So, you decided it’s time to move after creating years of memories in a beautiful home. Congratulations. Did you take pictures of those memories? Great. Are those pictures hanging around the house? I bet. Collect them all and stuff them into a box. Prospective buyers don’t need to see your smiling faces in the kitchen nook. If they do, they won’t be able to imagine their own smiling faces in the kitchen nook.
After you discard all photographic evidence of your family, you must also discard all physical evidence of your family. Did you measure your growing child’s height on a corner of the wall? Well, your doctor has those exact measurements on file, too. Paint over it. Then, replace all artwork with blank canvases. The blanker, the better.
Did your kids stamp their hands in wet cement on the sidewalk? That’s sweet, but fill it in. If you really need to remember what your kids’ hands look like, ask them to show you their hands. If your kids aren’t there, stare at your own hands. They should look about the same.
It’s quite simple, really. You must remove all traces of your family from this home, including but not limited to: little piles of shoes on big mats, big piles of shoes on little mats, souvenir snow globes, and all television remotes. Figure out how to watch TV without them in the meantime. They don’t belong in a well-placed bowl on a coffee table. They belong in the garbage.
Now, let’s talk about furniture, because yours is terrible. I don’t care if your couch is lived-in comfortable. Replace it with a sleek, white leather piece. Then, never sit on it. You may only drink water from now on, and you may not eat within five feet of the sleek, white leather piece. In fact, don’t even look at the sleek, white leather piece.
There are absolutely no throw pillows allowed, unless they are aspirational.
Your bed has got to go, too. When prospective buyers walk into your bedroom, they don’t want to think about your debilitating sleep apnea. They want to think about how they will be lulled into a deep sleep by the soft, white noise of the wind whispering between blades of grass in the backyard.
By the way, you will be sleeping in the backyard until your house sells, just to let the whole place air out.
If you could also remove all the hanging pots and pans in the kitchen, that would be great. It reminds people of needing to wash dishes, which is not ideal. If your microwave is visible, hide it. Microwaves make people sad. You’ve probably already used your stovetop and oven, but, if at all possible, please go back in time and just don’t touch them.
Remove all shovels and extra light bulbs from the garage. Please never keep a car in there, only a brand-new teal bike with a wicker basket.
Remember, it’s all about making buyers think they can live their best life in this house. So, we ask that you only keep one single book visible, and that the book be an autographed copy of Then Again, a memoir by Diane Keaton—hardcover, of course.
Before the first open house, you should always do one last sweep to make sure there is not a single sign that your family lived there. People often forget to remove a single roll of paper towels or any and all toilets. Just bring these into the backyard with you. Feel free to use the paper towels as a blanket.