Seller Tips: Depersonalization
After de-cluttering and staging, the third and crucial step before inviting buyers to tour your home is depersonalization. You want to make it easy for buyers to imagine your house as their home. This step can be difficult for some, especially if it’s been a while since your last move, because you might be very used to how your home looks and feels. It’s important that you use objective eyes when trying to depersonalize, and if those aren’t your own, you might want to use your agents.
Here are some tips to help you make your house appeal to the broadest set of buyers.
Start with the Walls
Wall décor, whether its pictures, curtains, or wallpaper is a common way that people personalize their home. A good rule of thumb for depersonalization is the hotel rule: would the decoration in question look out of place in a hotel room? Hotels are designed to be a comfortable, relaxing place, and although they might have some regional décor, like a sand dollar at the beach or a set of steer horns in the southwest, they’re usually quite generic. Generic doesn’t have to mean boring, however. Make sure as you’re removing items that you replace them with something to fit the space.
Neutral tones are better than bold or striking colors, and simple patterns are better than busy ones. Carpets and walls contribute a great deal to creating a color scheme, and are worth the effort to change if necessary. Furniture can contribute to a new palette with a new cover, throw or pillows.
Each room should have its own general color scheme to provide some contrast and character to different spaces. Check out some home decorating magazines for ideas; they are another great resource to help you depersonalize, as those arrangements are also designed to appeal to the broadest range of people.
Freshen it Up
Remember visiting friends’ houses as a kid, and each seemed to have it’s own familiar smell? Odor is a huge part of what makes a house feel like home; it’s as easy to fix as it is to miss when trying to depersonalize.
First you need to reduce the items which contribute to your unique smell. A rigorous, thorough cleaning covers most of the sources, but remember to remove obvious offenders like scented candles or incense. Substitute with products like Glade or Febreze, and choose subtle scents like fresh laundry or spring breeze, rather than stronger scents like lavender or chamomile. Adding green plants is another excellent way to filter the air and produce a fresh, new smell.
Depersonalization is just one step on the path to preparing your house for buyer tours. You want buyers to have a fantastic and irresistible first impression. It’s just as important to stage effectively and maximize your curb appeal to really wow your guests. For more information about these topics, check out our other posts here or give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you prep your home.