In a word, it’s all about space. Create more of it where you can, and showcase the space you have.
Buyers need to be able to envision what their things will look like in your home. To help them do this, you may need to store, eliminate, or rearrange your own furniture and belongings. Remember, it’s only temporary!
First, take stock of your furniture. Does it occupy more than 50% of a room? If so, consider storing or getting rid of it. Or, find a way to distribute it in other rooms, if suitable. If you are unsure about what this looks like, consider visiting a few model homes. It’s not for lack of budget that they are sparsely furnished; it’s so that you can visually assess the rooms and contemplate how you might furnish it with your things. Even if you don’t have large, spacious rooms, less ‘stuff’ in each of them will make them appear bigger.
Next, clear out your storage areas. This includes basements, attics, garages, and sheds. You don’t typically access these items anyway in the course of a month, so now is the time to pack them up and store them, sell them, or donate what you can to a charitable organization. When showing your home, you want any storage areas to be as empty as possible. One of the biggest buyer deterrents is fear of not having enough room for their family to grow into.
Lastly, clean your closets. Closets, if you are blessed enough to have them, inevitably end up as a collection center for odds and ends and anything that doesn’t have a designated home. Hanging clothes, daily footwear, and a few shelved items should be the only things visible. A buyer doesn’t know (or care) what you own, but if your closet looks ‘stuffed’, they’ll wonder how their necessities will ever fit in such a small space.