Thanks to HGTV and many other media articles on home staging, Sellers are starting to understand the importance of removing their personal photos as part of the overall preparing their home for the real estate market. However, I've still noticed an awful lot of personal photos in our MLS when I check out the local listings. So what gives?
Old School Thinking: Often it is very difficult for Realtors to tell their Sellers that the personal photos have got to go. Sellers can be very attached and proud of their grand displays of their kids and extended families. On the other hand, one of the old school thinking I have heard many times is to leave the photos up because buyers want to see who lives there and it feels more like "home".
This simply is not true. Don't buy into that old school thinking. The way houses are marketed and shown today are completely different than 5-10 years ago.
Sellers MUST take themselves out of the picture. If you walked into a house with a large display of these gorgeous Olan Mills photos I'm showing here (and I'm being sarcastic folks!), would you be distracted? You'd probably be taking a trip down memory lane instead of remembering those great selling features.
The same stands true for those beautiful up to date baby/family photos and wall collages. Yes, they distract too!
Think of it this way: How would Buyers feel when they came to view your home? You want them to connect and feel like the home could be theirs. With all the photos, they'll feel like a GUEST and that they are intruding. Buyers also get distracted by trying to figure out who lives there and why they might be selling.
Remember: "Distraction" equals forgetting about your house and all it has to offer. It's the kiss of death because those buyers just walked out your door and will forget your house completely as they view 10+ more that day. Or worse, buyers do remember the house...."Oh yeah, is that the fifty million photo crazy house? What did that one look like? I only remember all those pictures."
Bottom Line: Pack those photos up. Let the house be the "STAR"and on DISPLAY...NOT the people who live there. Doing so will get you one step closer to a successful sale!