A homeowner's identity is reflected in the way they decorate - the artwork they choose, the colors of the walls, their family photos, and their personal possessions. But, as long as the property is reflecting the homeowner, it can't reflect someone else's taste unless they are exactly like the homeowner, which is highly unlikely. Depersonalizing removes all the things that emotionally block a buyer from making a connection to the property so he can visualize moving into the home.
Here are the key items sellers need to depersonalize to visually open the door to buyers.
Family photos, memorabilia, and religious and political artifacts: Pack up family photos and personalized items with names or monograms, such as trophies, plaques, and memorabilia as well as religious and political artifacts. Buyers tend to be distracted by these items and often feel as if they're invading the homeowner's privacy. It can make buyers uncomfortable to be in a space that hasn't been depersonalized, and cause them to spend less time in the home overall.
Books and music: These items tell a story about the homeowner. Paperback books, political and religious books, old records and CDs, magazine collections, and cookbooks not in use should be stored away. Hardcover books can be left on shelves to showcase or 'stage' but dust jackets should be removed to keep them neutral.
Knickknacks and collections: Left on display, these items distract buyers, ultimately slowing the sales process. If they're attracted to a particular item, the buyer will be spending time looking at that rather than focusing on the property, or if they don't like the items they can find it a turn-off. Either way, the sale is never expedited by a buyer who's distracted by the homeowner's knickknacks and collections left on display.
Chances are your home has great interior design. But, when you put your home on the market, we want it to be staged. Staging is different from interior design. Interior design is the way you live in your home, the way you've personalized it to be your own. Staging is a way of making your home inviting to buyers so that they can imagine themselves living in your home. They are two different things.
Depersonalizing may be one of those necessary evils, but tackling it from the beginning can smooth the process. This article from WikiHow offers further tips on depersonalizing. For a complete list of recommendations to depersonalize before your listing photos, get started today with a custom Staging Report.