Selling Your Home? Cut Clutter to Sell Faster

Putting your house on the market is always a little emotional. The home that’s served as the canvas for so many of your favorite memories is about to become someone else’s. At least, that’s the plan. Now that you’ve listed your house, you’re probably ready to find a buyer ASAP, but you may run into unexpected delays. What’s keeping your property from finding its next owner? In home selling, the little things matter. One of the biggest ways to speed up the selling process is to cut clutter.

Small items gathered on the countertops in your kitchen or the nightstand in your bedroom might not seem like a huge deal. But when it comes to home buying, people want to be able to picture themselves in the home. Your knickknacks could be the thing preventing your potential buyers from envisioning themselves in the space. Using this list as a starting point, cut clutter in every room to give buyers a clean slate — and your home its best chance of selling quickly.

Cut clutter in the living room

The great room at 1061 Nowita Place in Venice is furnished and decorated beautifully, making good use of the open space.

The living room is where we make ourselves comfortable. We put up our feet, gather with friends and relax after a long day of work. The casual nature of the space also makes it a prime location in which to accumulate stuff. Those stacks of magazines by the couch. That collection of tchotchkes on the bookshelf. That array of books and remotes on the coffee table. There’s a good chance that your living room is the room in your home that feels the most lived-in.

That’s great until a buyer is trying to picture themselves getting comfortable in the room, surrounded by reminders that it’s already inhabited. Walk into your living room with fresh eyes. What clutter could be keeping your home from selling?

There might be places where you can’t just remove the clutter; you need to replace it with something else. Fresh flowers and candles are a relatively low-cost option to help you fill in any gaps created by removing your personal touches.

Clear counters in the kitchen

The kitchen countertops at 313 S Avenue 57 in Highland Park are kept clean and clutter-free to showcase the ample surface area.

The kitchen has to be useful. A family can survive without getting much use out of their living room. They can even skip the dining room for a while. A kitchen, however, needs to work. That’s why it’s hard to keep kitchen counters clear. You might use your counters as storage space for appliances or larger serving dishes. Your kids might always have snacks out. Whatever the case may be, if you have a buyer coming by, it’s time to get those counters cleared.

Because you need your kitchen to be functional, you might want to designate a cabinet that can store everything when you have a walk-through. The blender can stay up on the counter most of the time and be conveniently stowed away when your real estate agent is heading over with a prospective buyer. Just make sure that when they get to your house, your kitchen counters are almost completely empty. Some flowers or a fruit bowl are fine. Countless appliances and dishes are not.

While you’re at it, cut aromatic clutter, too. Before your potential buyer arrives, put a simmering pot on the stove to clear away odors and leave your kitchen smelling fantastic.

If you, like many of us, have a mail center/small office/staging area in your kitchen, tackle that right away. Clear out old mail, organize your keys and clean off any message boards.

Banish clutter in the bedroom

The master bedroom is minimal and zen-like at 25 Brooks Avenue #4 in Venice.

The bedroom can be a tricky place to clear. While your buyer probably won’t look in every single kitchen cabinet, they’re very likely to check out the bedroom closets. Your would-be hiding spot for personal items and small messes is off the table. That’s why it’s important to think through clearing your bedroom early. It might be worth boxing up some things now. You’ll have to pack them up when you move later, anyway!

Minimize what’s on your nightstands. Make sure laundry hampers have a place to live that looks neat and tidy. Look at your bedding. Does it all match? If you have pillows or blankets that are more for comfort than style, tuck them under more fashionable layers of bedding or find an alternate place for them.

Use this guide to get your home ready to wow buyers. Cut clutter and people will be clamoring to get into your house.