Selling Your Home – Protect Your Privacy
Before you begin the home selling process, you want to make sure that no confidential information is left laying around. Any additional information that the buyer gets a hold of will work against you. Therefore, carefully consider the material you leave behind in your drawers, closets, and on your walls, and make sure to lock away all your mail.
Preparing your home for open house does not mean shoving your paperwork to the side and into the drawers so that it is not visible. In fact it most likely will be found. Often time buyers will unintentionally run into these types of documents during their inspection. A recent example of such a situation involves a buyer who was examining the kitchen drawers. The buyer unintentionally came across the seller’s net sheet which indicated that the seller expected a lower offer. With this information the buyer was immediately at an advantage; knowing this they did not think twice about bargaining for even a lower price than the seller’s expectations. Closets are another common place that sellers leave personal records in.
Make sure to fully clean out the closets, leaving nothing behind, or as an alternative stage them. Even the type of clothes left in the closets tells something about you. For example, if the buyer notices that the closets contain only women’s or only men’s clothes this could be a clue about the status of your relationship; a divorce indicates that you may be under pressure to sell. If the buyer senses your desperate need to sell they will definitely make an offer that is well below your listed price. Also, take a closer look at the pictures on your walls.
Remove all the diplomas and wedding photos off your walls, this is information that the buyer does not need to know. Your diploma speaks more about you than you are aware of. The buyer will form a biased opinion of you based on your designation. For example, some may be cautious of buying a home from a lawyer, whereas a medical diploma can give the impression that you are burdened by student loans and need to pay them off ASAP. Furthermore, your diploma will also give a good indication of your age. Wedding photos may indicate your religion that a potential buyer is not fond of and may make the bargaining process difficult. Other documents, such as mail is often left laying around in many odd places.
People tend to leave their mail wherever convenient. With the type of mail laying around the house, the buyer can find out how much you own on your credit cards, they can find out about your mortgage payments or worse off notice that most of your mail is from collection agencies. Knowing this, the buyer will not offer the listed price.
If you are in the process of selling your home it is critical that you store away or lock up any personal information that gives an indication of who you are. People cannot help but form biased opinions, any documents that the buyer gets their hands on will only make the sale that much more difficult for you.