Selling your home for the best price in the shortest amount of time is a goal that can be advanced by a particular kind of homeowner flexibility. It’s a trait somewhat out of phase with other attributes that generally belong to people who succeed in owning their own home.
Admittedly, you can’t really characterize all homeowners except in the vaguest of terms. But many do fall into the same categories that describe successful people of all stripes. More than the average, they are self-reliant. They draw satisfaction from the pride of ownership. As a rule, they are often are more individualistic—and somewhat more independent-minded—than most people.
Here’s the rub. These characteristics aren’t necessarily useful when it comes time to sell your house. It runs counter to one of the guiding principles for success in real estate showings and open houses—namely, the art of disappearing.
No matter how attractive or impressive personal or family mementos, trophies, souvenirs, or keepsakes might be, if they suggest the owner’s personality, they should be packed off for revival until the home is sold. CNBC’s real estate commentator Diana Olick once put it succinctly: sellers should “clean up, clean out and put away” [most personal items]. The fact is, valuable artifacts can be off-putting, even if it’s understood that they won’t be staying. Likewise, knickknacks that “add personality.”
Personal personality is the no-no.
Generally, if the potential buyer gets a definite feel for the homeowner’s personality, that means she or he will have a harder time seeing themselves occupying the space contentedly. When visitors can picture the home as their own, they are much more likely to start thinking, “our sofa goes there” and “this would be Billy’s room”—thoughts that are encouraging first steps toward what winds up prompting an enthusiastic offer.
In short, disappearing acts are true magic when you set out to sell your house. We have a few more tips for setting the stage.
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Jennifer Tuttle is NC Real Estate Broker, SC Real Estate Agent, and a REALTOR®. Trained as an accountant specializing in taxation her passion for design caught up with her and she transitioned to a successful career as a personal assistant, and later a photo stylist. She combines her love of numbers and design and a passion for helping people into her real estate career. In her spare time, you might also find her on the lake, at the beach, or teaching a yoga class.