September 19

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Essential Tips from Real Estate Experts: 9 Things You Should Always Conceal During a House Showing

9 things you should always hide before a house showing according to real estate experts

When potential buyers come to view your home, you want to make sure they see the best version of it. This means removing any items that could distract or make them feel uncomfortable. Real estate experts suggest hiding these 9 things before a house showing:

1. Personal photos: While it’s nice to see the people who currently live in the home, it’s important to give potential buyers the opportunity to imagine themselves living there. Put away family photos and other personal mementos.

2. Medication: It’s best to keep your medications private. Not only is it a privacy issue, but potential buyers may also have children with them during the showing. Make sure to keep these items locked away.

3. Pets: While pets are cute and can be a great addition to any home, not everyone feels comfortable around them. If possible, it’s a good idea to have someone take care of your pets during showings or, at the very least, keep them in a separate room.

4. Wedding photos: Although your wedding day may be a happy memory for you, potential buyers may see them as an intrusion into their own ideas of the home. It’s better to put them away for now.

5. Kids’ toys and artwork: While it’s wonderful that your kids have made your home their own, potential buyers may have a hard time imagining themselves in the space with all your kids’ things around. Put away these items to create a blank canvas for buyers.

6. Empty liquor bottles: If you enjoy a drink now and then, it’s no big deal. However, leaving empty liquor bottles out can give the impression that you drink excessively or that the home has been a party house. It’s best to remove these items.

7. Dirty laundry: Nobody wants to see your dirty laundry—literally. Make sure to have a quick clean-up before showings and put away any clothes that are lying around.

8. Half-finished projects: If you’ve been working on some home improvement projects, it’s best to leave them out of sight during showings. Potential buyers may be wary of a home that needs a lot of additional work.

9. Gardens in need of attention: While you may be proud of your green thumb, potential buyers may not have the same enthusiasm for gardening. If your gardens are overgrown or in need of attention, it’s best to tidy them up before showings.

By following these tips from real estate experts, you can create an inviting and attractive environment for potential buyers to envision their own lives in your home.

1 Cleaning supplies

When you’re getting ready to show your house to potential buyers, it’s important to make sure everything is clean and presentable. This includes not only the visible areas of your home, but also those hidden spaces like closets, cabinets, and drawers. One category of items that you should always hide during showings is cleaning supplies.

Rachel Elliman, the editor of Douglas Elliman’s newsletter, says that cleaning supplies can give the impression that your home is not well-maintained or that it needs a lot of work. “If you leave your cleaning supplies out, people may think that you don’t keep your house clean on a regular basis,” she says.

Instead of leaving your cleaning supplies out in the open, it’s a quick and easy fix to tuck them away before a showing. This way, potential buyers can focus on the best features of your home rather than being distracted by the cleaning products. Plus, it will make your home feel more inviting and organized.

2 Family photos

When it comes to a house showing, it’s always a good idea to hide personal items that might distract potential buyers. One category of items that you should definitely consider hiding is family photos.

According to real estate experts, having family photos on display during a showing can make it difficult for potential buyers to imagine themselves living in the house. They might get distracted by your pictures and find it hard to picture themselves in the space. So, if you’re serious about selling your home, it’s best to tuck away those adorable pictures of your kids or that cute photo from your wedding in July.

“Family photos fall into the category of personal items that can make it harder for people to envision themselves in the space,” says Rachel Elliman, an editor at Douglas Elliman. “You want potential buyers to be able to see themselves in the home, not be reminded that it’s someone else’s house.”

Adding to the idea, experts also say that family photos might make some people feel uncomfortable and invade their privacy. “Not everybody is comfortable with the idea of strangers looking at pictures of their loved ones,” says Learka Douglas, a real estate agent. “It’s always best to err on the side of caution and remove those items during showings.”

So, whether you have a collection of family photos around the house or just a few scattered here and there, it’s best to place them out of sight during house showings. Give potential buyers a blank canvas to imagine themselves and their own family living in the home.

3 Photos of you and any political figure

When it comes to preparing your home for sale, there are certain things that real estate experts recommend hiding or removing before a house showing. One category of items that falls into this “hide” list is photos of you and any political figure. Here’s why:

  1. Political affiliations can be divisive: Displaying photos of yourself with a political figure can potentially alienate a large portion of potential buyers. In a multicultural and diverse society, it’s best to create an environment that appeals to as many people as possible.
  2. It’s important to let the house speak for itself: When potential buyers come to view your home, they want to imagine themselves living there. If they see political photos, it might distract them and make it difficult for them to envision themselves in the space.
  3. Don’t let personal beliefs overshadow the home: By removing political photos, you ensure that the focus is on the home and its features rather than on your personal opinions and affiliations. This allows potential buyers to evaluate the property objectively.

If you’re attached to these photos or they hold sentimental value, it’s understandable. You can simply store them away for the duration of the house showings and bring them back out once the sale is complete. Remember, the goal is to create a neutral space that appeals to the widest range of potential buyers.

