most cases that involves removing and storing items that are of personal significance, like collectibles or a multitude of family photos. It also includes viewing your furniture with a critical eye and removing overly-large or dated pieces that can sometimes overwhelm a room.

Take your time

A great way of approaching the decluttering process is to do it well in advance of any sale. Take your time to work through the property room by room over the weeks prior to contacting an agent.

Experts suggest removing knickknacks from all flat spaces including kitchen benches, on top of cupboards and on windowsills. Assess each piece for its beauty or homely feel and then return only two or three.

Alternatively, replace those items with something neutral or welcoming like a touch of greenery perhaps in the form of flowers, a fruit bowl or a plant.

Removing the personal

This might have been your family home for 30 years, but potentially it will soon be a buyer’s, so pop those really personal items, such as photos, trophies, and collectibles into storage.

Don’t forget to assess your walls during this process. Artwork and posters can be distinctly personal when it comes to taste, while photo walls can also be a deterrent to prospective buyers.

Again, pare it back to single pieces of fairly neutral art, box up and store extra items, and fill any hook holes that remain in the wall.    

Furniture matters

A lot of people underestimate just how much the size of furniture can impact the look and feel of a room.

If you have overly-large furniture or a lot of furniture in one room, start stripping it back to only the essentials.

For example, a dining area should really only comprise a table, chairs and perhaps a side cabinet. A bedroom only needs a bed, side tables and perhaps a chest of drawers, and that extra armchair might go from your lounge while the two-seater couch stays. 

This is about opening up the space available, allowing in natural light and enabling the buyer to see how big the room is and what they might be able to do with it.

What about cupboards?

Some say what you have in your cupboards won’t matter to buyers, but it’s wise to err on the side of caution here. As you go through each room, include a cupboard cleanout as well, getting rid of all those unused extras that have built up over the years.

That way a serious buyer in search of storage (and that is most people) can open the cupboards to see exactly how much space is really available.

The final word

Decluttering is a very important part of the sale process. For buyers, it allows them to really see a property. For you, as the seller, it begins a process where you begin stepping away from your home both mentally and physically.

As an upside, a little decluttering at the outset also assists with the moving process when that welcome sale actually occurs.

Looking to sell your property? Why not chat with one of our friendly Eview agents on 1300 438 439 to understand your property’s worth.