The Costs of Clutter: The Value of your Home
Is clutter devaluing your home?
If you are selling your home, it may be costing you more than you think.
If you are lucky enough to be a homeowner, it is important to protect what is likely to be your biggest financial investment and do what you can to maximise the value of your home - especially if you are thinking of selling.
Research has shown that mess and clutter in a home can decrease its value by an average of 10%.
Buyers will look for every opportunity to make a lower offer, and a cluttered property is less likely to get the full asking price.
Clutter can be costly when selling your home
There are lots of factors that will determine the value of your home. Its's type, size, location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms or school catchment area. These things are not within our control, but the stuff in it and the way we present our property are.
Increase your chances of selling quickly and at the best price by decluttering before putting your home on the market.
An uncluttered home is believed to be more spacious and more attractive to potential buyers.
Walking into a cluttered home can create a degree of stress and other negative emotions, which is not what you want when trying to convince someone that your home is their future happy home!
Not only is clutter unattractive to look at, but it can highlight buyers to a variety of negatives - including that there may be inadequate storage or repairs may be needed that they can't see.
Clutter can highlight how attentive - or more aptly - unattentive the seller is to other more serious home care and maintenance issues. What issues could be lurking beneath the clutter?
A home that hasn't been maintained will have less value than one that someone can move into and not have to do anything.
Buyers will be looking at your home from a different perspective than you
We tend to grow accustomed to looking at our own clutter, which can make us blind to how others see our home. It's often only when people see photos of their homes in estate agents' photos that they see how other people view their homes. So, a tip I often give is to take pictures of the areas of your home and study them through the photos. It will often give you a much different perspective.
With the majority of buyers looking online for potential homes, a decision of whether your home is a contender - or not - will be based on the photos.
Selling your home is a business transaction
When you start the process of selling your home, you have to start thinking of it as a sales process and mentally checking out of it as your home.
To get the best offer price, as much as possible, the items in your home should be as clutter-free and neutral as possible. It's no longer about what you like - it's about presenting your home to attract a buyer. It can be hard, but it's only for the short term.
Buyers should be able to see your home's full potential and see themselves living there - which is difficult to do when they can't see past your stuff.
Plus, more stuff means more to move and higher moving costs. If you can live without it now - why pay to move it to your new home?
Decluttering before you put your home on the market will not only help you to achieve the best possible sale price - it will also make you feel calmer, make packing and unpacking much easier and give you a fresh start in your new home. You'll be more organised moving into your new home and feel lighter too!
Maintaining your Home
Even if you're not planning on moving at the moment, clutter can still have a detrimental effect on the value of your home.
When clutter takes over, it can prevent you from being able to maintain your home properly. Focus is taken off the property itself, and repairs and maintenance are often put off.
Contents of the home, such as furniture, flooring and appliances can also go uncared for, meaning their condition deteriorates with their value.
A cluttered home can mean feeling too embarrassed to invite tradespeople in, or the clutter is getting in the way of jobs being completed. Prioritising getting the clutter cleared and then getting improvements or DIY jobs done, and years down the line realising it still hasn't happened.
The longer we put off home repairs and improvements, the more costly they end up.
Yes, decluttering can be hard work, but it has big rewards, not just financially but also for your peace of mind.
If you need help to declutter in preparation for a home move (or to enable you to get some home improvements done) - please get in touch.
A Professional Organiser will give you an honest, non-judgemental opinion of the clutter levels in your home and help you achieve calm and organised spaces that will show your home off at its best.