Posted by Liliana Sorescu on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020 at 6:09pm.

You've probably been advised to "neutralize" your house before putting it on the market. But what does that mean?

It means two things:

First, re-painting or re-carpeting, if necessary, to present a color palate that others can see as a backdrop for their own furnishings. That means using neutral colors and adding your highlights via removable objects, such as throw pillows, kitchen canisters, or towels, bedspreads, etc. 

There is a beautiful, correctly priced home in a southeastern resort town that has gone unsold for the last few seasons, simply because the master bedroom has maroon walls. Of course  buyer could repaint, but instead they pass it by. 

Wallpaper, especially if it is dramatic, can also put buyers off. Most know that they would need to hire an expert to remove it and prepare the walls for new paint. They'd rather skip that kind of expense. 

Second, it means removing personal photos and mementos that make the house uniquely yours. 

When buyers enter a house filled with photos, trophies, collections, etc. they feel like they are invading someone's home. They somehow can't visualize the house with their own belongings in it. 

In some cases, potential buyers become focused on looking at the pictures and reading the names on trophies to see if they know someone, or on examining an interesting collection. In short, those objects take attention away from the house and put the focus on the present owners.

In other cases, the owner's belongings create what to some is a "vibe" or an energy they don't want in their own home. Those impressions can come from political or religious materials, or from weapons and hunting trophies. Those buyers believe that the energy remains when the occupants leave, so they move on to a different house. 

The bottom line is that when your house is for sale, your goal should be to make it look as much like a model home as it's possible to do while still living there. 

If you wonder whether something in your house should be changed before you list, call me. I'll be glad to take a look and offer advice.  

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