'We’ll take down all of these family pictures.'

9 times of out 10 a home seller brings this up before I do. It’s the one 'must do' that all humans seem to know when preparing their home for the market. I’m not sure why. Someone important must have said it once. The original Nate Berkus, I guess.

Yes, you should take down most of your pictures. Most but not all.

There are two good reasons to leave family a picture where it lys when your home is on the market: one aesthetic, the other is more subtle.

1. Sometimes Your Home Doesn't Look Good Without Them

Take down Grandma’s black and white picture from beside your bed. Your bedside table won't look too bare without it. The three photos of your kids on the dresser can be stashed in a drawer. Hide the bachelorette party pics on the bathroom wall for sure.

But when the only picture hanging in the dining room is a beautiful wedding photo, that is as much art as it is family portrait, that should stay. Take it down and now there’s an empty wall. A blank void where, obviously, your favourite memories once hung. That makes the home seem stark and off-balance.

I was in a home last week that had beautiful feature build into a wall where a collage of family photos hung. It looked great. They used the space the way it was designed to be used. Now they were panicing about what to do in that spot. 'Leave it' was my advice. Let every buyer that comes into your home imagine their family photos hanging there and enjoying them everyday.

2. Buyers Want To Know About You

The person that buys your house will be remarkably similar to you. They will likely be YOU when you moved in.

They want to feel a connection with you. They want to trust you.

And Buyers are snoopy. They always try to figure out who is living here. What’s their deal? Why are they selling?

We want them to think that this house has run it’s course in your life. You’re moving on to bigger and better things. Someday the new buyers will too.

When a pregnant couple walks through a home and sees pictures of a happy family with 7 and 5 year old children they think, 'That will be us one day, in this same house.' 

The potential buyers are also going to make a judgment about your character. Are these people hiding anything? Have they maintained this home? Have they been proud home owners?

When there's no indication of who you really are, their minds wonder to strange places. They get more snoopy. Now they're convinced this house used to launder money and recruit terrorists.

So in less you've got something to hide, a few pictures will give the new buyers confidence that they can trust you, and that this home worked for you during the previous stage of your life.

There are way more important things to do get your home ready for the market. I'll write about that next week. 

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