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You're loony...but your buyer's don't need to know

Home Stager

Yes I get it, you've got a great sense of whimsy! Maybe you're a bit loony too but your potential buyers don'tlady hold sign need to know. In fact the signs you've hung on your walls will conjure up all kinds negative thoughts in the minds of potential buyers viewing your home.

Please resist the urge to keep those witty signs up after I've advised you to take them down and pack 'em away. Now I'm no kill-joy, I'm just looking at your property though the buyer's eyes.

When you put your home on the market it is now a product that must appeal to the masses. You must disconnect emotionally from your home now and think toward the future!

Don't plead with me that these signs add to the charm of your home. That ain't gonna fly! These gems need to go and pronto.


On the Welcome Matt:

  • Go Away! ~ This one does make me giggle...but goodness gracious what a way to entice buyers.
  • We Serve only the Finest Wines...Did you Bring any? ~ I enjoy the finest wines too but do you want your buyer's knowing you have to beg for booze?

In the Kitchen:

  • Coffee & Buns Make the World a Better Place ~ I guess it depends on how fresh those buns really are.
  • I use the Smoke Alarm for a Timer ~ Home inspection pronto!
  • If We are what We Eat then I'm Fast, Easy and Cheap ~ Does your buyer need to know these intimate details about you?

In the Living Areas:

  • Bless this Mess ~ Really? No buyer wants to buy a previous mess and now that it's tidy, what was that mess?
  • Old Fishermen Never Die they Just Lose their Bobbers ~ Again with personal details!

In the Bathrooms:

  • The Camera is for Research Purposes only ~ Can you say creeeepy?
  • The 'If you sprinkle when you tinkle' sign..... ~ No one wants to have images of your messy potty habits.
  • Hazardous Waste Area ~ No comment needed here, frat house alert!

Leading to the Bedroom:

  • Stairway to Heaven ~ Yowsa, I have visions of an investigative news show inspecting just how clean those hotel rooms are, it ain't pretty folks!


So you still think potential buyers will appreciate your loony signs? Think again, your sense of whimsy will  send them negative subliminal messages. So save the funny signs for the new home where they'll be loved and appreciated! Need more tips when sprucing up your home? Check out the links below.

Curb Appeal Tips

Tips for Replacing Family Photos

Tips for Making Quick & Easy Faux Succulent Arrangements

Tips for Reupholstering a Chair Seat


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C. Bartch
Newark, OH

As a stager I get feedback from the listings and I can say those personal signs can and do leave a negative impression. That is what my blog was about leaving a negative impression in the eyes of a buyer.

Hey Drew you never know what that deciding factor may be and I'd not chance it in this market.

May 12, 2010 05:13 AM
Pam Faulkner
Faulkner House Interior Redesign - Herndon, VA
Room Transformations Fairfax & Loudoun Counties VA

Cynthia,  I thought this was insightful and hilarious.  Removing a sign is one in a list of things that can and should be done to make the focus on the house and not the furnishings.  Just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, what is funny or clever is also very subjective.  It's the cumulative things that a seller balks at doing that can make or break the way the home shows...and sells.  Refusing to put away family photos, insisting on leaving kids' toys out when they aren't playing with them, leaving shoes and "stuff" by the front door and holding on to sick or spindly plants might indicate to buyers that the homeowners could care less about making their home show well.  Buyers have only a short time to view a house.  Why slow them down with having to mentally strip the home of the current furnishings in order to visualize how their things would fit.  Making it easy on them to see the home as theirs can mean making a quick sale.

May 12, 2010 09:38 AM
Jill Banks,
Happily Better After Room Redesign & Home Staging - Mt Laurel, NJ
South Jersey Home Stager

Great post, Cynthia! I don't think anyone has addressed this issue before!

May 12, 2010 10:30 AM
Judy Jennings
Top Agent Plus - Middleboro, MA
Tap into Judy's real estate expertise & resources.


Oh boy, I would say many of these should definitely be taken down. I just had a conversation with a potential seller that they had some decor that might turn off potential buyers. They understood and said they would remove the items.

Then there was another, I'll call it the gargoyle house. I never did get that listing and it was on the market for a LONG time. It eventually sold, but not until they moved out (gargoyles and all).


May 13, 2010 08:54 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Oh no, it's American Patriot as in I support my country and troops.  Of course speaking of sports.... it would be a bit hard to get my husband to put all his San Diego Chargers and Jimmy Johnson stuff away too.  Frankly, I realistically know I'd have to move and then sell my home.

