Strahm Sells!: No Nudes is Good Nudes

No Nudes is Good Nudes

I’m not a prude. I promise.

But I always wonder what’s up when I show a home that has nude paintings and photographs hanging on the wall.

The nudes don’t make me uncomfortable – but they might make some potential buyers uncomfortable. And an uncomfortable buyer may not remember all the good things about your home. They’ll just remember it as the house with all the nudies in it.

I showed a house yesterday that had an entire wall in the living room covered in nudes. Reproductions of old masters, contemporaries, abstracts. One that I could only surmise was the homeowner’s mother-in-law. Did my client talk about the magnificent fireplace? The wall of windows overlooking the lush back yard? The historic pocket doors? No. He started talking about the seller, and why he had amassed such a collection of nudes.

Even though Nudes and Neutralize start with the same letter, they sure have nothing to do with each other. When selling, Nudes out, Neutralize in!

Last year I had a listing where there was a large nude photograph in the dining room. Like I said, I’m not a prude. But it was a nude of the homeowner herself, as taken by her artist husband. It sure was a beautiful and artistic photograph. But it made even me uncomfortable knowing I was standing next to the (clothed) model at the time.

She asked me if it would be alright if they left the picture hanging while trying to sell their home. It’s so easy to hypothetically say “no” to that question, but not so easy to do in real life! I put it in the same category of questions as, “Do these pants make me look fat?”

My advice to all people trying to sell their home: Lose the nudes. If you have to ask yourself (or your Realtor) if something might not be conducive to a sale, you already know what the answer is. “Is this picture too risqué? Should I take it down?” YES!

Remember, No Nudes is Good Nudes.

 Richard Strahm is an award winning Realtor specializing in the North Penn areas of Montgomery County -- Lansdale, Upper Gwynedd, North Wales, Towamencin, Hatfield -- and beyond!  Visit him at or call today at 215-853-2624 for a free and private consultation about all of your real estate needs.
Richard Strahm
Broker / Owner
American Foursquare Realty - Lansdale, PA

415 North Broad Street
Lansdale, PA 19446

Direct: (215) 853-2624
Office: (215) 647-0700
Fax: (215) 529-8931


PA Lic # RM423982

Copyright © 2010-2018 Richard Strahm.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Comment balloon 185 commentsRichard Strahm • July 31 2010 04:47PM


Great point.  It is always the difference between making the home your own while you live in it and then, making it appeal to the widest audience possible when selling.  I like the advice of "If you have to ask."

Posted by Kristen Wheatley, Supporting Success - Best Job in the World! (Better Homes & Gardens | The Masiello Group) almost 9 years ago

This is pretty universal, Richard, for all the metaphorical 'nudes' that sellers leave out in their homes.  I've seen houses with crosses in every corner or scary masks or even an excessive number of gargoyles - all of which effectively cover up any assets that could sell the home.  It's frustrating when sellers won't tone down their personality to allow the home's to shine.  Great reminder message - thanks for sharing!

Posted by Dee Bundy, Helping You Make Colorado "Home" (Fort Collins Realtor @ C3 Real Estate Solutions) almost 9 years ago

Richard, I absolutely agree.  And, well they are at it....take down the stuff moose head and gun rack over the mantel! 

Posted by Deborah "Dee Dee" Garvin, C2 Financial (C2 Financial) almost 9 years ago

You bet, it's always been my observation that buyers are too uncomfortable. Why can't the sellers wear clothes Lyn in any of their photos? Hmmmm, didn't notice the fireplace over there did you?

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) almost 9 years ago

Great point.  A whole wall of nudes???  A stimulating home.  Were there children (like young ones.)  It would be kinda difficult to concentrate on other features of the property.

Sue of Robin and Sue

Posted by Robin Dampier REALTOR®, Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate Source (Coldwell Banker King) almost 9 years ago

Yes, right on!  This is an all too often occurance in showing homes and always distracting for the buyers... definitely makes for fun nicknames though when we are recalling the house from last week!

Posted by Jason Watton, Realtor - Scottsdale Arizona Homes for Sale (Realty One Group of Scottsdale, AZ) almost 9 years ago

Kristen - How true!  I always tell people that it's not their "home" when it's on the market -- it's a high value asset that they need to get top dollar for!

Posted by Richard Strahm, Lansdale and North Penn Real Estate (American Foursquare Realty) almost 9 years ago

Danielle - Getting all metaphorical, I see!  i had to laugh at your comment, because this very same house had a very scary mask in it -- on a closet shelf.  I really startled me!

