Staging a home has long been credited with helping a home sell faster. If you're staging a space you're still inhabiting, you might be tempted to leave up those family pictures to create a warm, inviting space that will attract potential homebuyers. After all, it can only help to display all those wonderful memories that were created while living under that roof, right? Not necessarily.
Take photos down or leave them up?
There are definitely two camps when it comes to leaving photos up, but here's why it makes sense to just take them down.
It neutralizes the space
When potential buyers come through an open house, they want to be able to visualize themselves living in the home. Family pictures remind them your home is still very much yours. Feel free to replace your family photos with other artwork if the walls are looking too bare.
It removes distractions
This isn't meant to insult the intelligence of any homebuyer, but family photos tend to be the "shiny objects" of an open house. As the home seller, you want buyers to focus on your refinished floors, those brand-new stainless steel appliances, or that spa-like master bath -- not your wedding portrait or photos of your kindergartener's graduation. In short, you want buyers to remember how much value you've added to the home, not how photogenic your family is.
You'll get started on packing
This is by far the most practical reason on the list, but it’s a good one. The mere act of starting to pack up personal items can make the move feel real and create a sense of urgency in packing up the rest of your house. The photos are likely making the move with you, so why not cross them off your to-be-packed list?
You'll protect your personal life
Yes, there is that little thing known as social media that allows complete strangers to stare at pictures of you on the internet. But even on those open platforms, you can turn your account to private. By leaving family photos up, you're allowing people to see you in the place you live. At best, you might have nosy homebuyers asking the real estate agent questions to get to know more about you. At worst, well -- let’s not even go there. So if you want to preserve your privacy and your family’s safety, take the pictures down.
The bottom line
While it’s wonderful you've made beautiful memories in your home, potential buyers are looking forward to making memories of their own. It's better to take down those frames from walls and shelves so all eyes are on your home, not its inhabitants.