Have you ever had those clients that are proud of their home? So proud that offensive wall art remains - despite the suggestions and pleas to remove it? Or that not so clean high chair remains for us to figure out how to walk around it without it touching our clothing.
I try to explain to every seller, that you need to remove the items that personalize your home. These include any photos of family or friends. Time to box it up for your anticipated move! That creepy photo of Great-Great-Grandma hanging proudly above the 1890's crib, might mean something to you... but what it means to the potential buyers that are looking at your home, is for them to stare at it and form an opinion. Hmmm wonder how old that lady is in the picture.....did she have children? Was she rich? What you WANT your potential buyers to do, is to look at that room and wonder if their bookshelf they have back home, will fit in that corner over there.
Don't forget to remove your hobbies. There was a house whose seller did woodwork in the basement. This house was immaculate everywhere except in the hobby shop. Sawdust everwhere. The buyer's might have taken it, except for the danger in having sawdust in the electrical lines for a possible fire hazzard. If you have a hobby that leads people to think about what you do in your spare time.... again, the potential buyers aren't thinking about HOW THEY will use the space.
The best thing to do is to hire a Stager/Room Organizer/Declutter-er. We pay about $100 for a 2 hour consultation between the Seller and the Stager. She goes through each room and talks to the seller about the pieces to remove, and helps them re-arrange the room if needed. I think some people need this 2 hour session to help them un-attach from the home. "Do you really think I need to remove this shrine in the corner for our dog, Duke?" - - A good stager, will give them the gentle touches.... "Oh he must have been a wonderful dog? You might put his picture and collar in a window box so you can properly display him in your NEW house" Let's put it in the box and that will be something you can look forward to." - of course a good Stager will also provide them with a room-by-room detail of things to do to get the home in perfect shape.
We only get one first impression here folks! In today's market, homes are sold in hours not days. You want top dollar for your home? Then make it look like the best home on the market....period!