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Selling Your Home? Stash Your Stuff!

I snapped the above picture today while I was lost in the Union Square Garage.  It wasn’t that I forgot where I parked my car – I clearly remember that it was parked in 3E.  Unfortunately, I had forgotten how to actually GET to 3E.  Saying it was a long day wins the understatement of the week award!  🙂

After seeing this sign over and over and over on my way to hiking through the concrete parking jungle, I was reminded of a post I’ve been meaning to write.

Ideally, if you are selling your home, especially in today’s San Francisco market, you want to take advantage of the recent surge of SF home buyers and present your home in the best light possible – which means you move out and get that bad boy staged.

But sometimes, that’s not always possible.  Sometimes, you need to live in your place during the selling process.

And while step one is getting your place looking uncluttered, clean, adding some welcoming touches (this is all stuff for another blog post), step two is stashing all of your valuables!

Why?  Well, as I’m sure you know, part of the home selling process is the quintessential open house.  And an open house means dozens, if not hundreds (if it’s marketed properly) people coming through that open house, with just a single real estate agent there answering questions.

Now, the majority of open home visitors are honest people.  They’re out and about on any given Sunday checking out some awesome homes in SF.  But not all are honest.  In fact, some are downright shady.  Yes folks, there are people out there that will steal your stuff!

Now, some things are obvious.

Hide your pearl necklaces, your Aunt Dottie’s fine china, and your diamond tiara.

Other things are not so obvious.

  • Hide your prescription medications (from opiates to painkillers, there’s a demand for this stuff)
  • Hide your costume jewelry (if you have good taste, the thief coming to your house might also)
  • Hide your bank statements, social security statements, etc. (identity theft is growing rampant and no need to give someone your address AND the rest of the info they need to steal your life)
  • Hide mementos that have any sentimental value to you (that dancing hula girl you had on the dash of your first car?  someone else might think she’s as cool as you do)
  • Even hide your over the counter medicines (some, like certain decongestants, have chemicals in them that some people use to make methamphetamines!)

Now, this is NOT a comprehensive list.  First, try using some common sense.  If you can’t decide what to keep and what to stash, ask your Realtor.  We have a good idea of what items should be put away.  You might want to get a safety deposit box and/or entrust a friend with their safekeeping.
Oh, and while these additional items below, in theory, shouldn’t even need to be listed, they should ALSO not be left around during open houses – some for safety/security reasons and others just because you’re trying to sell your house and not scare/turn off potential.  Oh, and ALL of these items are things I’ve ACTUALLY seen FIRSTHAND at property showings!  :-/ Listed in no particular order:

  • Handguns
  • Dirty underwear
  • Marijuana (even if it IS San Francisco and you DO have a prescription)
  • Swords/machetes
  • Naked pictures of your fiancee (even if they’re framed as “art”)
  • Crack-pipes
  • Dog poop (it’s bad outdoors, it’s WAY worse indoors!)
  • And, er, um, adult toys/movies/magazines

I’m sure this list, just like the last one, is NOT comprehensive.  But hopefully it at least gives you some food for thought and if not, at least a good chuckle. 😉