Deborah - Don't get me started!  I've blogged about the dead animals in people's homes . . . Ugh!

Lyn - I had a showing where there was a reclining nude OVER the fireplace.  The buyers talked and laughed about it all day.  For fun, I asked them to describe the fireplace.  They couldn't do it . . .

Sue - It was definitely a bachelor abode!

Jason - And some of those nicknames are not too repeatable in a family setting!

Posted by Richard Strahm, Lansdale and North Penn Real Estate (American Foursquare Realty) almost 9 years ago

Great post!  And a very clever title.  Sellers are only fooling themselves if they think buyers can see past stuff like this. 

Posted by Karen Bernetti almost 9 years ago

I agree, No Nudes is Good Nudes...

Especially Especially nudes of the homeowner.

Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) almost 9 years ago

Seems like common sense but many sellers are running a little low on that sometimes. Hopefully, they are open to a little guidance.

Posted by John Thomas, EcoBroker, MSEE, MBA (E3 Green HOMES) almost 9 years ago

Richard, Another great post. I have to concur. However here in the heart of Bapti-costal America I love to stumble on a sophisticated art collection (no offense anyone). When I find one I am likely to hug a seller.

Posted by Charles Edwards Bentonville, AR REALTOR, Bentonville Real Estate Agent and Broker (Coldwell Banker Harris McHaney & Faucette 479-253-3796 ) almost 9 years ago

Richard: That doesn't come up often here, but that's certainly good advice.

Posted by Matt Grohe, Serving the metro since 2003 (RE/MAX Concepts) almost 9 years ago

Just 'cause you mess with me on my posts, I'm going to say . . . I like the artwork.  It should stay ;-) 

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) almost 9 years ago

Hi Richard ~ Right on! I am so with you on this.  In my area female nudes in the bedroom are very "in" - it's really become a cliche IMO. Enough already.

Worse though was the topless photo of the seller in a listing recently. But worse than that - the four plaster casts of another seller's mid-section - from each of her pregnancies - hung on the wall like art.  More than I need to know! More than any buyer wants to see!


Posted by Elizabeth Bolton, Cambridge MA Realtor (RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA) almost 9 years ago

Richard, love your blog title.  Too distracting, not everyone has the same tastes. 

Liz, that's too funny, definitely more detail than anyone needs to know.

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) almost 9 years ago
I had a recent listing filled with religious crosses, everywhere. Then I went to the owners bedroom to take listing photos. First time I found an aluminum baseball bat in the corner for protection. Funnier yet, she offered to buy one for me...can't believe another single woman bought the home. The bat did not convey! : )
Posted by Donna Turing almost 9 years ago

I once toured a home that had a rather large collection of phallic symbols - including a few extreme close ups of the actual...umm...thing?  To your point, I have no recollection of the architecture of the home and the whole reason the home was on the tour was BECAUSE of its architectural details.  Of course, it wasn't on the market at the time, but it illustrates your point - its extremely distracting and potentially very offensive to a large number of people. 

Posted by Christine Carroll (Done in a Day Design, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Richard, very good post.  It is just INCREDIBLE! The are so correct. The buyers will miss important attributes sometimes, if the property has something so INCREDIBLE to focus on and to take home in memory. Likewise, if they are captured in the web VT.  Your client will definitely narrow their market base. Why take the chance? Store those INCREDIBLE items for your new home.


Posted by Deb Harshman, REALTOR & ASPMaster Stager, The Selling Advantage (Long and Foster - Christie's International Real Estate & Owner of Staged Home Decor) almost 9 years ago

Hi Richard,

I hope the seller will not have to move away from his or her own home for the time of the sale,sometimes it takes a year or two or even longer.

After all it's the house that is being sold not the artwork in it !


Posted by Eva Erdmann, interior decorator (Lion International Inc.) almost 9 years ago

I agree, No Nudes is a Good Nude. I also am not a prude. But when I leave a showing, I want the buyer to remember the features of the home, not the nude paintings. You can tell the seller to take the paintings down and sell the home quicker then they can hang the 'nudes' in their new digs quicker.

Posted by Greg Renfrow (Marx-Bensdorf, REALTORS) almost 9 years ago

But I only show the house for the articles!

Posted by Rob Aubrey almost 9 years ago

Personally I don't have a problem explaining to potential Sellers, the types of things that can distract a Buyer from seeing the features of a home. These include walls of family pictures, stuffed and mounted animals, and in some cases Art work. I think the key is to get the sellers thinking like buyers. Once they understand that buyers need to visualize the home with their own furnishings and decorations, it's a lot easier to ask them to remove the distractions, and in a lot of cases, the clutter that fills their home. I haven't run into any nudes yet, but I can always hope!

