I don’t mean to be rude, but why you’re selling your home is nobody’s business and, the reason why may be used against you in negotiations. It’s my job as your agent, therefore, to ensure that your privacy is protected and I take this part of my job very seriously. You need to do the same.

One of the things I hear most frequently from my buying clients is “Why are they selling?” Maybe they’re just curious, I think to myself. But, maybe, just maybe, they want some ammo to use in beating you up on the price. Hey, it’s not far-fetched; I see it frequently.

Suppose you and your husband are divorcing. You’re driving each other crazy living in the same home and all the two of you want to do is get out of the marriage, out of the house and into your new life. That’s a pretty compelling reason to sell the house quickly, right? What would a buyer do with this information? Sure, right now we’re in a sellers’ market and buyers are a dime a dozen, but in any other market, you may just be desperate enough to move on that you give away what you otherwise might not.

So, let’s take a look at ways you can protect your privacy while your Madison home is on the market.

1. What’s that pile of stuff on the kitchen counter?

Letters from law firms, relocation companies and your lender may all be dead giveaways as to your circumstances. Not only that, but there’s an identity theft issue to think about. I listed a home once where the seller’s credit report was on her kitchen counter and she had two active credit cards in the kitchen “junk” drawer. Get rid of anything that is of a sensitive financial nature and anything that may give the buyer clues as to your motivation for selling.

2. If the walls could talk

Believe it or not, they do. What does a new college degree, framed and posted prominently on the wall say about you? Maybe that you have lots of student debt and need to get out from under a house payment? Kids items strewn throughout the home with no pictures on the walls of Mom and Dad may suggest a breakup. One of the reasons we suggest decluttering the home is that you will rid the walls of anything of a too-personal nature. This is good for staging and guarding your privacy.

4. Magazines, books, CDs and DVDs

That copy of Sonoma Magazine, in a Madison home, is rather a dead giveaway that you may be selling because of relocation to California. Books and trade journals can all be clues as to how you make a living and that is certainly nobody’s business.

When selling your home in Madison, don’t give potential buyers personal information that might give them the edge in negotiations. There is also the issue of identity theft to be aware of while strangers are parading through your home. Lock it up.



Posted by Jolenta Averill on
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