The Psychology of the Closet When Selling Your Home

As a professional real estate stager, I have the pleasure of many years of helping homeowners in assessing their homes for the real estate market. From fine-tuning just a few details to complete overhauls, I have assisted many, many sellers and their agents in preparing to have the best possible presentation to buyers.

Utilizing my training and skills, this process is generally a 2-hour meeting wherein I tour the home, assess every room, take copious notes, and then walk through the home with the seller and their agent (when possible) to review and discuss my analysis. I carefully compile the notes into a written assessment which is then sent to them so that they may take action toward completing those suggested items and tasks.

One of the most noted issues that sellers of even the most well-kept homes tend to have overlooked are their closets.  The majority of closets I encounter are messy, over-packed, have wall scuffs, and are terribly unorganized.

In fact, when I come upon a neat and tidy closet that meets my high standards, I jokingly award a “Closet of the Week” accolade to applaud their effort. But, why do closets matter when selling a home- After all, it is a closet – meant to hide and disguise all the junk and extra things we really don’t use or need. And, buyers shouldn’t care – we’re all on the same page about the function of a close – to hide the messes! As long as the main rooms are lovely, who really cares about the closet-

The answer is that when buyers are viewing your property, no stone is left unturned. They are judging the home’s quality and features and looking in every nook and cranny. They want a well-maintained home. When they see a disaster in a closet, they are psychologically assessing your ability as a seller to care for a home. If you have taken time to keep your closets neat, clean and organized (after all, it is the place to hide our junk), then you must really care about other unseen places in the home.

In essence, the psychology of a closet is a critical element when selling your home. Not only are you selling the home itself, but also selling yourself as a good caretaker of property. A good closet cleaning may only take an hour. But the investment is worth the effort – and you might even win our award!

How to Win Showhomes Charleston’s Closet of the Week

  • Paint the walls
  • Get rid of things you don’t want or need.
  • Pack things you aren’t using now but want to keep. Move to an attic or storage unit.
  • Clear everything off the floor. It is important to see the depth of the closet.
  • Get rid of any cardboard.
  • Organize clothes by color (I prefer light to dark).
  • Pack away and dirty or beaten-up shoes.
  • Suitcases should not be stored in a master closet.
  • For showings, remove dirty laundry from hampers.
Lorelie Brown, Owner of Showhomes Charleston is a certified staging professional in Charleston, SC. A RESA-PRO member, an HSRA-Elite Member, and a member of IAHSP. She is passionate about the power of home staging and has staged over $300 million in real estate.