Personalising the property for sale

An article from the series “The most common mistakes when selling real estate

When selling, it is important to depersonalize or depersonify your property.

What is real estate depersonalization?

Depersonalization means that you remove your links to the property as the owner, including how your family or any other people use the property. Some sellers see no sense in depersonalization, but this is a big mistake.

Error No. 7 – Not depersonalizing a property

Why is it important to depersonalize when selling a property?

Depersonaliztion of real estate is of great importance, and not only for emotionally centred people. By depersonalizing it, you will help potential buyers to sense the feeling of being at home during a viewing. If you manage to make people feel good, safe, and comfortable in your apartment or family house, just like they are at home, then the probability of selling to them increases. As discussed in an earleir article in this series, people buy real estate based on their emotions, and only then try to justify their decision with rationale. If the property maintains the feelings and personalization of the current residents or even past (deceased) residents, then the likelihood of finding a buyer can drop significantly.

How can I depersonalize a property if I am still living in it?

Depersonalizing a property that you still live in is a little harder than depersonalizing an empty one, but not impossible. In this case, try to remove all family photos from the walls and shelves before each viewing. Hide all your personal cleaning items (such as toothbrushes and make up) in cupboards or cabinets. In the same way, clothes and laundry should be hidden from view. This is the best way to create a neutral impression of the property. Similarly, avoid preparing or consuming food either just before or during a viewing, as the unpleasant smell can be off-putting. Instead consider creating aromas which may make your potential buyers feel at home, such as by brewing coffee or baking bread. Additionally, the fewer family members that are present during a viewing, the better. If your whole family is having dinner or watching a movie together, then this personification will make your client feel like they are in your home, not theirs. They will feel like they are disturbing your family life and will be less likely to linger and consider a property’s potential for them.

The overall impression of a property plays a key role in any sale. If the property is dirty or untidy, with scattered personal belongings, or the property does not look to be in a good condition, then a potential client may conclude that the owner has a messy personal life or finances, which may put them off doing business. The property is often seen as a reflection of the owner’s personality and as such can discourage some people from buying.

Check out what personalization looks like.

In tough property markets where there is lots of competition and a high supply of real estate, it is common to arrange for the “pre-sale preparation” of a property – often called homestaging. This is a relatively new service in the Czech Republic, so as yet we do not have statistics on its success rate available, however, the effectiveness of homestaging in other countries is clear. In the USA, for example, where this service is offered by real estate agencies as standard, the data suggests that “pre-sale preparation” of a property increases the selling price by between 5 and 10%.

The better first impression you can make about a property to potential buyers, the better sales results you can achieve, especially if you can remove the personal ties of the current inhabitants or users.

In our office we have an ‘in-house’ homestagers who prepare properties prior to viewings and photographing. It is one of the most influential services that we offer our clients. Feel free to contact me at any time for more information about homestaging.

P.S. If you’ve read this far, it most likely means that you enjoy sales and selling. In fact, would you like to work as a real estate agent? Maybe give it a thought, as we are always looking for people who have a passion for sales.