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  • Writer's pictureRita

Home Selling Dilemma: To Display or Not to Display Family Photos?

Selling your home is like packing up a bag of precious moments and memories, I understand! One of my top pieces of advice during Buyer’s Eyes Consultations is to depersonalize the property by removing personal items. You've probably heard that this is the way to go, but does it mean saying goodbye to every cherished photo? Not quite!

Let's keep the goal in mind...The aim is to present the property in a way that helps potential buyers imagine themselves living in the home and experiencing the lifestyle it offers. So, find that sweet spot between showcasing your life and welcoming potential buyers into their future home.

pare down, less is more

Sure, depersonalizing is about making room for imagination, but who says you can't leave a few snapshots of your favorite moments? The trick is to be selective. Instead of drowning every surface with photos, pick a handful that tell your story and are not specifically about you or your loved ones. Take a stroll through your place, pick out a few family/people photos that make your heart happy or you cannot live without and tuck them in a special drawer or cabinet. Save those personal favorites for your own enjoyment and bring them only out after MLS Photography, Open Houses, or Showings.

In order for a buyer to “feel home,” they need to NOT be reminded of this being your home. We’ll depersonalize the space while retaining the warmth and fun of photos. You'll achieve that by switching out the family pics for neutral scenes – it's like giving your home a fresh coat of paint which could work for everyone’s style preferences.

How to make that switch without breaking the bank? Grab some beautiful calendars or art cards from your local bookstore. Swap them in for your personal pics, and voila – a budget-friendly yet impactful solution.

Steer Clear of Controversy

While you're at it, let's steer clear of any photo controversies. Anything that might make a potential buyer do a double-take? Pre-pack them!

As an example, a beautiful maternity shoot may be a treasured photo for the seller, but perhaps may turn off buyers. So, whether it's religious, political, or a bit too personal, leaving out décor that is polarizing may offend a potential buyer and distract them from the beauty of the home. Put your best foot forward by highlighting the best features of your home not your ‘personal things’.


For the chosen few photos, let's talk frames. Sure, over the years, you might have gathered a bunch of frames as gifts. While it's absolutely fine to have a mix, I suggest keeping metals and styles consistent when it comes to frames on your tabletops and shelves. Go for simple – sleek black or white frames with clean white mats, nothing too fancy or attention-grabbing. Consistency is your best friend here, modern and timeless.


In a Nutshell, selling your home doesn't mean erasing every bit of you from it. It's more like finding the right balance, letting your home tell a story that resonates with whoever walks through the door.

So, it's perfectly fine to sprinkle in a few personal photos when you're staging your home for sale. Just keep in mind the potential buyers and use my advice on choosing and displaying those cherished moments.

-Rita Hanisch-Dunbar

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