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.


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.


Now, to really show off your closet to buyers, I recommend going one step further - pack away unnecessary items so the closet is only about half full.  Move the packed boxes of items to the back of the garage or, even better, to a storage unit. This gives the impression that there is plenty of storage space in your 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 the property. A good closet cleaning may only take an hour. But the investment is worth the effort - and you might even win our award!


Laura Landesman, Owner of Showhomes of The Woodlands, is a certified staging professional in The Woodlands, Texas and a RESA-PRO member. She is passionate about the power of home staging and loves working with Realtors and homeowners in The Woodlands and Spring areas to help sell homes faster and for more money.


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