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Protect Your Privacy before you Put Your Home on the Market to Sell

Getting your home ready to sell? Before putting your home on MLS and scheduling showings, be sure you protect your privacy.

You know you need to repair anything around the house that’s broken, fix cosmetic blemishes, and clean your home thoroughly. Maybe you have researched and learned a bit about home staging and how to style your home to appeal to the most buyers.

What’s often forgotten are the things behind closed doors, but easily accessible. You aren’t used to having strangers in your home when you aren’t there. Especially ones that will be investigating everything.

Granted, they will be escorted by a realtor, so large things like your television aren’t going to just walk off. But it’s the details of your life that need to be protected.   

Realtors typically know a lot about the buyers they represent, but oftentimes buyers bring family, friends & kids along as they view possible homes. Bottom line, you don’t know all the people who will be touring your home & everyone has a phone with a camera in their pocket. 

Not to be a fear monger, but it’s important to be informed and consider all possibilities, from the worst-case-scenario criminal to the well-intentioned but wild-spirited child.


Not to scare you, but think about the people arriving to view your home like REALLY nosy investigators - they will inspect EVERYTHING! Inside cabinets, closets, drawers etc. to see what kind of storage they will have.

And remember, every family is different - children may not be closely supervised and get into your things to entertain themselves. (You have been to restaurants and out shopping enough to know that there are many different types of parenting - some more disciplined and some more carefree.)

Make sure cleaning supplies are out of reach and kitchen knives are packed away. It’s easy to forget the toddler stage of life if it has been awhile since you have been around young children. Also, pre-pack priceless breakables, or family heirlooms. If a piece of gum or sticky fingers could ruin something important, pack it away.

Don't leave out anything where personal information can be seen. Remember, identity theft is rampant. Take it with you, store it off site or keep it locked away.

  1. Social security cards, birth certificates, bank or retirement statements
  2. Take extra keys/remotes with you!  
  3. Log off all computers, take down family photos, put away all bills, credit card statements, tax records, anything with your families name on them or social security numbers. Even daily mail. 
  4. For children’s safety:  Put away photographs, calendars of events, items with your children's school name on them, wall art with their name, monogrammed backpacks/blankets
  5. Lock up any firearms, knives, or weapons of any kind  
  6. Hide/Lock up harsh chemicals/cleaners
  7. Take medications with you.  Prescriptions are a highly stolen item!
  8. Hide/Lock up valuable jewelry or put in a safety deposit box
  9. Hide/Lock up extra cash or credit cards
  10. Hide/Lock up small handheld electronics

inspiration photos taken at Huntington Homes builder model in Prosper, Tx - designed by IBB Design.

It’s easy to assume buyers would never look in spots we’ve tried to forget about, like that junk drawer you keep meaning to clean out. But when you’re staging your home to sell, be prepared for buyers to look behind closed drawers and doors. Nothing is off limits. It may be your home now, but they’re wondering if it can become their own. Buyers are mentally ‘trying on your home’ - seeing if it will fit their life & things.

Another good way to think about this process is to prepare your home as if it were going to be broadcast on national television - if you wouldn’t want something shown on reality tv, don’t leave it accessible! Remember, everyone has a video recorder & camera in their pocket - and many share their daily life on social media (maybe more than you would feel comfortable showing of your home).

So, just be smart with all your personal items: Lock it up or take it with you when you leave the house. There’s a lot to think about when selling your home - it’s best to be prepared, think ahead and have peace of mind.

Wishing you a safe and happy home selling experience!

-The Decorating Coach-

P.S. Enjoyed this article? It was written from 1 of the tips found in my FREE guide 'Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid when Staging a Home to Sell'. Click here to get the full pdf guide delivered to your inbox! (Yep, it's FREE)


Want to learn more about Staging your Home to Sell?  If you want a convenient, easy-to-follow path to styling your home to appeal to buyers, click here for more info and to contact us about your project.


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