Buyers want to see your house, not all of your personal belongings. Too much “stuff” can obstruct their view of your home and can get in the way of them visualizing how your house can become theirs. As a seller, you want to highlight the positive features of your home, but certain things can distract buyers, and sometimes even offend them or put them off.
Of course, you’re still living there, but when your home is listed on the market, it’s time to start depersonalizing the space and neutralizing it for the masses of buyers who come across your listing.
Here are some specific things that you should put out of sight before buyers come for a visit.
All the photos that you’ve got of the kids or of family vacations spent abroad obviously mean a lot to you. While you may be sentimental about these pictures, buyers won’t feel the same way. In fact, too many family photos hanging on your walls or lining your shelves will just distract buyers.
If all they are able to see is you and your family, it will be nearly impossible for them to see themselves living there. As hard as it may be, take down all those photos and pack them away to be moved to your new home, and consider replacing them with something more neutral.
Boxes That Have Already Been Packed
You might already start packing things and getting them ready for your move, but that doesn’t mean your home should be littered with packing boxes. Even if you dedicate one room for storing all these mounting boxes – whether it’s the spare bedroom, garage, basement, or any other spot in the house – buyers still won’t be impressed when they open the door to find this sight.
While it’s certainly a good idea to start the packing process early, consider renting a storage facility to house your boxes until they’re ready to be moved.
Your Pet’s Toys
Even the biggest animal lover won’t necessarily enjoy having to look at all of your pet’s belongings, which will most likely smell bad and be all chewed up. Worse yet, any remnants of pet excrement, shedding, claw marks, and anything else along these lines will most definitely put off buyers, particularly those who are not fond of having pets in the house. Be sure to get rid of any signs of animals in the home so that it looks and smells pleasant in the eyes of buyers.
Religious or Political Artifacts
If there are two topics that can spark negative emotions in a person, religion and politics certainly fit the bill. While you may be dedicated to your particular faith or political party, others may not share the same affinity.
Buyers who have a very different lifestyle view may be offended by anything associated with these things. As such, any posters, pictures, or other artifacts that have a religious or political connotation to them should be tucked away and packed for your move.
Whether you’re an avid collector of mini crystal figurines, porcelain dolls, or spoons from around the world, these little collections can seem messy. Since you want to maintain a clutter-free home, you’d be well advised to gather up these collections and put them away.
While the above items should be tucked away mainly for cosmetic purposes, jewelry – and any other valuable items you may have in your home – should be locked up and out of sight before the first buyer walks through the door. Buyers are usually accompanied by their real estate agents when viewing homes, but they can’t possibly keep an eye on them every second.
It’s very easy for someone to just slip something into their pocket the moment their agent turns around for a split second. Not only that, letting the wrong people know exactly what types of valuables are in the home can set your place up for burglary. Before your first viewing is scheduled, be sure to lock away all of your valuables.
The Bottom Line
It can be bothersome to have to pack most of your life away while your home is listed for sale. It can even be emotionally taxing to have to take down certain personal items that you love and cherish. The key is to focus on your end goal: selling quickly and for the most money possible.
One of the best ways to do that is to showcase your home in the best light in order to impress buyers and help them develop an emotional connection to your home. Keeping this in mind should help you part (temporarily) with your things until your house is sold.