I would say "it depends".
(I am also in the middle of moving house, so hear me out....)
If you're planning on STAYING in the current house while the system is there, and you don't live in a high-crime area, It's probably safe to leave the system set up.
If you're planning on vacating the house while it's on the market, I'd definitely pack it up before taking any pictures.
Fortunately, in my situation, I own both houses, so it's just a matter of moving the stuff from one to the other. In other words, I got the expensive stuff out before it hit the market. I also live in rural NH, and, well....you wouldn't want to get caught breaking and entering someone's residence up here, if you catch my drift. 😉
If there's any doubt, err on the side of caution. Not worth the hassle, risk, paperwork and subsequent court appearances.
Or give up > 20% on a buy "as is" deal.
I suppose it would depend on what the housing market is like in your particular part of the country, as well as how much lag time there would be between the sale and your actually moving out.
If it's slow and there is a high probability of an extended delay, I would suggest just moving your components out of camera range, take your pictures and then move everything back.
@zerofox Any good realtor will tell you a "well staged" house looks best in the pictures, can increase the value and make the sale faster. IMHO your system is easy on the eyes and adds value. I have seen many rooms that should be packed up beforehand.
Recently I put my own house under contract. I took photos with the equipment (on the main floor) and wrote on the listing that all AV equipment is excluded from the sale and that the walls will be restored to their original condition. In the basement, I did not do photos of HT on purpose since all of that isn't staying, and I did not want to draw attention to that and avoid displaying the excessive equipment. I had zero issues with the buyers on the subject; everything was clear from my listing.
As a suggestion, get an IP Camera that records 24/7 and install to cover your equipment. Advise the agent to have the buyers sign the appropriate form (consent to video/audio recording).
Then there’s the packing… it’s very easy to underestimate the time needed and to pack what you want to pack not the movers.
Start packing early. Esp if you have plans for internal wall wiring…
Photograph everything before you let people in your home.
Install a cam above is a solid idea.
Run some nice quiet music in the background to create a memorable experience?
I would leave the equipment, IF it is a nice organized setup.
Gives an idea of the size, how the room can be used
Gives an idea about 'the seller' i.e. cares about this and PROBABLY cares about the quality of other stuff, might influence me to go see that house, thus increasing your # of potential buyers, perhaps just the right one!
when I shoot equipment to sell, I often let my system be blurred but included in the background, view other side with artwork, books blurred in background: IOW, this item comes from a quality household. I think it helps.
And, I have always had music during packing, last stuff on the truck; 1st off the truck, 1st thing assembled, music while unpacking, even in temp quickie setup.
I've got 3 systems, probably the basics of the shop/garage system would be last out/first in
I would say NOW!
I moved from USA to UK had everything set for the move. Shipping company, Airline tickets and all that. But I kept putting off actually packing everything in boxes. Boy was that a mistake. Came the day and in the end I had to leave a number of very useful things behind.Alarm clock, bed, dresser, pots, pans, dishes,silverware, glasses, cups, kettle, Which in the end I have to buy all over again.
"But Joe, what about the all important stereo and computer? "
Oh, they were already packed.of course I maybe procrastinator, but I'm no fool.
Determine what is your highest priority -- selling the house and moving or listening to music for a few more nights?
The emotional basis of someone buying your house is that they imagine themselves living there. Do you think the average buyer will make an emotional connection with your system and imagine themselves listening to it? The average consumer can relate to a big screen TV, a treadmill machine in the basement or a double oven in the kitchen, but not to audiophile systems. Most will consider it an eyesore and as such it won't help the sale.
If it helps sell the house leave it up. Highly doubt you will get burglarized unless you have Gucci displays and ATM's in your house. Most will be clueless.
If you're moving due to a dissolution of marriage, I'd recommended packing up everyting NOW. And, anything else that has value to you. Including the water out of the waterbed.
I agree with @bigtwin. If you are going to be living there for a while, then leave the system set up so you can listen. Mostly potential buyers want to be able to visualize what they would do with the various rooms in a house. Your system does not clutter up the room and should not have a negative impact.
If you are concerned from a security aspect with pictures of your system being posted in the listing, then buy some dark sheets and cover the speakers and components when the pictures are taken. Open houses are another consideration. Unplug your system, put the speaker grill covers on and, if you don't have speaker covers then, maybe buy a couple of heavy duty winter AC unit covers to put over the speakers. You don't want somebody or their kid poking their finger through your drivers.
At the very least, definitely put the grill covers on the Wilsons. If the speakers in any way protrude into a walking path, consider moving them closer together or closer to walls. Open houses can get busy, and there are often growing families where children are not always monitored. All it takes is one toy scraping on the side of your speakers to make you regret not packing them.
I agree with others that a staged environment helps more than hurts, and your setup is fairly minimal and looks sophisticated. Little details like that gives prospective buyers a quality of your character, which adds to the confidence of buying the property.
Best of luck!
Good Luck with selling your house.
Your level of equipment you own warrants being put away. You do not want pictures out there unless you are selling the equipment. I sold my home 2 years ago and thought I would wow people with my background music. I then opened up Pandora's box. Some people wanted it included with the sale. I also had a person who looked at the house call and wanted to know If he could come back and show his friend the system.
