Protecting Your Privacy
Knowledge is power. The reason you have decided to put your home on the market is knowledge that can prove quite valuable to a potential buyer. Whether it is a divorce, death, debt or other reason you need to sell, it is a private matter and the buyer's knowledge of it will reduce your power at the bargaining table.
Following is a list of ways to guard your privacy while your home is on the market.
- See those stacks of mail on the counter?
They need to be put away. Letters from the finance company, overdue bills, and letters from law firms can all be a dead giveaway as to why you are selling your home.
- Clear the walls
Remove any degrees, certificates, etc. that you may have hanging on the walls. It's no-one's business that you just graduated from college (and therefore have a lot of debt) or hold an advanced degree (a sign of deep pockets). Family photos can also reveal a lot. A photo with only one adult can mean divorce or death. A recent wedding photo can imply debt.
- Clean the closets
Most people touring a home will naturally open your closets. Large closets are a wonderful selling feature, so folks are generally curious as to the size of your closets. All that mail and those diplomas you removed from the counters and walls? Don't put them in the closet. And remove anything from the closets that will disclose your current situation.
- Check the drawers
I hope you didn't put the stacks of mail in a kitchen drawer. Yes, potential buyers open drawers as well. Box up and remove anything of a personal nature prior to showing your home.
- What kind of magazines are lying around?
Trade journals, magazines and books can all be a clue to how you make a living. If Single Parent magazine is sitting on the living room coffee table it would be safe for a buyer to assume that you are either currently going through a divorce or have been divorced.
The bottom line is: don't give a potential buyer any personal information that could put them in a more powerful bargaining position.
Getting the House Ready for the Market (Part 1)
The Brag Book
Downsizing: It is not just for Retirees
3 Importat Tips for Selling a Vacant Home
2 Things to Know about Home Inspections
Selling the VA-Financed Home
The Ultimate Guide to Title Insurance
Protecting Your Privacy
3 Renovations that Will NOT Increase your Value