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 on our own MLS when I check out the local listings. So, what gives?
Old School Thinking
Often it is very difficult for real estate agents 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 advice I have heard agents tell their sellers is to leave the photos up because it feels more like home or buyers want to see who lives in the home. Really?
This simply isn’t true. Don’t buy into that old school thinking. The way houses are merchandised and marketed 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 old 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 in that room.
The same stands true for those beautiful up to date baby/family photos and wall collages. Yes, they are a distraction too!
Think of it this way
How would Buyers feel when they came to view you home? You want them to connect and feel like the home could be theirs, right? With all the personal photos, they’ll feel like a GUEST and that they are intruding in clearly someone else’s home. Buyers also get distracted by trying to figure out who lives there and why they might be selling. And let’s not forget about safety. Your home will be viewed by the public. Do you really want to display photos of your family and children for all to see?
Distraction is the Kiss of Death
It equals forgetting about your house and all it has to offer. They can’t see it. It’s the kiss of death because those buyers just walked out your door and will forget your house completely as they view 10 others that day. Or worse, buyers do remember your house but…it’s more like Oh, yeah, is that the house with 50 photos of their dog? What did that one look like? Did it have wood floors in the kitchen? I only remember all those photos.
Pack those photos up. Let the house be the STAR. NOT the people who live there. Buyers want to see your home, not YOU. Doing so will get you one step closer to a successful sale.