Why You Should Take Down Personal Photos When Selling Your Home

Family photographs are a crucial piece of most home decorating styles. Homeowners want to display happy memories and cherished loved ones, often reserving special places of honor in the home for frames dedicated to those that have passed. The Washington Post reports that many homeowners are moving toward dedicated decorative spaces rather than the blast of frames that once dominated the walls randomly in many homes. Regardless of how you use your family photos and other personal snaps, removing them might be a good idea when selling your home and preparing for an open house.

In an exclusive interview with House Digest, Jon Sanborn, the co-founder of Brotherly Love Real Estate, notes that a staggering 37% of potential buyers consider the furniture and decorations in a home they're viewing. This flies in the face of a well-understood reality that the house will be virtually empty when a buyer eventually moves in after the completion of the sale. Nevertheless, décor persists as a visually transformative element in a home on the market. Therefore, it's critically important to assess the decorations in your home and remove anything that might take away from a buyer's ability to 'see themselves' in the property. This often means scaling back on your personal items, specifically any family or personal photographs that might dominate much of your wall space or a table area.

Taking down photos lets the space breathe

Personal photographs are a great way to customize your home. However, if you're selling the house and moving on, you'll want potential buyers to consider ways to tailor this space to their style. Your photos may stifle this creative thought process as they tour your home and wonder if they can and want to make the property their own.

The National Association of Realtors reports that some real estate agents recommend shedding every personal image from the property. This can give a home the blank slate to let the space shine for potential buyers. By removing these personal touches, a homeowner allows viewers to gain a better sense of the potential personalizations that they can make in the home. Similarly, because many homeowners don't include a coherent stylization in their use of family and personal photos, these features can take away from the property's aesthetic in a meaningful way.

But sometimes photos can make a room appear homely

However, it's worth noting that you don't always have to remove the entirety of your collection of photographs. Tasteful snapshots of family members or the activities you've shared with loved ones can add personality to the home, per The National Association of Realtors. According to the organization, a few family-style images can add a sense of warmth to the space. David Kassel, the owner of a picture hanging service in New York, notes: "With a family photo wall, it may be a good thing if it's done really well, so people can imagine their own family there," via The New York Times.

The key to incorporating your personal items in any staged home is a strategy for decorating. The property must retain an air of immaculacy. Buyers often look for minute details and potential problems that might make the home a property to pass on. After all, a real estate purchase is a big decision, and getting stuck with issues in the house can add significantly to the total cost. If your home feels cluttered because of the photos you keep on walls and in other spaces, removing them is the best option. But if you've carefully curated a wall of images or some other décor style that makes the photos a decorative piece and not just personal mementos, leaving them in place may work in your favor.