Redesigned Spaces ~ Fun Stuff Blog


You're loony...but your buyer's don't need to know

Yes I get it, you've got a great sense of whimsy! Maybe you're a bit loony too but your potential buyers don'tlady hold sign need to know. In fact the signs you've hung on your walls will conjure up all kinds negative thoughts in the minds of potential buyers viewing your home.

Please resist the urge to keep those witty signs up after I've advised you to take them down and pack 'em away. Now I'm no kill-joy, I'm just looking at your property though the buyer's eyes.

When you put your home on the market it is now a product that must appeal to the masses. You must disconnect emotionally from your home now and think toward the future!

Don't plead with me that these signs add to the charm of your home. That ain't gonna fly! These gems need to go and pronto.


On the Welcome Matt:

  • Go Away! ~ This one does make me giggle...but goodness gracious what a way to entice buyers.
  • We Serve only the Finest Wines...Did you Bring any? ~ I enjoy the finest wines too but do you want your buyer's knowing you have to beg for booze?

In the Kitchen:

  • Coffee & Buns Make the World a Better Place ~ I guess it depends on how fresh those buns really are.
  • I use the Smoke Alarm for a Timer ~ Home inspection pronto!
  • If We are what We Eat then I'm Fast, Easy and Cheap ~ Does your buyer need to know these intimate details about you?

In the Living Areas:

  • Bless this Mess ~ Really? No buyer wants to buy a previous mess and now that it's tidy, what was that mess?
  • Old Fishermen Never Die they Just Lose their Bobbers ~ Again with personal details!

In the Bathrooms:

  • The Camera is for Research Purposes only ~ Can you say creeeepy?
  • The 'If you sprinkle when you tinkle' sign..... ~ No one wants to have images of your messy potty habits.
  • Hazardous Waste Area ~ No comment needed here, frat house alert!

Leading to the Bedroom:

  • Stairway to Heaven ~ Yowsa, I have visions of an investigative news show inspecting just how clean those hotel rooms are, it ain't pretty folks!


So you still think potential buyers will appreciate your loony signs? Think again, your sense of whimsy will  send them negative subliminal messages. So save the funny signs for the new home where they'll be loved and appreciated! Need more tips when sprucing up your home? Check out the links below.

Curb Appeal Tips

Tips for Replacing Family Photos

Tips for Making Quick & Easy Faux Succulent Arrangements

Tips for Reupholstering a Chair Seat




copyscape do not copy

if you want to use a photo or some copy just email me... more than likely we can work it out

Comment balloon 38 commentsCynthia Bartch • May 11 2010 09:18AM


Thanks Cynthia for the fun post. Interesting points. Have a great Spring!

Posted by Melissa Juarez (Massachusetts Buyers Broker Agency, LLC) about 10 years ago

I am glad you were talking about the sellers...At first I thought the target was real estate agents and I ain't giving up any of my silly little signs! Sign..sign..everywhere a sign...

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Disagree on many of the signs as see them in so many houses. The ones with a scripture quote shows you the ideals of the person who lives there, the personality of the home, something the buyer can relate to. Have a cottage for sale just listed where they have the bedrooms listed as Green Room, Bridal Suite, etc. Two buyers we have shown the place considering it thought that was part of the camp, tells a story about the owners. The old black and white pictures of her dad from the 1950's with a roll of fish and his sporting buddies also helps the buyer think there is going to be years of fun, and a sense of history here. Don't see the risque ones you outlined and maybe it depends on your area you serve on what is funny, what is not.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 10 years ago

Melissa, you're welcome and you do the same.

Gary, yep this one is for sellers only, so you go ahead and keep your silly signs and please buy more :) Thanks for stopping by.

Andrew, now I agree that the cottage signs would add to the charm of the cottage as does the old black & white photo. But if there are many, many religious items all over the home it can be turn off to someone who is not of that religion. We have such a diversity of religions here in the Atlanta area. I advise to scale back quite a bit when it comes to that.

I have seen much worse concerning the signage, but to each his own. It can be a struggle to get them to understand that now that the home is on the market it's a product and they must appeal to the masses.

Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 10 years ago

Very humorous post about an important topic.  I totally agree with you...the signs need to go.  Sorry, Andrew, but I advice my clients to remove all religious references.  I agree there is some room for negotiation in a cottage, but more people are not going to "relate" to the scripture quote than are going to relate to it.  The more religious items or personal items you leave in place, the more limited you are making your buyer pool.

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 10 years ago

Good Morning Cyn,  How crazy are these?  I must admit I haven't seen those signs but I agree with you, they need to come down!  Good laughs for this foggy morning, though!