Posted by Bernie Mallon (Prime Realty and Development LLC) almost 9 years ago
Funny. Thank you for sharing.
Posted by Jim McCormack, Nashville Short Sale REALTOR - Stop Foreclosure (Nashville Short Sale Specialist - Jim McCormack - Edge Advantage Realty, LLC - 615-784-EDGE (3343)) almost 9 years ago

I say SHAME ON THE SELLING AGENT for not advising the seller of the affect this "artwork" may have on the potential buyers. The agent did not do his or her job!!! 

Posted by Mari Armstrong (DiSalle Real Estate Co.) almost 9 years ago

The nude of the homeowner had to make you very uncomfortable, especially standing next to her when she asked if they should take it down................funny, but not really.  Great post Richard.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) almost 9 years ago

Too funny, and yes, the nudes have to go!  Along with all of the other stuffed animal heads, phallic symbols, religious statues, etc.  The home has to appeal to the majority of the people. 

I, too, had a listing that had baseball bats next to the bed.  I jokingly asked if that was their security system, and it was!  I would move the bats to the closet during open houses.  Just don't need to supply anyone with a weapon!

Posted by Kathy Kenney, Realtor - Princeton & Central NJ Homes for Sale (Keller Williams, Princeton, NJ) almost 9 years ago

Richard, I wouldn't have a problem telling them to remove it.  "Mr. and Mrs. Seller, while I agree this artwork is a beautiful depiction of the human form, there are unfortunately many people who do not agree or feel uncomfortable to the degree that they will refrain from either viewing your home or make an offer, let's not let that happen." 

Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) almost 9 years ago

Spoken like a true stager....great post!  It is really true of any "collection", they all distract!  Of course, most won't distract like a nude will, and a collection of nudes would be overwhelming!  We staged a home recently with a m-i-l apt. that was as large as many homes.  It was tastefully decorated, but had several paintings of nudes around the space, but the m-i-l said "everything stays" so, we did a fabulous job in the big beautiful main house, and hope for the best! =o)

Posted by c m almost 9 years ago

if they don't value good art, they don't value good house, not fireplace or historic pocket doors, move them  to a cookie dev,

Posted by HECTOR TORRES (Continental Properties) almost 9 years ago

I showed a house that had nudes everywhere. They where of the same lady. once I looked at the face (just kidding). I noticed it was the owner, and she was still there. The pictures where at least 20 years old. I could not help myself. Is that you I asked?  yes was the answer.  I wish I had keep me mouth shout. Where do you go from there.

Posted by Jim Whatley (Uber Realty) almost 9 years ago

I have seen quite a few nude paintings when showing a house. It can distract from the room you are showing. I also find that most buyers do feel a little uncomfortable when seeing this. Very clever title.

Posted by Jeana Cowie, Broker Associate, ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES (RE/MAX Real Estate Limited) almost 9 years ago

Oh my... that could be a problem, although it may not be in all markets.  LOL. 

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago brought a home I showed about a year ago straight to mind. I am no prude, either, but this one pushed my limits. This man was clearly a bachelor and his adoration of the female figure was everywhere. The living room and family room had posters, statutary, etc - everything from the pool-table poster girl in short-shorts (from behind, of course) to actual collages of photographs - dozens - all the way up the staircase. Playboys and Maxims were neatly stacked under the coffee table - but also easily within reach of small hands. Tracy Lords was prominent at the entry to the master bedroom! There was no escaping his "collections". The house was neat and tidy and sold quickly and for full price (as a short sale), but I would sure think twice before taking clients with children there. The funniest part, though - the man was in his early 70s!

Posted by Marianne Bazan (Arizona Best Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Richard, your situation has never happened to me, but I agree, neutralize the paintings.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 9 years ago

Wow, brought me back to a showing early in my career--the husband of the couple selling (not my client, but social friends of ours at the time) considered himself a great photographer and had taken a completely tasteless picture of his wife and had it enlarged and framed and hung on their bedroom wall.  My buyer client talked of nothing else and I was embarrassed for the wife.  Hard to figure what the listing broker was thinking in that situation.  I am pretty sure I know what my client was thinking though.

Posted by Jill Ford (Keller Williams Realty of Pinehurst) almost 9 years ago

Great headline!

