Preparing your home to be shown to strangers who might possibly decide to purchase it means making some temporary changes in your own lifestyle. One of the first things you need to do is remove some of the items you love to live with.
These items fall into four general categories:
- Items of value that could be lost or broken
- Items you intend to keep that buyers might also want
- Items that will distract the buyer’s attention
- Items that might cause some buyers to reject your house
First, the items of value. Obviously you should not leave cash lying around, but small objects that can be easily pocketed should also be removed. It’s likely that every person who tours your house will be honest, but no one can be sure of that. So those small items should be put in the safe or packed, ready for your move.
Next are valuable items that could easily be broken – accidents can happen.
Items you plan to keep that buyers might want include things such as Grandma’s crystal chandelier or a mirror with a hand-carved frame that currently resides over the powder room vanity. Remove these and replace them before your buyer decides that he or she can’t live without them.
Items that can distract a buyer’s attention include collections, sports trophies, family photographs, photographs that include celebrities, awards, and even your pets. Not that you should pack your pets, but if you can’t take them with you when you leave during the showing, do put them in a kennel outside or in a crate in the garage for the duration of the showing.
This is important because you want the buyer’s attention focused on the house and its features – not on your belongings or your lifestyle.
Finally, remove items that could lead to rejection. Many people believe that a house holds vibrations – either positive or negative. And they form ideas about those vibrations based on the objects they see in the house. So, to avoid limiting your buyer pool, remove controversial objects. This would include religious or political items, firearms or other weapons, and hunting mounts.
The up side of this is that when it’s time to move, these items are packed and ready to go. Remember to label the boxes!