Posted by Mary Douglas, REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado (United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado) about 10 years ago

Sharon, I have to say the religious items are such a struggle in my area!!! It takes confirmation from the REA and maybe the support of the other spouse to rid or scale back on these items.

Now for the loony signs, clients really think they they add charm but are more willing to take them down. Thank goodness!


Oh Mary, now I'm beginning to think maybe it's my area??? Glad I could give you a chuckle this morning, always nice to you!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 10 years ago

Cynthia, though you make some very good, serious points you've done so in a hilarious manner! Great post my firend!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Hey Russell, I must say these clients are colorful and can be fun! Thanks for your kind words I appreciate it greatly!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 10 years ago

Hey Cyn, great post and it made me LOL.  In one house, belonging to a devoutly religious, wonderful  family, I knew that I was doomed about taking down religious artifacts when they started quoting statistics to me about how many people are of their faith and then followed by scripture. Needless to say the artifacts stayed.  Sometimes I think Andrew likes playing the devil's advocate...I don't agree with him most of the time but that's OK here on AR. 

Posted by Ginger Foust, Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging (Certified Staging Professional) about 10 years ago

These have their wit and humor, but I agree, put them in a drawer during showings.

Posted by Michael Delaware, REALTOR®, CRS, GRI (North Sky Realty LLC) about 10 years ago

Cynthia...I love the humor in most of your examples, but have to agree that removing them prior to showing will eliminate any negative impression.

cosmic cow

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 10 years ago

I think a looney sign every now and again can be a good thing if done in a tasteful manner.


Posted by Team Honeycutt (Allen Tate) about 10 years ago

Cynthia-  good and funny post.  Yes, there may be a seller who is happy to see the Looney signs or religious items around the house, but Seller... are you willing, especially in this market, to risk turning off even 1 potential buyer? 

I think 1 funny, cute sign in the right room might work but pack those that refer to body parts, body functions or well, you get the drift!

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 10 years ago

Love it!  It totally made me smile today, right before my sales meeting!  :)

Posted by Chris Alston, Silicon Valley, California (Chris Alston (Keller Williams Realty, Silicon Valley, California)) about 10 years ago

I'm happy to know my "Bless this house" sign didn't make your list.  And I was afraid the "Martha Stewart doesn't live here" sign would have to be packed if I ever sell, now I know for sure. LOL  How about my "Patriot" welcome mat?

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 10 years ago

Ginger, glad I could provide you with a giggle. Actually some of the signs had me laughing but then the home is supposed to the focus, right? It's the emotional attachment to a home & objects that can keep the seller from moving on so to speak. Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

Michael, some of the signs were witty but sadly I had to break the homeowners heart, they just had to go!

Carra, you are spot on, they will leave a negative impression! It will be known as that house w/ loony sign(s).

Shelton, I also have a loony sense of humor, in fact I think it may be documented somewhere ;-D but I explain to the eller when marketing a home you want to appeal to many prospective buyers.

Kathy, Ooooh you got it when you stated " but Seller... are you willing, especially in this market, to risk turning off even 1 potential buyer? Exactly!!!

Well Chris, it was my pleasure to send you off to your sales meeting in good mood!

LOL@ you Tammy, yes you may keep your 'Bless this House' but sadly the funny Martha sign is one I would advise to pack away, that's one I haven't seen before! Is the 'Patriot' mat as in a sports team?


Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 10 years ago

i realize that these signs might not be the most tasteful and probably should be put away. However, I really do not think a sign is going to dictate whether or not some is going to purchase a home. A sign wouldn't bother me anyway.

Posted by Drew Zinck (Drew Zinck Photography) about 10 years ago

As a stager I get feedback from the listings and I can say those personal signs can and do leave a negative impression. That is what my blog was about leaving a negative impression in the eyes of a buyer.

Hey Drew you never know what that deciding factor may be and I'd not chance it in this market.

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 10 years ago

Cynthia,  I thought this was insightful and hilarious.  Removing a sign is one in a list of things that can and should be done to make the focus on the house and not the furnishings.  Just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, what is funny or clever is also very subjective.  It's the cumulative things that a seller balks at doing that can make or break the way the home shows...and sells.  Refusing to put away family photos, insisting on leaving kids' toys out when they aren't playing with them, leaving shoes and "stuff" by the front door and holding on to sick or spindly plants might indicate to buyers that the homeowners could care less about making their home show well.  Buyers have only a short time to view a house.  Why slow them down with having to mentally strip the home of the current furnishings in order to visualize how their things would fit.  Making it easy on them to see the home as theirs can mean making a quick sale.

