not the cracked tile in the kitchen or yesteryear’s fixtures in the bathroom. Agents say that the biggest obstacle to a sale is often the seller.
In short, sellers have to get out of the way, literally and figuratively.
That’s no easy task, because people are often still living in a home that’s now on the market. There’s an emotional attachment that needs to be unraveled even when people think they are thoroughly prepared to sell.
Don’t just declutter – depersonalize
Lynne Hart Herrera of Keller Williams Realty said, “The way a buyer looks at a home is very different than the way a visitor looks at your home. Think about a hotel. It looks really simple, clean, and there’s no personal or religious items. Some people like taxidermy, but if a buyer walks into a home they might only see dead animals on the walls and now that’s what they remember.”
Rajeev Tailor of Portica Real Estate said, “Personalisation is a barrier to the buyer. They don’t see the great space and crown molding because they leave the property distracted by, ‘Oh, that’s the house with them in the photo with President Obama or whatever. They leave with the impression of what was in the house versus the impression of the house. You can’t have a successful sale, if someone can’t connect to the property.”
Wight, of Dielmann Sotheby’s International Realty, said, “It can feel sterile to remove all of your family photos, wedding photos and pare down to a simpler life, but I tell people to focus on their goal and keep mementos away.”
He said they have to imagine that they don’t live there anymore, and that extends to the kitchen. Depersonalising can relate to the smells from last night’s meal when a potential buyer is walking through. You don’t want them focusing on what you had for dinner, he said. “That doesn’t mean don’t cook, it just might mean you should use the barbecue outside not the stove” for dishes with a lingering odour.