What's In the Closet? Why Clearing Out Storage Spaces Is Critical for Home Selling Success

By Keith Loria

According to a recent study among real estate professionals, more than 85 percent of buyers named storage as one of the most important items on their wish list in a new home.

That’s why cleaning out your house is vital before showing your home to potential buyers. This doesn’t just mean de-cluttering by throwing everything in closets, the garage or attic; a smart seller will remove all unneeded and extra items and get them out the door.

“The number one home improvement that will give you great return on your investment is removing clutter,” said Vali Heist, a professional organizer and owner of The Clutter Crew. “You need to get items to a friend’s home or rent a storage space or sell or throw away excess items, if needed.”

Before you move, everything will need to be packed up, so one way to think of de-cluttering is a way of starting your packing early. Purge all unwanted items from the clothes and linen closets and other storage spaces; get rid of anything that hasn’t been used or worn in over a year or two; and pack away seasonal items and only keep the essentials. The rest bring to a rented storage space or the garage of a friend willing to help.

Now, when buyers come to see your home, empty closets and storage areas will make the spaces appear a lot larger since they are no longer crammed with old clothes, toys and boxes.

“People are looking to buy space, so having your garage piled with boxes and other items will make it look smaller,” said Fred Benoit of Kentucky-based Storage Solutions, who regularly works with home sellers. “Store all things off premises if possible. If you can’t find a friend or a relative who can help out, there are other storage solutions that are more affordable these days. The investment will pay off in the long run.”

You can also make improvements to your storage areas for small investments. The master suite and kitchen are the most important parts of the house, so investing in nice closets, custom shelves, drawer organizers and shoe racks are just a few ways to control clutter and increase your home’s value.

Potential buyers are put off by clutter, and most of us drag a lot more things through life than we really need. By showing that your home has plenty of room or storage, it will make your home that much more attractive to the buyer who is looking to move in all their worldly possessions.

For more ideas on how to de-clutter your home or any information on maximizing your home’s value, contact our office today.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.