Selling your home is never an easy decision. After all, you are selling a big part of your life. The entire process can be drawn-out, from the time you contact a broker, list your home, and finally, the long wait for interested buyers.

Having an open house is the most important part of the sell, the bit in which you want that stranger to imagine their life in your own home. The downside of it is that it can get awkward. 

To avoid that kind of a scenario, make sure you remove everything in your home that can make the potential buyer feel like an intruder.

Five Personal Items to Remove When Staging a Home

Family photographs in frames on the wall

1. Family Photos

You need to take out the family photos before the open house to avoid the awkwardness of your private affairs being scrutinised by total strangers. Also, there’s another benefit to taking out the family photos, and that is security, especially if you have small children. Bare in mind that you’re inviting strangers to your home.

2. Diplomas, medals, certificates 

Your diplomas and certificates are showing who you are as a professional. Your medal collection from marathon races shows you’re a runner. The buyer doesn’t need to associate with that or imagine you as a person. 

In the same vein, you need to remove any item that would remind potential buyers of your politics or religion. 

Take out the distractions and highlight the strengths of your property. For example, high up on the wish list of most homebuyers is a cosy bathroom or a spacious kitchen. The right fixtures will enhance the appearance of your bathroom and make it seem more expensive than it is. 

3. Collections and valuables 

Your jewellery and other valuable collections should be removed to avoid courting trouble. Jewellery items and pricey watches are very easy to put inside the pocket. In the same vein, gadgets like phones and tablets can also go missing after the open house. While you don’t want to think ill of other people, it is also not a good idea to be totally naive either.

4. Important Documents

Remove your credit cards, bank statement, passport, and important contracts. Some people are curious (and rude), and they will take a look even though it’s none of their business. A glance at your bank account statement could give a visitor an idea of how much you are worth, which may invite trouble. Some people may also take your confidential information for cyber-crime. 

5. Pets 

Who doesn’t love pets? Well, some people are allergic to them, and the thought of buying a house where a dog or cat once lived may upset them. While you are cleaning your home before staging, make sure to remove all evidence that your pets have left behind, including dog or cat shedding on the furniture. 

Where to Store Your Personal Items?

Storage boxes in attic

If you have extra space in the attic or in the garage, you can store your personal items there. But, chances are that potential buyers will also have a look there.

So, the best way is to find a storage unit. For a very reasonable price, you can tuck away all your items and other things in your house that you can’t carry around while you are in the process of changing addresses.

In London, the average home purchase price was nearly £660,000 as of September 2020, with an average of 31,000 residential units sold per month. As those homeowners likely realised, selling a house involves a lot of details, and everything must line up correctly for the transaction to push through. You can do your part as a homeowner by removing all personal items that would tie you to the property. The idea is to make the potential buyer comfortable in your home and put them in the right mindset while they are looking at your property.