If you are planning to sell your Houston home, the chances are good that by now you’ve brushed up on the finer details of selling a home — like why you should stage it to sell faster. But home staging isn’t just about making the house look pretty for the buyer, it’s also the best way to go through your things and tuck away any items that shouldn’t be left out during a showing or an open house.
As hard as Realtors work to protect your home during showings, they are not infallible. And things go missing, or get broken once in a while. I have also heard tales of identities being stolen because sensitive personal information was left in view. That is why besides making your home more appealing to buyers bringing in a professional home stager will also get you the help you need to depersonalize your home to prevent the kinds of problems I’ve just described.
Protecting Your Valuables While Your Home is On the Market
If you are still occupying your home while it is for sale, jewelry, small collectibles and prescription medications should all be put away, and in places buyers aren’t likely to look.
Tucking these small items of value or meds in cabinets of homes or anything that’s considered attached to the home – closets etc – is a bad idea because buyers will look in there.
Here are some things I recommend when staging a home
Trinkets and Ornaments
Trinkets, collectibles and valued ornaments should be stored away. It’s understandable that homeowners love their our collectibles and want to show them off, but this isn’t the time to do that.
Where you choose to store your valuables is also key in keeping them safe. Ideally they should be removed altogether, but as that is not always possible they should at least be stored in places where sellers are less likely to feel it’s OK to look, like furniture and storage bins that don’t come with the property. You should also make your real estate agent aware of the fact that there are hidden valuables in the home so that they can keep an eye too.
Do you have a nice wine collection, or even a good stock of craft beer that you keep for entertaining? Do you have coin collections, stamp collections, even a collection of video games – and lots of homes have the latter? If so, they should be stored away as well.
Besides the fact you will be removing them from harm’s way it’s a part of the depersonalization process in home staging. Some people don’t approve of drinking, and some people dislike video games, so by removing such things you will be removing the risk of offending anyone.
It is unfortunate that any prescription medications left out will quite possibly go missing, but it is also a fact. Locking your meds in a box would be very inconvenient, but adding a lock to your medicine cabinet is something it’s fine to do. Even if the cabinet will remain in the home when it’s sold no one should think it’s okay to go through very personal areas like these and so it’s highly unlikely any homebuyer would give the lock a second thought.
Protect Your Identity While Your Home’s On the Market
Just the same way you wouldn’t leave a shiny gold necklace on the countertop, you also shouldn’t display any personal information for the taking.
Think about all the information that might be floating around your home and compromise your safety in other ways. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Put away all mail, especially bills. And don’t store it in a kitchen drawer, as any home buyer is almost certainly going to look in those. Instead invest in document storage boxes and store them there. There’s an added benefit here too, as you’ll be getting a head start on the packing you’ll need to do when your home does sell.
Most homes contain at least one desktop computer and many have more. These are often left in place when an occupied home is staged as a)you are still using it and b) they can be a good staging ‘prop’ if you have a home office or similar work area.
However, you should ensure that these are turned off when your home is being shown and even when they are that they are password protected, in case someone should decide to turn them on.