Mike's Macomb County Real Estate Blog

Depersonalizing Your Home, Can You Overdue It?

I think most will agree that when you list your house for sale, you should depersonalize it, meaning take down personal pictures, etc. The thinking is you want the buyers to focus on your house and its features not your personal life!

I'm not one to make a big deal about taking down personal photos, unless there are an excessive amount of them, it doesn't bother me that much with my listings as long as the home is in show condition. I know some agents are sticklers about this and will make recommend their sellers take down even 1 personal picture.


Recently I was showing a house to some buyer clients of mine. It was a nice listing, not a foreclosure or short sale, I know shocker, huh? Anyways, the house was in really nice shape, showed well and had some nice updates including a new kitchen with granite. I have been working with these particular buyers for a while now and I thought this one had most of the things Mr. & Mrs. Buyer were looking for. We went back for a second showing but I knew it was not the one. They weren't excited about it, you could just tell. So I asked what they liked about it and what they didn't. One of the dislikes was a certain aspect of the floor plan which I had already kind of figured, but more than that, Mrs. Buyer said there was just something about it, she said it didn't look lived in, there was no personal touches anywhere. Now this home was painted neutral colors, had neutral carpet and hardwood and was clearly occupied, but as I looked around I had to agree. There was nothing on any of the walls or counters or shelves. I think they over did it, depersonalizing the home. I'm sure a professional home stager would have had solutions for this house.

So fellow REALTORS(r) what is your opinion?


And current and future home sellers remember, don't make your house look like it's not a home. Also, consider hiring or consulting with a professional home stager.




Looking for a Great agent in Macomb County? Let me GOOGLE one for you. 

 Mike Mitchell -REALTOR®                                                               
 Real Living Kee Realty 


Call / Text: (586) 291-2652


 Email Me



Search Macomb County MI Homes for Sale   


 Mike Mitchell - Real Living Kee Realty     


Comment balloon 6 commentsMike Mitchell • May 04 2011 10:14PM


Great post. I agree it must have something to catch the prospects eye. Color is key. Some can not get over the plain empty it does not grab at them

Posted by Edward moloney, Loan Officer Providing 5 STAR SERVICE (Edward Moloney Loan Officer GMH Mortgage Services) over 7 years ago

Hi Mike: I just had a lsiting and people thought it was very sterile... some thought too sterile... I tried to add warmth by putting on soft music, baking cookies, etc... working around it... we had multiple bids...  I think you can overdo the lack of personal touches.. I agree... some human touches helps..

Posted by Gay E. Rosen, As Real as Real Estate Gets! (Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty) over 7 years ago

Mike, a few personal pictures don't bother me. I would rather see some pictures of the kids than a totally blank wall.

Posted by Rose King, Friendswood / Pearland / Houston Bay Area (David Tracy Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Sometime "de-personalizing" can make a home boring if you're not careful.  Even though the furnishings aren't sold with the home, I've seen buyers become much more interested in homes that were decorated beautifully.  It helped the buyers see the homes potential.  Of course, you need to remind the buyers to look with a critical eye, because those fancy furnishings won't be there when the sellers move out!  Consequently, when there are just too many accessories, the buyers are distracted by all the stuff and can't focus on the actual floorplan and features.

Posted by Melanie Hedrick, 972-816-7205 (Elite Texas Properties, the best homes from McKinney to Dallas!) over 7 years ago

Mike, there's a middle ground and I agree either extreme is not ideal. I've been in some houses that really did feel cold and unwelcoming, it's probably more than just pictures or no pictures.  Does the house feel inviting? Not all houses do!

Posted by Diane McDermott, Charlotte NC Real Estate Market (Realtor®, GRI, Landis e2 Real Estate, LLC) over 7 years ago

Edward - Thank you. Yes, something to catch the prospects eye.

Hi Gay, yes there were just no personal touches in this home.

Rose - that's exactly what we saw - Blank Walls.

Melanie, I agree with you, it's a fine line you have to find some middle ground.

Hi Diane, it's hard to explain because I didn't feel it wasn't inviting. My client said it looked too much like a model but like I said it was clearly occupied. I think you're right, too much to the extreme.

Thanks for the comments everyone!

Posted by Mike Mitchell, REALTOR (R) (Real Living Kee Realty) over 7 years ago