@zerofox As mentioned above, have some music playing softly. A little Chet Baker perhaps. I spent most of my life in sales and can tell you emotions play a huge part in the decisions. You are trying to seduce the buyer. Your system may be what makes your house memorable among many the buyer has seen. Another trick is to have baked some bread just before people come over. The smell stays in their minds and produces good feelings about the house. The last time I had my house on the market, I would vacuum the carpets just before a showing. Without fail, you could track the footprints right up to the front of the system. People just love to look at something they have never owned and it sticks in their head. Use it to your advantage. A little "please do not touch" sign should be all you need. Have a little faith that other adults will show some respect. After all, these aren't people off the street and there should be a realtor with them. Bast of luck with the sale.
I wasn’t going to trust my babies to just anyone, so a few days before the movers came, I rented a trailer and packed everything in it and a few other fragile items. I left a receiver and some Yamaha speakers so I wouldn’t be without music.
All the best.
I left my system standing while our last house was on the market. The horns needed to be custom crated--and the crates would not have fit through the door of the room. And where was I going to stash all the gear and records- at the time I had around 17k LPs-- I wasn't going to put that stuff in the basement despite dehumidification systems (and the horn crates would not fit through the basement door either).
I just told the realtor--make sure nobody touches the tubes or any gear. When I told him some of the prices, he blanched, but got the message.
The presence of the system did not, in my view, affect salability.
Once we went to contract, everything got packed, home theatre-- two 6 foot racks--were stripped of gear and disassembled, carpeted areas replaced, holes patched and painted. And we did it in whirlwind fashion. I packed the records myself, and supervised the packing of some of the heavier gear. Some was sent off to be checked by manufacturer before being put into a controlled storage facility (like they use for art). It was pretty exhausting but we delivered better than "broom clean" to the buyer and in a fairly collapsed time frame.
OP, this is really a question for your Realtor as it is their business to ensure your house shows well and sells quickly, at or above your asking price. I'm betting the photographer was their idea. I wouldn't be surprised if that photographer has instructions from the Realtor to shoot around your gear.
As for playing music for your prospective buyers, what if they don't share your tastes in music? Ask your Realtor.
Personally, out of all the things you need to do to get your house ready to show such as painting, cleaning, decluttering, repairs, landscaping, etc. playing music for the buyers wouldn't make my list.
Good luck with the sale of your house!
A HiFi set up to many is a detractor, think of all the WAF Appeal talk on forums.
Think of all the relationships where one of the individuals has been acclimatised to something they are not really in acceptance off.
To many a HiFi System is intrusive and a use of space that has a ugliness, it is much preferred if concealed to some degree.
You want all who view your property to fall for it with an immediacy, anything that is not able to encourage this response needs to recognised for how it can impact on individuals being asked to take on a investment and possibly dept on your property.
Keeping the HiFi in use, might be the best option to keep you listening to the system in your present property for an extended period.
Packing the HiFi System away, might prove to be the best method to get to the place where the system is being used as described in a New Property.
There are plenty of ways to have a musical encounter without access to a readily available HiFi System.
I’m sorry if I sound cynical. I see so much brazen crime,I would be on the look out for bad people showing up for an open house. I live in a relatively small city, and crime is pretty out of control. Shopping carts being loaded up and taken out of the store is becoming a common sight. We have had over 3000 cars stolen this year,many in broad daylight. If it were me,I’d have the agent photograph a room, move the gear into that room, then photograph your audio room, and move the gear back after. Again,I’m sorry for sounding so cynical.
Surely the intention is to sell the house.
If the OP is sensing the advertisement of their home, inclusive of certain material possessions are to be a stimulus to the types with a leaning toward being criminal, especially a Burglar.
The idea that their home being Burgled whilst on sale, is certainly a Stigma that is not wanted to be created. By law, a Burglary within a certain time frame on a property, might be a occurrence that can not be withheld and has to be declared to a potential Buyer.
Again, there are other ways to encounter music as a temporary measure, other than use a readily available Audio System.
It’s a value judgement that only you can make but the smart thing financially would be to optimize the room presentation for best sale value.
Maybe a good time to leverage smaller backup gear if possible or even headphones.
In a similar situation, I put Corelli's Concerto Grossi on repeat before leaving for showings. The house sold quickly. There's a reason classical music is in the background of so many movie scenes in settings of wealth and taste. Put the buyers in the mood. Cheers,
I really appreciate all of the responses. Good to see all of the thoughts. That tells me that I am not alone when thinking about these things.
The photographer did take the pictures with the system. She placed the camera far away, so it is kind of difficult to see exactly what I have. Although the Wilsons are hard to ignore.
Regarding the WAF, this is set up in a basement room, so hopefully a spouse will give a bit of grace. It is not on the main floor living room.
Houses in my development typically sell withing 2 weeks of listing so when I do have my agent publish the listing, it 'should' sell quickly. 'Should' is the key word here. My motivation for leaving everything out would be selfish. I do not want to be without music. It is not to entice a prospect.
Not getting divorced, but I appreciate the advice. Haha.
I did think of one minus to leaving everything out. Maybe another audiophile would see it and feel compelled to tell me that my setup is not synergistic, I should move the speakers further from the wall, and that nice cables are snake oil. Just joking here....