Don't Take Depersonalizing Personally

Many people do not understand why they need to remove all their family photos from the home when selling. We frequently hear the argument, "But when I bought this home, the previous owners had family photos everywhere." After which they usually say, "Oh, but it was on the market a year before we bought it."

When people view your home, they walk in wondering if this could be their new home. As soon as they see a picture of someone else's family, they are immediately reminded that this is someone else's home. They stop imaging their family there and start viewing it as your home. This stops them from "mentally moving in" and emotionally connecting to the home, which means they most likely won't make an offer.

depersonalized living room1

This living room is a clean slate where buyers can easily imagine enjoying life

depersonalized living room2

This same living room, with a family portrait above the sofa, looks like it has been claimed by this family and is difficult to envision your own family in the space.

I distinctly remember being about 16 and going to an open house with my family. I was in a bedroom that was beautifully styled with lush bedding, built in bookcases, and soft blue walls. The sellers did a great job making the home very appealing for buyers. I imagined myself doing my home work there, hanging out with my friends, painting my nails, etc. I was "mentally moving in" and could see myself having a great life there. Then I turned and on the dresser was a small framed picture of a girl and her friend in sunglasses at the beach. Suddenly, I felt odd imaging myself living in this girl's bedroom. It no longer was my future dream bedroom, but someone else's bedroom. I left feeling a bit voyeuristic because I had placed myself living in this bedroom that was someone else's. This is exactly what we are trying to prevent!

Family photos up in your home when you live there is sweet. It is one way we make a house a home. However, when your home is on the market, it is now a product you are selling. Removing all family photos is necessary, but don't take it personally. Think of it as the first step you take in emotionally disconnecting from this home so you can start looking forward to your new home, where you can proudly put them up again.