Posted by Pam Faulkner, Room Transformations Fairfax & Loudoun Counties VA (Faulkner House Interior Redesign) about 10 years ago

Great post, Cynthia! I don't think anyone has addressed this issue before!

Posted by Jill Banks,, South Jersey Home Stager (Happily Better After Room Redesign & Home Staging) about 10 years ago


Oh boy, I would say many of these should definitely be taken down. I just had a conversation with a potential seller that they had some decor that might turn off potential buyers. They understood and said they would remove the items.

Then there was another, I'll call it the gargoyle house. I never did get that listing and it was on the market for a LONG time. It eventually sold, but not until they moved out (gargoyles and all).


Posted by Judy Jennings, Broker - The Lanterns at Warren Woods - Ashland MA (The Green Company) about 10 years ago

Oh no, it's American Patriot as in I support my country and troops.  Of course speaking of sports.... it would be a bit hard to get my husband to put all his San Diego Chargers and Jimmy Johnson stuff away too.  Frankly, I realistically know I'd have to move and then sell my home.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 10 years ago

Hi Pam, you got it, the focus is the house. The client's personal possession's must enhance the architecture of the home. Buyers can be distracted by what's not sale ;-) Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

Hey Jill, But I'm sure they've run into before!

Judy, Judy, Judy you must have conveyed that thought in a very convincing way...Woo-Hoo to you! Hey I've had a Gargoyle house to, I must admit it was hard for me because I do like gargoyles...gotta keep the personal preferences outta the picture :-/

Tammy, I do hereby declare you are a great commenter!!! Oooh Jimmy Johnson collection....I'd have trouble packing that away too. P.S. your doormat is a keeper :)

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 10 years ago

Cynthia  I have one in my kitchen "I cook with wine - sometimes I put it in the food"  Of course, I'm not selling my house.  I agree with your premise  Karen

Posted by Karen Kruschka, - "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS" (RE/MAX Executives) about 10 years ago

Nope, Cyn, not just your part of the country!  Those "cute" signs have become a decorating "go-to" for lots of folks with something to say!  A recent house had about a dozen of them... mostly inspirational in a non-religious way, but as with anything too many is too many...Good post!

Posted by c m about 10 years ago


Those signs are popping everywhere!  The one word (inspiration) signs are OK (like Dream, Peace, Love) but I agree that the ones with lot more words like the ones you mentioned need to come down!    Thank you for the chuckles.  :) 

Posted by Gerry Khatchikian, ASA, TRC, SFR about 10 years ago

First of all I apologize for not responding to your comments on my blog in a timely matter because I sure appreciate them immensely!


Hi Karen, Ooooh I really, really like that one. Your home sounds perfect, wine and that delicious bread your husbands makes!

Hey Cheryl, Wow a dozen??? I agree w/ you a few signs here and there but a dozen is a bit over the top :)

Hey Gerry, Oh man I have seen worse in a few homes but did not want to blog about them. I will admit some of these made me giggle too :-D

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 10 years ago

Hey Cynthia, I came back because I wanted to mention that I have to be careful myself at times so that my clients don't think I am a bit looney! Hope you are doing well!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Oh PU-LEAZE Russell we all know you're way loony so I suspect your clients do too! Buy the way that was a compliment. I suspect you & your wife are the 'It' couple in Austin!!!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 10 years ago


Those signs make me giggle even if it is the second time I am seeing them and visiting this post.  Just came back to say hi.   I hope you don't think I am loony!   :)

Posted by Gerry Khatchikian, ASA, TRC, SFR about 10 years ago

Oh come Gerry, you are moosely loony...but in good way ;-D If we live our lives without a smidge of lunacy it would be regrettable & boring!!!

Glad you came back to check up on me, thanks!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 10 years ago

I personnally love the post-its with instructions concerning which light goes with which switch.  Recently, did a home with instructions for which issues to note on the report.  "Dear Home Inspector, don't note the garbage disposal in your report, we intend to replace it."

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) about 10 years ago

I might also add to take the heads of all those dead animals off the way. Talk about creepy.

Posted by Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer (Russel Ray) about 10 years ago

Oh my Jack, don't they know the garbage disposal issue would be a violation of your rules????

That would be a turn off for a large demographic Russel, YUCK! I always advise to remedy that situation on my consults much to the clients dismay.

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 10 years ago

Great advice Cynthia... but I need to know where to buy some of these signs. They all had me cracking up. My favorite is 'you are what you eat'.

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 about 10 years ago

Oh John, I will not tell you because your wife would kill me & you! They were funny, oh the things we see in a clients home!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 10 years ago

This one really made me laugh,....I just now saw your post as it was reblogged.  Thanks for the giggle!

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach ( (757) 560-0881) about 10 years ago

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