Make your Property Impersonal before the Open House

Creative Commons License credit: ArdyiiiIn the rush to fix up your property before you put it on the market, it’s easy to overlook the fact that whatever you leave in the house can tell the prospective buyer all about you. Did you leave a pile of mail on the counter? Or even in a drawer? Though sellers don’t often expect it, it’s not snooping for a prospective buyer to open drawers, the medicine cabinet, and the closets.

To make sure that you’re not leaving tell-tale information behind, remember to do the following before you show your property to the first buyer.

  • Remove all valuables. This is just common sense. It’s easy to get distracted by one person while another is ripping you off. This includes more than just money and jewelry. Remember artwork, rugs, and antiques.
  • Take down those pictures. They may tell the prospective buyer more than you’d like him to know, such as that you’ve just had a new baby (and possibly are forced to sell).
  • Lock up mail and important papers. Put them in your briefcase or the trunk of your car. You don’t want a buyer to see your market analysis or property inspection lying in a drawer.
  • Empty the closets. Closets, too, can tell a story about you. Is one half empty, indicating a sudden divorce or separation? Is it dusty and rarely used, indicating a hard-to-rent property?