If you see a property for sale and it’s loaded with personal mementos and collections of the seller, it can be very difficult to picture yourself living there. Those personal things can be distracting at best, at worst they are a total turn off.
Several years ago I was showing clients what seemed like the perfect home – the exact location they were looking for, the right style and size house. When we looked inside though, every inch of the first floor was decorated in a “Cat” theme – cat wall paper, cat throw rugs, blankets and pillows, cat prints on the walls (everywhere!), cat figurines, cat kitchen and bath decor. It was a bit scary and my clients couldn’t get out fast enough, which was a real shame because if they could have seen the house they probably would have wanted to live there.
As a seller, a bit of time spent depersonalizing can result in a faster sale. You have to pack things up to move anyway, so why not get a head start by getting those personal items tucked safely away?
Grab a few boxes and start removing the following:
- Personal Photos – this includes portraits on the walls. Replace them with a few neutral prints that can be found relatively inexpensively at most discount retail stores.
- Collections – the Hummels, clowns, dolls, crystal animal figurines, Beanie Babies – whatever – have to go. Not only are these very personal, often they are also valuable and packing them up before people start coming through the house will protect them.
- Religious Items – this is important. Just do it and think about the special place these items will have in your new home.
- Any “Personal Taste” Items – Take down the deer head, the talking fish, the cuckoo clock, the sports team paraphernalia, the beer bottle collection. Also be sure your DVD and music collections are stowed.
- Refrigerator Stuff – take everything off the fridge, including the kids artwork and all the magnets.
- Toiletries – Yes, you need to live in the house while its for sale, but get a plastic bin and stash any toiletries under the vanity or in a closet for showings. Potential buyers not only don’t care what kind of deodorant you use, they’d prefer not to have to think about it at all.
- Bills and Paperwork – important for privacy as well as staging. Be sure there is nothing personal left out in your office.
De-personalization is vital for a quick home sale. The time you spend preparing your house for sale will be nothing compared to the time you will save in having your house for sale.