Image of a battered teddy bear

Do you have a much loved toy? No matter how old we are it’s likely that we have some item from our childhood that we would never get rid of. It may be out in full view or hidden away in a cupboard perhaps even forgotten about. What ever it is and wherever it is there is something about it that means we can’t or don’t want to see it go.

Our home can sometimes be like that. Especially if we have lived there a long time we have created memories – the raising of children, years spent with a partner, the effort of creating a loving and comfortable home. This can create difficulties when the time comes to move. We can, even subconsciously, sabotage a sale. Here are some reasons why.

1. Personal Taste

Image of a selection of different coloured paint charts

When watching property selling programmes such as Secret Agent or Selling Houses I am struck by how frequently the presenter will give advice on an aspect of decoration only for the participant to respond ” …but I don’t like ….” Colour is one of those choices that people have strong opinions about. Remember the object is to sell your home, it doesn’t matter what you like because you are not going to be living there. Your personal taste isn’t the issue, it’s what buyers want that counts.

Approach your house from the perspective of a buyer. Assuming you are buying your next property, do a couple of viewings to help get in the right mindset (never view a property for the fun of it, it isn’t fair on the seller). You may be surprised how different you feel compared to how you feel about your own property. Be hyper critical, buyers will be!

2. Clutter

We all accumulate possessions, they may be items we have been given or inherited, mementos from a holiday or simply things we have chosen ourselves when shopping. Ornaments, photos and artwork in particular carry memories. These things are actually what makes a house our home. We may keep them for their sentimental value or because they suit our lifestyle. However, when it comes to selling it can mean that an extra piece of furniture makes a room feel cramped or the overall look is eclectic rather than harmonious.

3. Personality

Image of brightly cploured Moroccan leather slippers

All the things we have accumulated reflect us and who we are as people. I love to see the family photographs either individual photos in frames or the result of photo sessions turned into artwork. Personality can be reflected in the bright and bold decor, holiday souvenirs or furnishings. The problem arises when there is too much of the homeowner’s personality in the property. You are walking round on the viewing and it almost feels that the homeowner is there with you. This can inhibit the prospective buyer from picturing themselves living there. I am not advocating removing all personality, it is possible to go too far and make a space feel sterile. As with a lot of things it is a question of getting the balance right.

I know that leaving a property is difficult for people and they may not even be aware of it, I recommend taking time to “say goodbye” and focus on future – your life as it is going to be once you have moved. I can help through providing objective advice on what you need to do in order to present your property for sale. Call me on 07745 86182 or e mail me at