When listing your home for sale, you will be instructed by your agent to clean-up and fix-up your home before the first buyer takes a look.
A previous post discussed removing anything from the home that you wish to exclude from the sale. Further discussion of that post revealed that sellers should also consider what personal property in the home is valuable to them - monetarily or sentimentally - and remove them.
Remove all valuables from your home during the marketing period. It doesn't matter if these items are expensive or just irreplaceable in your heart. There's no need to let the buyers think that maybe, just maybe, you'll be willing to part with these items as part of the home sale transaction.
If something in your home "fits" that home well, such as a favorite bench that sits in the nook on the front porch so perfectly, and you absolutely must take that bench with you to your new home, then store that bench away during your home's marketing period. Otherwise, the buyers may ask you to include that item in the sale. True, you can say "No" and move on, but why run the risk of upsetting the buyers?
Take an inventory of the personal belongings in your home. What is so important to you that you couldn't possibly leave it behind for the new owners? Gather up these items and store them away. It will give you a head start on your packing! And, it will also help you as you begin the process of decluttering and depersonalizing your home.
As an added bonus, by removing these items that are important to you, you eliminate the chance of these items becoming accidentally damaged, say, by a buyer knocking into them and breaking them.
Remember: If that bench is the perfect thing for your front porch, you can always buy an inexpensive one at the department store to replace it!
Special thanks to Michael Roberts for his anecdote about the bench.