Depersonalizing is a phrase that is thrown around in real estate these days. It is a pretty vague concept and can be used to describe numerous things- neutralizing paint colors and furniture, removing religious and cultural decor and taking down items specific to the seller and their family. Today I am talking about the latter, but will go over the other topics in future blog posts.
Last year I had a shoot in a semi-vacant home (owners had moved to their new home and staged the old home with some of their extra furniture) and they forgot a few things- all of their photos and were resistant to take them down. I am talking about photos on every thing that was standing still, at least 100 frames filled with all the photos that could fit. As the photographer, I was overwhelmed. I am sure when prospective buyers came, through they had the same (or worse) reaction. Even with the right price, pro photos and a great agent, the house took months to sell.
Too much personalization can be a negative in a few ways-
The most obvious issue is buyers see your face all over during their showing and could have a hard time picturing themselves in the home. Some buyers will leave the house with the feeling that this is "John and Jane's home" and not the buyer's new home.
Another factor to take into account is all of those personal items can be very distracting. We, as humans, are a very nosey bunch. When buyers are supposed to look at the ins and outs of the home, they are looking at all of the pictures and memorabilia. They are busy creating stories in their heads about all of the photos that they are looking at, rather than noticing the recently finished wood floors and designer wall colors. When they leave the home, some buyers may be able to recount where the sellers went on vacation but not have a clue about the type of appliances or flooring.
I suggest removing all but 2-3 photos from view, it will give buyers a clean slate to help them visualize your home as their next home.