Before you show your home to prospective buyers, before you have a photographer take photos, you’ll need to take care of a few things.
Popular theft targets
Firearms. Either strongly secure all firearms (safe, not dresser drawer), or remove them from the house completely. Keep a firearm on your person if necessary or in a gun safe for home defense, but sport rifles, hunting rifles, collectibles, etc should be removed and stored off-site. People who steal weapons use popular home search sites to find homes with them on display. NEVER leave a loaded weapon at home while it’s on the market. Just don’t.
*Note. As an agent, when I see a weapon that isn’t secured, I will call off the showing immediately, thank you very much, time to go. I don’t know if it is loaded and will not take the chance that someone decides to play with it.
Other theft targets.
Medications: Not as common as firearms as a target, but easier to steal. Put Rx meds out of site at the very least, and for any controlled substances consider locking it up in a small at-home lockbox.
Wine/Liquor: Liquor cabinets can be a popular target as well, so if you have expensive bottles that are hard to replace, secure them.
Electronics like laptops, iPhones & iPads, Kindles, Airpods, and Cell Phones need to be secured.
Accessories like jewelry, watches, designer handbags and shoes should be boxed up as well.
Even with an agent in tow, buyers can split up and be in different rooms at the same time. Even the most diligent agent can’t watch all of your home all the time. A good agent will qualify their buyers before bringing them into your home, but not all do.
You’re going to sell your home right? That means you’re going to move. That means you need to pack your stuff. Create a clean space in the center of your garage (leave access to all the walls), get a storage unit, or have a pod delivered. Pack as much of your stuff as you can. Take a walk through some new construction model homes and look at how they’re decorated. The more open and simple the better. Basically, if you can live without it for a few months, pack it. Consider hiring a stager to help you determine what says and what goes. A good stager can help you rearrange items you already have to look better than you probably thought possible. Expect to pay at least $250 for their report, and more if they assist you. The upside is that it makes it easier to unpack when you move because you can save those boxes for later and only unpack the essentials. (This is also a great time to donate to charity. Goodwill, Salvation Army, and St. Vincent's are good options)
Additional items to pack Include
Any dead animals (heads, stuffed, mounted or no, furs, etc.
Religious icons. Buyers should be able to walk through your home and not know your religion. I love God and am not ashamed to show it, but when a buyer sees your God and not their own, it makes them feel less like they can live there. Silly, yes, but true.
Political items - Like the news anchors of old, a buyer should be able to walk through your home and not know your political leaning.
Collegiate decor/items - I love Ohio State and proudly sport some Buckeye Bling in my office. However, when it's time to sell, all that goes away. It won't get you a buyer, but it may cost you one. Really.
Family photos - There are several reasons, some psychology, some security, but int he end, photos of family just should be put away.