Homes and Backyards

10 Things Sellers Shouldn’t Keep in Their Home

May 7, 2024

Selling your home can bring a mix of anticipation and anxiety, but ensuring a seamless process goes beyond mere presentation and promotion. Allowing potential buyers to tour the property before making an offer is crucial. Yet, it's wise to remain cautious as you open your doors to strangers.

With that in mind, the Nivi Das Team suggests considering these ten safety measures to safeguard yourself and your family while selling your home.

 

Sensitive Financial Information

Ensure all bills and monetary documents are securely locked away to prevent prying eyes from wandering. Store them correctly in a locked filing cabinet to add an extra layer of security against potential criminals who may seek out important information.

 

Personal Photos

Safeguard your family's privacy by removing photos, holiday cards, and personal memories. This will help protect against scammers who use sensitive information to trick you into potential cons.

 

Valuables on Display

To mitigate the risk of theft during showings, keep valuable items like jewelry and expensive watches out of sight. Consider storing them in a security box, entrusting them to a neighbor, or placing them with a family member.

 

Prescription Medications

Some more personal items we recommend stowing away are medications and prescriptions. America is facing an opioid crisis with six times more opioid-related deaths and overdoses in recent years compared to 1999 (CDC). You never know who is touring your home, so it’s better to play it safe when it comes to prescription misuse.

 

Security Camera (without a sign)

If you have a security camera—or even an infamous RING doorbell— it's essential to display a sign notifying visitors of surveillance. This is a legal requirement in many areas and also provides transparency to potential buyers. Now, anyone attending a showing or open house of your property will be at ease and attentive when touring the home.

 

Relax About Cleanliness

While it's important to keep your home tidy when selling, avoid going overboard. Excessive cleanliness and rules can turn away potential buyers. So, adopt a practical mindset and remember that minor messes can be easily cleaned.

 

Pets in Listing Photos

We know you love your pets, but the presence of your furry friends might deter potential buyers. To increase your home's appeal, it's essential to remove evidence of pets, like dog kennels and cat towers, before taking listing photos. This will help prevent potential buyers from forming biased opinions about cleanliness or odors. 

 

Avoid Signs of Distress or Desperation

Avoid revealing personal circumstances like divorce or financial distress through obvious signs in your home. For example, if sellers are working through a divorce and need to sell the house, it’s not difficult to put the pieces together when the closet is half-full and half the furniture is gone. So, do your best to minimize any major home changes during the selling process. There’s no need to let buyers make assumptions and attempt to negotiate a lower price.

 

Hide (or Disguise) Safes

Before taking your listing photos, consider covering—or even disguising—your personal safes. Photos of your home will be advertised across the internet, so it’s always best to avoid drawing attention to these items. You can get creative by placing a cardboard box over those obvious safes to help maintain a low profile and protect your valuable possessions.

 

Absent During Open Houses

Finally, what is the #1 thing that shouldn’t be in your home during an open house or a showing? YOU! (We know that might sound a little harsh, but it’s true.) It’s important to give potential buyers the space they need during open houses and showings. Buyers are more likely to provide honest feedback when the seller is not around, and this allows your real estate agent to gather valuable insights and negotiate effectively on your behalf.

 

Please keep in mind that many of these scenarios don’t happen every day. Rarely do people maliciously target sellers, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

For more listing guidance and info on the Bay Area market, make sure to reach out to Nivi Das Team! We’re always here to keep it real when it comes to real estate.

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