Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk: Your Family Photos Could Cost you Money at Closing.

Your Family Photos Could Cost you Money at Closing.

Jo Soss

tells us a great example, of why it is so important to stage your home while selling it.  I have personally seen buyers walk out of the door before giving the home a chance.  TMI.  ( To much personal information)


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Over the last couple of days there have been a couple of blog articles written about family photos and the "should they stay or should they go" controversy.  Tanya Nouwens writes 3 Common Home Staging Myths which is a really nice article and gives her reason why she likes to leave some photos.  I agreed with her reasons.  I also understand why some agents and staggers might disagree.  It is all up to the seller and their real estate team I suppose. 

Then yesterday I came across Donald Tepper's article Family Photos In Staged Homes: Are We Ignoring The Elephant In The Room?

Donald's article really got me thinking.  I never think about race or ethnicity in my business.  I see everyone as equal and can't even imagine a buyer not buying a home based on the photos they see or an agent for a seller using the seller's race as a reason to remove photos.  I just don't think that way. There are no "elephants" in my business.

Family Photos



But, it did get me to thinking.  Thinking about some showings I had this past spring.  My market area is surrounded by two Navy bases. Naval Base Kitsap - Bangor and Naval Base Kitsap - Bremerton.  The Navy can be very small at times.  Being a Navy spouse I have seen this.  Move cross country and find out the military member is being assigned to a unit where they know several members from prior duty stations.

On showings of a military member transferring (PCS'ing) here from Georgia we went into a home that had all of it's owners personal belongings around.  The home had not been staged and nothing seemed to be packed away.  As we went from room to room we knew that the sailor was a submariner and stationed at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor.  We even read on a plauqe what his name was and what his rank and rate were.  





The name sounded familiar to my buyer so he got on his cell and called someone he knew here.  Sure enough Military Memrobiliait was a person he "knew of".  He chatted away with someone on base who gave up lots of detailed information.  The person on the other end knew that the seller was retiring and had already left the area.  The wife and kids were still living here until school was out and then they wanted to move quick.  The house was going to cause a problem if it didn't sell and close by June. 

So here with one phone call we found out the motivation of the seller all because of some photos and personal belongings.

This was information that my buyer talked about.  I could see the wheels turning as he made comments about how aggressive he could be in his offer if he chose this home.  The seller showed his cards and I thought for sure my buyer was going "all in" if he made the offer. 

So, yeah now I have changed my mind about photos and personal belongings - they should go. At least I have a story to tell my future sellers if they have objections on removing photos.  This will help them understand how important some staging is.




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Comment balloon 4 commentsTere Rottink • October 08 2010 09:03PM


Wow!  It's a small world, isn't it.

Posted by Tim Maitski, Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal (Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage) about 10 years ago

Hi Tere,

         Great example of why the family photos should be put away for safe keeping when it comes time to list your home! What a bizarre (and interesting) story. Your right, home staging is important and your clients are lucky to have you on their side leading them down the right path.


Posted by Laura Pearlman Broker Associate, Excellence Through Experience and Resourcefulness (Gold Crown Unlimited, llc ) about 10 years ago

Tere this is certainly one additional reason to remove the photos when listing a home.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) about 10 years ago

A very good example of what can occur when photos are left up . . . and one that will definitely resonate with your clients. Thanks.

Posted by Donald Tepper, DC area investor helping heirs of inherited homes (Long and Foster) about 10 years ago

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