The reason you’re selling your home is none of the buyer’s business, and my job, as your agent, is to protect that reason from being known. Your job is to assist me by removing anything from the home that may be a dead giveaway as to your motivation for selling.
For instance, suppose you need to sell your home to take a job offer in another state. This is information that can, should the buyer have knowledge of it, diminish your negotiating power. The buyer will understand that you need to move quickly and may use that as a negotiating chip to knock down the price.
There is also the issue of identity theft to be aware of while strangers are parading through your home.
Read on for ways to protect your privacy while your St. Paul home is on the market.
The Mail on the Kitchen Counter
Past due bills, mail from the mortgage company and law firms can tell your entire story. Put them away. I once opened a kitchen drawer at a client’s home and saw two old, but still active credit cards right there for the world to see, and take.
Walls can Talk
While it makes good staging sense to clear the walls of anything personal (so that buyers can picture themselves living in the rooms), it’s also a good way to guard your privacy. A fresh college degree may mean lots of student debt. Family photos with only one parent may be taken as evidence of a break-up.
Clear out the Drawers, Cupboards and Closets
Buyers not only open drawers – they peer into cupboards, medicine cabinets and closets. A California agent’s online blog remarks about opening a drawer in a home and seeing the seller’s net sheet (a form that shows the seller how much he or she will make from the sale of the home) right there on the top of other paperwork. Remove anything of a personal nature from the home. Box it all up and put it in storage.
That copy of Single Parent magazine is a dead giveaway that you may be selling because of a pending divorce. Books and trade journals can all be clues as to how you make a living and that is certainly nobody’s business.
The bottom line is: Guard against giving potential buyers personal information that could put them in a more secure bargaining position.