Please Mr. Seller, de-personalize your house!

Real Estate Agent with MB/Priority Properties, Inc.

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!


Posted by



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Comments (6)

Tamra Lee Ulmer
Arizona Resource Realty - Payson, AZ
NRBA ~FORCE~ Over 1000 REO Assets SOLD!

Deb, this is an excellent post. We see it too often people do have trouble taking down personal photos and memorabilia that may be a real turn-off to the Buyer. We have to find a tactful way to approach the subject to the Seller.

Jul 24, 2015 07:04 AM
Jerry Lucas
ABC Legal Docs LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Notary Training, Consulting. Colorado Springs, CO

Advisors often give practical, logical advice.  The disconnect comes when the client is acting based on emotions, not logic.

Jul 24, 2015 08:19 AM
Rosemarie Heindel
Harry Norman Realtors - Big Canoe, GA
Rosemarie Heindel

Yes, de=personalizing can be emotionally tough for sellers but oh so important if they want to sell their home.

Jul 24, 2015 03:32 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Deb, great advice, and you definitely want the buyers looking at the HOUSE, not the personal items!  Great post! 

Jul 24, 2015 11:06 PM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
HomeSmart - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Deb - You make some excellent points on why home owners should de-personalize their homes. Sometimes it is difficult for them to get it.

Jul 25, 2015 07:08 AM
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

You are right on the mark with "detaching' from our things.  Sometimes it is difficult for seller's to understand that buyers want to envision their own things in the home. 

Jul 26, 2015 12:01 PM