When a Realtor tells me to “thin” my house before we list, what does that mean?

Ask Realtor; Today we Learn: When a Realtor tells me to "thin" my house before we list, what does that mean?

Melanie Roberts with Century 21  www.dfwrealestatecoach.com

To "thin" a house means essentially two things.  Declutter and reduce the volume of "stuff" in the home.


The more open space a home has the larger it looks.  When a home is overcrowded with furniture and clutter the home looks much smaller.


The home buying process is a match making process.  When a home is cluttered or has large amounts of the Seller’s personal items in it, it is hard for potential buyers to see past that and make their own vision of it.  When you make your home "thin" you create a better atmosphere where a buyer can see past your things and see it as their home. The openness of a "thin" home allows a potential buyer to create their vision of the home as they will live in it and make it their personal space.


This starts the emotional connection with all the wonderful times they will have in the home. Once a buyers is emotionally connected to a home they are more likely to make an offer on it.

Jeff Cheney with The Cheney Group – Keller Williams Realty  www.JeffCheney.com

When a Realtor tells me to "thin" my house before we list, what does that mean?

To thin your house basically means to de-clutter your home. The nationally renowned FlyLady calls it “putting your home on a diet.” Clutter is one of the top deterrents of buyers, and it makes spaces look smaller than they really are. Minimalism is best when you are trying to sell a home. 

To achieve a clutter free home many people suggest that the best approach is to group your clutter in four categories: trash, keep and put away, donate/sale, or storage. It is best to evaluate every room in your home with this method. Some tips to remember as you do this are to try to pack up your smaller décor items and leave out only a few of your favorite pieces. Pack away all your personal items including family pictures, your bobble head collection, and your collegiate décor. Also, as you consider the categories you will want to put infrequently used items in the storage category and pack them for the move. Another tip is to remember a few questions as you decide whether to part with something. For example, “When was the last time you used this item? Did you even remember you had it? Do you have a duplicate?”

Next, as you “thin” your home you want to make the rooms look as large as possible. This might mean taking out a few pieces of furniture. You can move extra furniture to your garage, or you might want to rent a storage space until your home sells. You might even consider donating it or selling it! As you tackle the furniture remember these tips:

·         Put the largest piece of furniture on the furthest wall in a room.

·         Balance large pieces of furniture. Do not group large pieces of furniture together on one side of the room or it will feel too heavy.

·         Do not block the doorway. Do not put furniture right inside of a doorway because it will make the room feel crowded and uninviting.

·         Establish a welcoming “flow” in your rooms. Make sure a convenient pathway has been created throughout the room and that the room is easy to enter and sit down. For example, if possible try to make sure the back of the coach is not blocking your entrance in to the family room. You might want to try a new arrangement where you try putting furniture on an angle!

·         Make sure your furniture reflects the focal point of the room. Make sure that the focal point of the room is highlighted by the furniture, not blocked by it.

·         Pull the furniture off the walls! You will be surprised that it will actually make the room feel larger. It gives the room interest and eliminates the large barren space in the middle of the room.

When you have finished “thinning” your home it will be ready for sale. Buyers will be able to see the space they are buying, and they will not be distracted by your things. Plus, through this process you will become more organized making for an easier move!

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