Are home viewers impressed or deterred by personal items?

When selling a home, are viewers impressed or deterred by personal items?

Readers of property media in South Africa, says Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group, are frequently given advice on how to prepare their home for a viewing and especially for a show day. “The advice given is generally sound and boils down to the simple fact that the more time and cash that the seller spends on preparing the home for viewing, the better the price the seller will likely get for it.”

One question on this subject, however, which is often asked but on which there is no consensus of opinion, says Rawson, is “Should the owners’ personal items be on display or not?”. “Put another way,” he says, “the question is, ‘Does the imprint of the owners’ personalities on the home improve or detract from their chances of selling it?’” Family photographs, school, university and business awards, highly personalized artworks or books, aeroplane or train models, sporting equipment and sporting photographs can tell the visitor a great deal about the owners. The question is whether this will be beneficial to the sale.

“My experience,” says Rawson, “is that it is not the details of the items on display that influence people: these may or may not arouse envy or contempt. What does count, however, is whether the home gives off a feeling of having housed a happy family or couple. A home in which the people, whatever their difficulties, have been kind and loving to one another will, in my experience, somehow project this.” “In preparing a home for a viewing, the seller must make use of as many “aids” as possible, for example: fresh flowers should be placed around the home and all pet or smoke odours should be eliminated.”

Via Rawson Properties

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