4 Your college diploma

When preparing your home for a showing, it’s important to consider every aspect of your space. That means not only tidying up and decluttering, but also thinking about which personal items you should hide. One item that real estate experts often recommend hiding is your college diploma.

While earning a college degree is a significant achievement, displaying your diploma during a house showing may not be the best idea. This is because your diploma is a personal item that can distract potential buyers from focusing on the features and layout of your home.

Some people may argue that displaying your college diploma can give potential buyers a sense of the kind of person you are and the accomplishments you’ve achieved. However, it’s important to remember that the goal of a house showing is to showcase the physical attributes of your home, rather than your personal achievements.

Instead, it’s best to leave the diploma tucked away in a safe place during a showing. This way, potential buyers can focus on the functionality and potential of your home, rather than getting caught up in your personal history.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should hide all personal items during a showing. Some items, such as cute family pictures or quick snapshots of your pets, can help create a warm and inviting atmosphere. However, it’s important to strike a balance and not overwhelm potential buyers with too many personal items.

Real estate experts recommend removing other personal items as well, such as wedding photos or pictures of yourself and your family. These items can make it harder for potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space, as they may feel like they are intruding on someone else’s life.

Another item that experts recommend hiding during a showing is medication. While it’s important to prioritize your health, potential buyers may feel uneasy seeing medications in the bathroom or kitchen. To create a welcoming and comfortable environment, it’s best to tuck any medication safely away.

Ultimately, the goal of a house showing is to showcase your home in the best possible light. By hiding personal items like your college diploma, you can help potential buyers focus on the features and potential of your home, rather than being distracted by personal mementos.

5 The Barbie Dream House

One of the items that real estate experts recommend hiding before a house showing is the beloved Barbie Dream House. While it may seem like a cute addition to a child’s room, it’s best to keep it out of sight during potential buyer visits.

Rachel Elliman, an editor at Douglas Elliman, says, “When people are walking around your home, you want them to be able to imagine themselves living there, rather than thinking about the stage of their own children’s playtime.”

So, if you have kids and they love their Barbie Dream House, sorry, but they’ll have to give it up temporarily during showings. That being said, it’s a good idea to let your children know beforehand so they understand the reason behind it and don’t feel upset during the process.

Experts also suggest hiding any other toys or play items that may be too personal or childhood-specific, as potential buyers may have a hard time envisioning their own lifestyle in a space filled with someone else’s toys.

Furthermore, leaving children’s items out can make a home feel cluttered and less spacious. It’s important to create an open and inviting environment for potential buyers.

Another category of items that should be hidden is personal photos. While you may be proud of your family and want to showcase happy moments on your walls, real estate experts recommend taking them down during showings.

“People should be able to imagine themselves in your home, rather than feeling like they are intruding on someone else’s space,” says Learka Bosnak, a luxury real estate agent for Douglas Elliman. “That includes your wedding photos and pictures of your kids. You want potential buyers to feel comfortable and able to envision their own memories being made.”

So, whether you have a Barbie Dream House or cherished family photos, it’s best to hide these personal items during house showings. By creating a neutral and welcoming environment, you’ll give potential buyers the opportunity to see themselves living in the space and make a quick decision to buy.

  • Sorry, but your kids’ toys, including the Barbie Dream House, need to be hidden during showings.
  • Children’s items can make a home feel less spacious and cluttered.
  • Personal photos, like wedding pictures and photos of your kids, should also be removed.
  • Create a neutral and inviting environment to help potential buyers envision themselves in the home.

6 Pets

6 Pets

Hide, Give Away, or Stage Them

When it comes to selling your home, pets can be a potential obstacle. While you may be proud of your cute furry friends, not everyone may share the same affection. Real estate experts suggest hiding or giving away your pets before a showing to make the house more appealing to potential buyers.

If you have a pet that doesn’t do well with strangers, it’s a good idea to hide them away in a separate room or in a kennel. This will prevent any potential accidents or incidents during the showing and allow the potential buyers to focus on the house without any distractions.

If you have well-behaved pets that can handle being around strangers, you can consider staging them in a way that adds to the overall appeal of the home. For example, a cute dog or cat can be placed in a cozy corner with a bed or blanket, giving the house a warm and inviting feel.

Keep Pet Items Out of Sight

Keep Pet Items Out of Sight

In addition to hiding or staging your pets, it’s important to keep their items out of sight as well. This includes food bowls, litter boxes, and toys. Potential buyers may be put off by the presence of these items and it can make the house feel less clean and spacious. Store these items away in a closet or designated storage space before the showing.

Also, remember to remove any photos or pictures of your pets from the walls and shelves. While you may love seeing your furry friends’ cute faces, it’s best to create a neutral environment that allows buyers to envision themselves living in the space.