May 15, 2010 03:06 AM
C. Bartch
Newark, OH

Hi Pam, you got it, the focus is the house. The client's personal possession's must enhance the architecture of the home. Buyers can be distracted by what's not sale ;-) Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

Hey Jill, But I'm sure they've run into before!

Judy, Judy, Judy you must have conveyed that thought in a very convincing way...Woo-Hoo to you! Hey I've had a Gargoyle house to, I must admit it was hard for me because I do like gargoyles...gotta keep the personal preferences outta the picture :-/

Tammy, I do hereby declare you are a great commenter!!! Oooh Jimmy Johnson collection....I'd have trouble packing that away too. P.S. your doormat is a keeper :)

May 17, 2010 02:08 PM
Karen Kruschka
RE/MAX Executives - Woodbridge, VA
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"

Cynthia  I have one in my kitchen "I cook with wine - sometimes I put it in the food"  Of course, I'm not selling my house.  I agree with your premise  Karen

May 18, 2010 04:49 AM
c m
Colorado Springs, CO

Nope, Cyn, not just your part of the country!  Those "cute" signs have become a decorating "go-to" for lots of folks with something to say!  A recent house had about a dozen of them... mostly inspirational in a non-religious way, but as with anything too many is too many...Good post!

May 18, 2010 08:42 PM
Gerry Khatchikian
Red Lodge, MT


Those signs are popping everywhere!  The one word (inspiration) signs are OK (like Dream, Peace, Love) but I agree that the ones with lot more words like the ones you mentioned need to come down!    Thank you for the chuckles.  :) 

May 22, 2010 07:12 AM
C. Bartch
Newark, OH

First of all I apologize for not responding to your comments on my blog in a timely matter because I sure appreciate them immensely!


Hi Karen, Ooooh I really, really like that one. Your home sounds perfect, wine and that delicious bread your husbands makes!

Hey Cheryl, Wow a dozen??? I agree w/ you a few signs here and there but a dozen is a bit over the top :)

Hey Gerry, Oh man I have seen worse in a few homes but did not want to blog about them. I will admit some of these made me giggle too :-D

Jun 05, 2010 07:55 AM
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

Hey Cynthia, I came back because I wanted to mention that I have to be careful myself at times so that my clients don't think I am a bit looney! Hope you are doing well!

Jun 08, 2010 02:24 AM
C. Bartch
Newark, OH

Oh PU-LEAZE Russell we all know you're way loony so I suspect your clients do too! Buy the way that was a compliment. I suspect you & your wife are the 'It' couple in Austin!!!

Jun 08, 2010 03:24 AM
Gerry Khatchikian
Red Lodge, MT


Those signs make me giggle even if it is the second time I am seeing them and visiting this post.  Just came back to say hi.   I hope you don't think I am loony!   :)

Jun 09, 2010 01:58 AM
C. Bartch
Newark, OH

Oh come Gerry, you are moosely loony...but in good way ;-D If we live our lives without a smidge of lunacy it would be regrettable & boring!!!

Glad you came back to check up on me, thanks!

Jun 09, 2010 03:24 AM
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

I personnally love the post-its with instructions concerning which light goes with which switch.  Recently, did a home with instructions for which issues to note on the report.  "Dear Home Inspector, don't note the garbage disposal in your report, we intend to replace it."

Jun 14, 2010 06:39 AM
Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer
Russel Ray - San Diego State University, CA

I might also add to take the heads of all those dead animals off the way. Talk about creepy.

Jun 14, 2010 04:09 PM
C. Bartch
Newark, OH

Oh my Jack, don't they know the garbage disposal issue would be a violation of your rules????

That would be a turn off for a large demographic Russel, YUCK! I always advise to remedy that situation on my consults much to the clients dismay.

Jun 15, 2010 01:35 AM
John Cannata
214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

Great advice Cynthia... but I need to know where to buy some of these signs. They all had me cracking up. My favorite is 'you are what you eat'.

Jun 16, 2010 03:22 AM
C. Bartch
Newark, OH

Oh John, I will not tell you because your wife would kill me & you! They were funny, oh the things we see in a clients home!

Jun 17, 2010 02:54 AM
Kathryn Maguire
GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881 - Chesapeake, VA
Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach

This one really made me laugh,....I just now saw your post as it was reblogged.  Thanks for the giggle!

Jun 30, 2010 11:30 PM