The new year is often a time for undertaking a good old fashioned declutter. From sorting out the old toys to reorganizing your living room and sifting through a mountain of clothes for donation to charity, there is something cathartic about getting rid of the old and making way for the new. And given that most people experienced a less than optimal 2020 due to COVID-19, there is certainly much anticipation for a better year ahead! But if you’re planning on selling your home in 2021, did you know that getting rid of the clutter could actually help you to sell your home faster and for more money?
When it comes to selling your home, first impressions are everything. We are all guilty of filling our homes with ornaments, toys for the children, soft furnishing and artwork but it is important to remember that not everyone will have the same tastes and lifestyle as you. In reality, most prospective buyers will be looking at your property as a ‘shell’ in which they can move in their own furniture or decorate to their specific tastes. Therefore, providing a minimalist look is likely to help buyers to better visualize how the property may look once they have moved in.
It may seem a small step, but decluttering your home could not only lead to a faster sale, but increase the offer price too! According to the Daily Express, ‘home staging’ has been proven to increase the sale time by 73 per cent and increase the sale price by 6 to 10 per cent.
Speaking recently to the Daily Express Phil Spencer, a property expert and presenter of Channel 4 property shows Location, Location Location and Phil Spencer’s Stately Homes agrees with this approach. He explains, ‘When you are ready to put your home on the market, it is essential that it is looking its best to entice homebuyers to come and look at it. Decluttering and cleaning are the first steps in ensuring it is in top condition. Investing in a fresh coat of paint or some new furniture can go a long way, so bear that in mind. Spending a little now can help you gain financially later down the line! In short: Make sure your house is presented in the best possible way.”
The first step in the decluttering process is to work out what can be kept and what needs to be thrown away. This could include broken items, but try to sort out those materials which could potentially be recycled. Sort out items which can be disposed of in your general trash and those which might need to be taken to a specialist tip, such as old paint cans. Items which can be recycled can be put in your on general recycling or taken to a recycling center.
Second, consider which items you want to keep. It’s important to be brutal in your decisions here, because chances are you’ll want to keep much more than you should! That said, it is worth bearing in mind what items could potentially be upcycled to improve the look of your property as this could save you money in the long run. One woman in Birmingham U.K was recently quoted $1300 for a home makeover by a third party supplier. She ended up achieving a similar look herself for just $40 through smart upcycling of existing items she had in her home!
When you have your collection of ‘must keep’ items, think about whether they need to have pride of place in your house, or whether they can be boxed up and stored away for a later date. If you have large items or are struggling for space, you may want to consider renting a storage unit for the short term.
The next step is to work out which items could be passed on in some way. This could be via donation to a charity shop, sold to private buyers on sites such as Ebay, or even gifted to friends or loved ones that might benefit from it. There has been an explosion in ‘upcycling’ recently, so don’t disregard outdated or even broken furniture as past it’s sell-by date; there’s a good chance someone will want to take it off your hands in order to transform it into a stylish and modern piece. COVID-19 has put a stop to yard sales and car boot sales, so listing your unwanted items online is likely to be the most effective way to get rid of your goods; you could even make some money which you could put towards some new paint or a stylish piece of furniture.
As the new year chimes in, decluttering is not only good for the mind and soul, but it could really improve your chances of selling your property quickly and for the price you want. There’s absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.