Be Mindful of Pet Smells

Pets can sometimes come with lingering odors that may not be noticeable to the owner but can be detected by potential buyers. To combat this, make sure to thoroughly clean your home and address any pet-related odors before a showing. Use air fresheners or open windows to allow fresh air to circulate throughout the house.

It’s also a good idea to refrain from using strong fragrances or pet-specific air fresheners, as they can be overwhelming and off-putting to some people.

Hide Medications and Pet Accessories

Hide Medications and Pet Accessories

In addition to hiding your pets and their items, it’s important to also hide any medications or medical supplies. Potential buyers may have allergies or concerns about pet-related medications, so it’s best to keep these items out of sight.

If you have any pet-related accessories, such as leashes or grooming tools, it’s also a good idea to store them away. This helps create a clean and clutter-free environment that appeals to potential buyers.

Consider Boarding or Enlisting Help

If it’s not possible to hide or stage your pets for a showing, you may want to consider boarding them or enlisting the help of a friend or family member to take care of them during the showing. This way, you can ensure that your pets are safe and comfortable while potential buyers are touring the house.

It’s important to communicate with your real estate agent and discuss any concerns or accommodations needed for your pets during the house-selling process. They can provide guidance and support to help make the selling experience smoother for everyone involved.

7 Valuables and medication

When you’re preparing your home for sale, it’s important to consider not only the physical appearance of your house, but also the safety and security of your valuables and medication. Real estate experts recommend hiding these items during showings to ensure their protection. Rachel Learka, editor of the Elliman Insider newsletter, says, “You want potential buyers to feel comfortable and focused on the home, rather than distracted by personal items.”

Here are 7 valuables and medications you should hide during house showings:

  1. Jewelry: Valuable jewelry should be locked away in a safe or hidden in a secure location. Make sure to keep important pieces out of sight to reduce the risk of theft.
  2. Electronics: Expensive electronics like laptops, tablets, and smartphones should be stored in a safe place. Consider covering them with a cloth or placing them in a drawer or cabinet to keep them out of view.
  3. Medications: Prescription medication should always be hidden from sight. Place them in a locked medicine cabinet or store them in a secure container. This not only protects your own privacy but also prevents potential misuse or theft.
  4. Valuable documents: Important documents such as passports, social security cards, and financial records should be kept in a safe or hidden away. These items contain sensitive information that should not be accessible to strangers.
  5. Cash: Keep cash hidden and secure. Avoid leaving large amounts of money lying around, as this can be tempting for dishonest individuals.
  6. Expensive artwork: If you have valuable artwork or collectibles, make sure to remove them from the walls or place them in a secure location. This helps prevent accidental damage during the showing.
  7. Family heirlooms: Family heirlooms may hold sentimental value, but they should be safely stored during house showings. These items are irreplaceable and should not be left out where they can be easily damaged or stolen.

Remember, during a house showing, potential buyers will be walking around your home, exploring various rooms. It’s best to assume that people may open cabinets, drawers, and closets to get a better sense of the storage space. By taking the time to hide these valuables and medications, you can create a safer and more focused environment for potential buyers to truly appreciate your home.

8 That creepy stuffed animal

When potential buyers come to view your home, they want to imagine themselves living in it and creating a space that reflects their lifestyle. That’s why it’s important to hide certain personal items that might distract or give off the wrong impression. One such item is a creepy stuffed animal.

Real estate experts say that everybody has different tastes and preferences when it comes to décor, and something that may seem cute and innocent to you could be off-putting to someone else. That’s why it’s best to remove any stuffed animals or other toys that might be perceived as strange or unsettling.

“Sorry, but that creepy stuffed animal needs to go,” says Rachel Elliman, editor at Douglas Elliman. “Leave the cute teddy bears and dolls for your kids’ rooms, but when it comes to the rest of the house, it’s best to keep things neutral and free of personal items that could make potential buyers feel uncomfortable.”

Adding to this idea, Learka Gardens, a real estate agent with Douglas Elliman, says, “You don’t want anything that could give people the wrong impression. It’s better to err on the side of caution and hide those items.”

If you’re proud of your collection of stuffed animals or have sentimental attachments to them, don’t worry. There are plenty of other ways to showcase your personality and style during a house showing. Keep reading for some ideas!

9 A standing fan

When it comes to staging your home for a showing, there are certain items you should always hide according to real estate experts. One of these items is a standing fan.

Rachel Douglas, editor of the lifestyle category at The Zoe Report, says that people often overlook the importance of hiding a standing fan during a house showing. She explains that a standing fan can give the impression that the home doesn’t have proper ventilation or cooling systems, which may be a turn-off for potential buyers.

If you have a standing fan in your home, Douglas suggests hiding it before a showing. She advises homeowners to think of the items they would prefer not to see when they visit someone else’s home and then take steps to hide those items in their own home.

While a standing fan may seem like a harmless and functional item, it’s best to hide it during a house showing to give potential buyers the best impression of your home.


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