When you decide that it’s time to upsize, downsize, move city, or just move on, you want to sell your home as quickly as possible. The quickest way to make your home look attractive to potential buyers is to de-clutter it drastically.

The Incredible Shrinking Room

Clutter makes any space shrink. When you empty a room to decorate it, or to lay new flooring the most common reaction is “I didn’t realise this room was so big.” This is because most rooms are full of clutter which makes them look much smaller than their actual size.

Floor space is particularly important when selling as square footage has great value. The measurements on the floor plan won’t mean that much to the average person, who is much more influenced by what they see. So if bulky or excess furniture is taking up floor space, then potential buyers will think the room is small.

Don’t inflict this own goal upon yourself. Weed out excess furniture, especially if it’s crowding entrances and exits or original features. I went to view a lovely Victorian house once which had an original feature fireplace. However the misguided seller had placed a sofa in front of it so that I could hardly see it! What should have been the focal point of the room and a great selling point was almost hidden from view.

Clutter Looks Uncaring

General clutter doesn’t give a good impression either, because it makes rooms look messy and chaotic. As well as making spaces look smaller, it gives the impression that the house is unloved and uncared for. Not the impression you want a potential buyer to have.

Remove Your Personality

Not only that but too much clutter stamps your personality and tastes all over the house. The viewer cannot imagine themselves living there because the space is all taken up with your ornaments, your photos, your holiday souvenirs, your hobby clutter and your children’s toys. If the potential buyer doesn’t have children, then children’s toys strewn around will be off-putting to them.

House viewers want to move into a house and live their own life, not yours. So by de-cluttering, you are making the space less personal to you and more open to possibilities for them. It’s a good idea to remove excess family photos, hide away toys, and keep pets and pet paraphernalia out of sight, as not everyone is a pet or child lover! If you can make your home look as much like a show home as possible then it will be much more attractive to potential buyers, as they will be able to picture themselves living there and placing their own possessions there.

It Needs to Sparkle

It’s also absolutely vital that your home is spotlessly clean. Viewers will be put off by stains on the carpet, spots on the sofa, dusty window sills, and grubby baths. It’s also vital there is no doggy smell or dirty nappy smell in your home. You may be immune to it due to familiarity, so if in doubt ask a friend or family member to check if your home smells as sweet as it should.

It’s a good idea to have a deep clean of all the rooms, including cleaning upholstery and shampooing carpets. Even new appliances look awful if they’re grubby, whilst a tired carpet will be reinvigorated by a shampoo and this will also help to eliminate pet odours.

Don’t Forget the Outside

The outside of your house is equally important as first impressions are vital. Potential buyers may not even bother to come inside if they don’t like the look of the outside. Make sure there is no clutter in your front garden, weed and tidy the garden and give the front door a fresh coat of paint if necessary. A few pots with flowers will make the front entrance look more attractive and welcoming.

The back garden is equally important as people will be put off by unruly hedges and weedy borders. The last thing you want viewers to think is that your garden is high-maintenance. Many people don’t like gardening and would prefer a garden that needs minimal work to keep it tidy. Prune everything back, weed thoroughly and make the garden look neat tidy and under control.

You might want to remove garden gnomes and excess garden ornaments too, as they are too much part of your personality and can make the space look smaller and more cluttered. I’m not a fan of gnomes and I’m not alone in this!

Your Efforts Will be Rewarded

This will take a lot of time and effort but it’s worth it. Not only will de-cluttering and cleaning make your home sell more quickly, but you will probably obtain a higher price for the property. This will more than compensate you for your efforts, so don’t be laid back when you’re selling, get to work on that clutter.