Today I had the opportunity to tour a colleague’s new listing that is coming to the market soon. The home was a stunning sprawling estate. Upon entering the master suite, I noticed there was a sitting room off to one side of it that the owner was using as an office/display for her most valued items.
Being somewhat of a wannabe fashionista myself, I immediately noticed several top designer labels… Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Christian Louboutin, Celine and more. Oh. My. Gosh. She had all of her coveted handbags and stilettos on display, complete with box tops. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a quick Snap. That Hermes is at the top of my list for Santa this year…
As I admired the homeowner’s collection, I thought to myself…wow. That Hermes is worth about $3,000, and that Chanel is over $10,000, that Louis Vuitton is easily worth $4,000… All in all I’d say she easily had over $50-75,000 in handbags and shoes on display.
Then I thought to myself how easily if a Realtor had their back turned that a potential buyer or open house attendee could swipe one of these items and toss it into a larger tote or handbag, or pretend it was their own and just walk right out of the house. The seller would be devastated! I mean this is not like a Kardashian’s closet where you wouldn’t even notice one missing…
While Realtors do their very best jobs to screen their clients and keep an eye on them during showings, you just never know what can happen and should do your best to protect yourself from loss.
I made my thoughts known to the listing agent who had no idea just how much the seller’s handbag and shoe collection was really worth. I told him I thought it would be wise for her to box up those items and store them somewhere out of site during showings. He agreed but said that the seller was very proud of her collection and wanted them on display, and even made sure the photographer who shot the listing took photos of it to put in the MLS.
However, he said he’d relay my sentiments. Hope she listens this time.
But this brings me to another thought on this subject – what should and should you not leave out and on display when selling a home?
WHAT NOT TO LEAVE OUT FOR SHOWINGS
It should be common sense that you shouldn’t leave money, guns, weapons, jewelry, expensive handbags or art items out on display. I also recommend clients put away personal family photos, especially of children, unless they want them photographed and on the internet which is where MLS photos wind up. They are also a distraction to potential buyers, who you want picturing their stuff in your home, not checking out your last family reunion photo.
Once when I was a relatively new agent, I was showing one of my own listings. I walked in to find the seller’s bong, weed, and about $100 cash sitting on the kitchen counter. True story.
Now – c’mon man. Common sense please!
I had to quickly hide the seller’s drug paraphernalia and cash and sent him a text to let him know where I put them and that it was not appropriate to have those left out for showings. His response? “Oh my bad. I meant to do that…”
WHAT TO LEAVE OUT
What to leave out? Decorative items. Fresh flowers. A plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. A pretty candle.
Remember when selling your home, to go as neutral and model home clean as possible so your personal items are not a distraction to a buyer. You want them imagining living in your home, not wondering how much the Louboutins cost.