Depersonalize Your Home for Sale- Take The Home Out of Your House

Horrible Home Decor- Time to depersonalize your homeI ran across an article on the HGTV site about 10 Best Kept Secrets to Sell Your Home. Tip #4 was “take the home out of your house.”  I love that phrase.

Selling Secret #4: Take the home out of your house
One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it. The more personal stuff in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. Get rid of a third of your stuff – put it in storage. This includes family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes. Consider hiring a home stager to maximize the full potential of your home. Staging simply means arranging your furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space.

I recently had a couple of home sellers that really bucked me on depersonalizing their home.  While they did what I asked, they complained the whole way saying the home didn’t feel warm and inviting and the house felt sterile.  While they might not have liked it, it was exactly what I wanted.  They had a very distinct style that would not appeal to a lot of target buyers for their home.

Why do Agents and Home Stagers ask you to De-Personalize Your Home

Its all about depersonalizing your home so the home buyer can envision it as their home, not your home.  Give them a blank slate.

depersonalize your home
Outdated or highly personalized decor can distract home buyers from seeing the true potential of your home.

You Probably Love Your Decor But Your Buyer May Not

First off after many years in this business, I will tell you 90% of buyers need to connect emotionally to a home.  Without that emotional connection an offer is not going to be tendered.  When you depersonalize your home it allows a buyer to emotionally connect with your home.  They can picture their life in your home.

You have a style and you have probably surrounded your self with a style you like but when it comes time to sell buyers may have a hard time connecting to your home. Your decor may be such a turn off to the buyer that they can’t imagine getting your personal style and taste out of a home.  In some cases they maybe thinking how much it will cost to repaint the interior or redo a bathroom or kitchen to reflect their own style.

On the other hand if you take away much of the items that may give your home a certain look and style, whats left like tile, cabinets ect… while not perfect, can be viewed by the home buyer as something they can work with.

You want to depersonalize and neutralize your space to give it the broadest appeal possible.  Most people can work with a light grey or beige wall and tie in their belongings.  Left with a red living room all they can see is the work it will take to repaint!!

Depersonalize Your Home So Buyers Don’t Focus On Your Stuff

Remember, buyers are buying your home for their lifestyle.  They are not buying your home to recreate your lifestyle. 

Depersonalize your home to make it easy for home buyers to envision their new life in your home.  Depersonalizing your home will also help you de-clutter your home when you are packing up family photos, highly personalized furniture, decor and any collections.

  • Highlight features of your home don’t hide them.  Many times I will ask sellers to remove area rugs or buy a cheap neutral rug, usually smaller than what was there.  Why?  Highlight your hardwood floors not your oversized, expensive orientals!
  • I will also probably have you pair down window treatments.  Again, window treatments can easily change the look of a home from country to modern, or whatever…..  If you prefer modern you will hate country and vice-versa.  Secondly I want to show light and views…. that is whats staying and can’t be changed, window treatments can.
  • Maximize floor plans.  Many times I will ask a seller to pair down furniture. There invariably seems to be some items of furniture that have sentimental value to the seller, but does not fit the decor or impedes the flow.  It is important to open up floor plans and make a room look less crowded, thus making it look larger to a potential home buyer.
  • If a buyer spends time looking at your collection of snow babies, sports memorabilia or family photos that is time not spent looking at your home.
  • Definitely remove any religious or socially controversial items from your home.  Yes, remove your Mother Mary from the backyard, your Buddhist shrine from the bedroom, your confederate flag acting as a door, etc….  You don’t know who will be coming thru and who may be offended. 

Benefits of Depersonalizing Your Home

There are two potential benefits to depersonalizing your home.

  1. Your moving anyways.  Now is the time to get a jump start on packing.  Between depersonalizing and de-cluttering you can probably get a good third to half of your belongings packed way ahead of time making the actual packing easier when the time comes.
  2. You will have an easier time selling your home by giving it broader appeal.  Let’s face it selling your home isn’t fun.  Anything you can do to reduce the marketing time will probably get you a better price and create much less stress for you.
Take The Time and Depersonalize Your Home-  Final Thoughts

Selling can be an emotional time.  Once you make the decision to sell it is time to disassociate with your home and move on. There are many benefits to take the time to depersonalize your home.  Work with your real estate agent or a home stager to see what should be done.

Take the home out of your house to allow a potential home buyer to see it as their home.  Not yours!!

Tori Toth wrote an article How Can Staging Help Sell a Home for Bill Gassett a Hoptinkton MA Realtor. In her article Tori points out if you sell your car, your going to take the time to detail your car, why not do the same for your home.  While taking the time to depersonalize your home is just one part of the home staging process, why wouldn’t you take the time to “detail your home” to potentially increase your profit potential and decrease the stress that comes with selling a home.

Remember you are selling a house, not the personal items that make it a home.  Remove any distractions that will not allow home buyers to see the true potential of your home.


This article, Depersonalize Your Home for Sale-  Take The Home Out of Your House, was provided by Kevin Vitali of EXIT Group One Real Estate.  If you are selling your home, I have a comprehensive marketing plan, including preparing your home properly that will help get your home sold.  Call me at 978-360-0422 to discuss how I will get your home sold.



  1. says

    Great article. I especially like that you point out that declutteri g helps sellers get a jump start on moving. In my experience, that seems to be a step that makes sense to sellers.

  2. Mike Eastman says

    Excellent article! We’ve sold four properties using these ideas and all sold within a week. We depersonalized, removed at least one piece of furniture from each room and fixed and repainted as needed. Article is a receipe for sales success.

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