Is your home “Fit to Sell”? Learn how to “depersonalize” your home so that buyers will notice your home and not your “stuff”.
Emotionally Disconnect from Your Home
Once you have made the decision to sell your home here in central Oklahoma, the next step is to emotionally disconnect yourself from your home. You may have lived in your home for years and have it decorated to your personal taste, but that does not necessarily mean that your taste is the taste of potential buyers. Many sellers have a difficult time stepping back and looking at their home with an unfamiliar eye.
That is where I come in.
After many years of looking at thousands of homes with hundreds of buyers, I am quite familiar knowing how buyers feel about homes they see. It is critically important that your belongings not distract buyers from the home.
Remove Personal Photos and Memorabilia
You may have a beautiful wall-sized portrait of your children hanging over the fireplace, but buyers will find this distracting. The same goes for personal pictures in curio cabinets, notes from your kids hanging on the refrigerator, and you son’s baseball trophy in the bookcase. Sure those might have special meaning to you, but they just serve as distractions for buyers.
Decorate Your House like a Model Home
Think about a model home you may have visited. You don’t see magnets stuck on the refrigerator, personal photos on every wall, or trophies in the bookcase. Decorators know that personal items distract from the home and furniture. Make your house look like a model home, or a high end hotel room. It should be clean, clear of clutter, and completely depersonalized. If needed, hire a designer or stager experienced with selling homes. I can provide you recommendations on several home decorators that can help you in the process.
Clean Your Refrigerator
While most people keep the inside of their refrigerator fairly clean, often I see the outside cluttered with sticky notes, birthday cards, magnetic stickers, and all sorts of personal items. The refrigerator makes a wonderful place to centralize your family’s life, but it needs to be cleaned off before showing and photographing your home. You never walk into a designer show home and see wedding invitations hanging on the refrigerator, do you? Potential buyers don’t want to see your family notes hanging from the fridge. They want to envision THEIR notes hanging from the fridge, and they can’t do that if YOUR notes are hanging there. Clean off the fridge for a model home show look.
Remove Potentially Offensive Material
While most people don’t intentionally hang offensive material in their homes, what may not seem offensive to you could be off-putting to a potential buyer. Even something as simple as sports memorabilia can have a negative effect on a buyer. You may be the world’s biggest OU Sooner fan, but you may have potential buyers moving from Texas that could be huge Longhorn fans who find your upside down longhorn coffee cup offensive. Better to lock those things in storage until your home is sold.
Make Sure Your Home is Ready to Show on a Moment’s Notice
It will be difficult to keep your home in “show ready” condition, but it is extremely important that your home be show ready at the drop of a hat. Don’t leave dishes in the sink after breakfast – you might get a text at 10 am for a showing at 1 pm. Sure you could reject the showing, but it is better to have your home ready to show and be able to show it to all buyers at the drop of a hat. You never know when the RIGHT buyer will walk through the door. Many times I have had a buyer ask “can we see this house?” while I am out showing. They may only have a few extra minutes in their schedule, they may have just seen your house show up on the MLS – there can be a variety of reasons that buyers want to see your house on short notice. If your home is always ready to show, you can increase your potential client base and hopefully the right buyer will walk through your front door sooner rather than later.
Watch this video from REMAX International to see before and after examples of homes that have been “depersonalized” and made ready for show.