If you are selling your home
, you must set it up right to attract buyers. This process is called staging, and many people seek professional help with this. Not all sellers stage their homes, especially if they are still living there, but doing so can help increase their value. If you are not, you may want to hire a home stager who can put furniture in the home to look occupied when people tour it. People looking for Ridgefield real estate, especially at the higher end, have expectations when they walk into a home.
One piece of advice professional stagers give sellers is that they should remove "personal items." Why? What constitutes a personal item here?
What is a personal item?
In this context, a personal item is anything that makes your home more obviously "yours." This might include things such as:
Your child's art
Any artwork that might be at all controversial or political
Most of your child's toys
Diplomas, certificates, etc
Pet stuff and toys
Toiletries and medication, other than hand soap
A blank slate
Most home stagers
say you should stage your home in as neutral a way as possible so that potential buyers can see how they might use the space rather than how you use it.
Personal items and mementos interfere by telling a specific story about the space that might not gel with what a prospective purchaser is looking for. Maybe you have kids, and they don't (or vice versa). Perhaps they see the finished basement as a game room rather than a home theater. Personal items may also make people feel like they are intruding on somebody else's home, which can cause discomfort and a desire to leave as quickly as possible.
Removing and hiding your personal items helps ensure that everyone who enters your home sees its future rather than its past. It can be difficult to put those items away, but you can always think of it as a head start on packing.
If you're running an open house, lots of people will come in. Some of them may not intend to buy at all; they might, for example, be a previous resident curious to see how the place has changed. Leaving out medication reveals deeply personal information about your health. You are likely to feel more comfortable hiding things like these.
Effect on home value
Unfortunately, personal items can sometimes negatively affect what people are willing to pay. Things that indicate who you are, even things such as hobbies, can lower the value of your home or extend the time it spends on the market.
It's also a good idea to remove religious and political items. Seeing religious articles may make them uncomfortable and less able to see the potential in the home. The same goes for political views. Taking down old yard signs and presenting your home as neutral increases your chance of getting the amount you want. People can also feel very strongly about sports teams, so putting away all sports memorabilia and indicators of who you support is a good idea.
Another reason to remove personal items is to declutter the space. Clutter makes rooms look smaller and can distract buyers from the things they need to look at. Many stagers also recommend removing out-of-season clothing from your closets to make them look bigger and more organized.
In addition to personal items, remove anything else that makes your home look cluttered, such as stray toys, knickknacks, pet stuff, etc.
You want your home to look neat and tidy so that every bit of space appears usable.
Buyers get distracted very easily. You don't even notice the stuff in your home, but a buyer will. You might want your friends to be excited by the cute picture of your child or dog. You don't want buyers to do that because then they aren't looking at the house. Even knowing you have a dog might lead some buyers to ask to meet the dog and others to wonder how much dog hair is permanently ground into the carpets, if any.
Your books might either distract people or put them off, depending on how their taste compares to yours. You don't want somebody flipping through your books instead of looking at the home. Removing anything that might distract also includes bright colors, strange wallpaper, and fractal area rugs. Removing wallpaper may entail more expense, but it can be worth it.
Should any personal items stay?
For the most part, you should depersonalize your home completely. However, there are a few things you might want to keep. If you have neutral, non-controversial art or photographs, let them stay. A quality photo of a landscape is fine, whether you took it yourself or purchased it from a professional.
Most of your books should be boxed up, but if you have classics or non-controversial coffee table books, leave them out. If you have built-in bookshelves, a few books will show the size of the shelves to buyers.
Keep some of your plants out. Real plants add some freshness, and green is a soothing color. If you have a room that's a jungle, though, evict some of those plants to a friend's place. Space the plants out.
Why removing personal items can help you sell your Ridgefield real estate
Removing personal items when staging a home can help it sell faster and help you get the maximum amount of money. You can stage the home yourself or ask your Ridgefield realtor for advice on a professional home stager. If you are selling your home in Ridgefield, contact Carissa McMahon
. She is a luxury real estate agent who can help you sell your home, including getting it ready for sale and finding the right home stager.