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What Sellers Shouldn’t Display in Their Home Office

Take a lot of the “you” out of your home office space, like college memorabilia and other personal items so buyers can see themselves using it.

NEW YORK – The home office has become an important space to stage, but certain memorabilia could turn off some buyers who view the property in-person or online.

“For more buyers to see themselves in that office space, you’ll do well to take a lot of ‘you’ out of it first,” Chris Haro, a real estate professional in Hilton Head, S.C., told Apartment Therapy.

For example, real estate pros and stagers say college degrees and other homeowner achievements on display should be removed prior to listing the house on the market. This includes regalia from your alma mater.

“Whether [buyers are] impressed or depressed or somewhere in between, these feelings will take a buyer’s focus away from the property or worse, turn them off of the property,” Haro says. “Maybe their son or daughter applied to that school but was rejected. Maybe they got accepted but didn’t graduate. Maybe they got accepted and still carry debt. Maybe they absolutely love your school or your course of study more than anything. It’s all a distraction from what we want them to be thinking about: Themselves in this property.”

Also, remove political signs or religious items to avoid giving the house a feeling like your “domain” and not theirs, Amani McGregor, a real estate professional in Los Angeles says.

Put away any work swag, too, like your company’s logo or any other confidential information that could be linked back to you.

Real estate pros also say it’s important to stage a home office for modern use, even if the seller doesn’t work from home. As remote work grows, more buyers are placing a home office high on their wish lists. For example, even the 2021 New American Home on display at this week’s virtual International Builders’ Show has a home office in what was originally slated to be a spare bedroom.

Source: “The Things Real Estate Agents Say You Should Never Display in Your Home Office,” Apartment Therapy (Feb. 5, 2021)

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