Posted by Michael Shetler, Bergen's Top Real Estate Agents (Keller Williams Village Square Realty) almost 9 years ago

Thanks for sharing. I always advise my clients to remove ANY personal pictures that may distract the buyer. There are numerous times I have been showing homes and they have up tons of family pictures. I see the buyer spending as much time looking at the photos as I do the house.

Posted by Kyle Pettit ( almost 9 years ago

I remember a condo on the market a few years ago in our community that had nude portraits of the seller in nearly every room.  Definitely made for weird showings.

Craig Della Penna

Posted by Craig Della Penna almost 9 years ago

Reminds me of the time I showed a house that was filled with nudes done in needlepoint.  My buyers asked me if there were Amish strippers in the area.

Posted by Cindy Byers (Island Realty) almost 9 years ago

This takes the staging tip of de-personalizing a home to a whole new level!

Posted by Bill Wilson (Paradigm AdvantEdge) almost 9 years ago

When I have to ask Sellers to remove distracting things, I make it about the buyers.  "Unfortunately, most buyers don't have the same good taste.  Best to make it neutral."

But I have been in homes with that type of art and it was distracting.

Posted by Margaret Mitchell, Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty) almost 9 years ago


Posted by Larry and Marilyn Mennetti (FIVE STAR REAL ESTATE) almost 9 years ago

Thanks for starting my Sunday with a giggle. Really? A nude of the homeowner herself? I cannot imagine what my response would have been... 

Posted by Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent, Bringing you Home! (BROKER Allison James Estates & Homes BRE 01885684) almost 9 years ago

The photos and the portraits are so much more tasteful than walking in on the real thing..yep that has happened. Love your title. No nudes is good nudes might make be a the best title of the year!

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) almost 9 years ago

Richard, I couldn't agree with you more. And that doesn't only go for nude photos/paintings - anything that is too personal and distracts from the home should go. I usually also advise my clients to take down any personal things like family photos, especially baby pictures, school trophies, etc - nobody needs to know what your children's names are and where they go to school. Better safe than sorry.

Posted by Stephanie Frymyer, Realtor ABR, SRES, SFR, Whittier (Brick & Co. Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

This is such a good point and you guys are making me laugh!  It is very distracting and I've seen some interesting art and photos over the years for sure!  This year I was showing a buyer a house and we were looking in the basement.  The young buyer looked up at me and said "Claire do you want to see something interesting"?  "Sure" I said and he picked up a dead stuffed squirrel standing up mounted on a board and the squirrel had died with the most horrid look on it's face!!! Oh my goodness, awful.  The buyer then chases me around the basement, all the while me screaming!!!!  Just another day in real estate, we should get our stories together and write a humorous book!

Hey all enjoy the weekend.

Best Regards,

Claire LeBlanc

Waltham, MA.

Posted by Claire LeBlanc almost 9 years ago

Richard - Great title for a post. I agree that it is best to neutralize as you suggest. Artwork is very personal and can significantly change the look and feel of a home.

Posted by Judy Jennings, Broker - The Lanterns at Warren Woods - Ashland MA (The Green Company) almost 9 years ago
I was showing a fabulous $1 mil home on the fairway of a prestigious golf course. In the Master Bedroom, there was a beautiful picture of the owner in a see-through gown. She happened to be quite pretty and well-endowed. The home was 10,000 sf, separate and complete mother-in-law suite and full size pool in its own enclosed facility. A magnificent home. We had shown quite a few ti thus couple that summer. He was a deacon in one of the churches some distance away. He bought that house. Could the warmth of the owners photograph had some positive influence ? We showed newer and nicer homes....
Posted by Tom almost 9 years ago

I know, I know, all the reasons for de-personalizing the home, that some buyers will be offended, it may take longer to sell/etc/etc.  But I think I'll throw out a dissenting opinion... What about celebrating the body?  We all have one.  Some certainly more interesting to look at than others...

I agree a well staged home is a delight to show, but sometimes, I get soooo tired of the current "look" that I'd like to see some individuality show through.  I'd like to see buyers celebrate the differences of interests of the sellers instead of saying "if you're not like me or you're not neutral, I don't want anything to do with your home, even if it is exactly what I'm looking for..."  

It may not be a realistic approach, but if we find 100 monkeys to say let's be curious about our differences, maybe we can stimulate a change!

Posted by Tamara Perlman (Referral Network Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Hi Richard,  You are HILARIOUS!!!  I don't know why Americans get soo flustered about "nude" paintings or sculptures...  When I went to Europe, you would see "nude" paintings, sculptures and "live Europeans" walking around without a care in the world....   Too funny, when you see the differences between Europeans & Americans (Canadians included).... ;>)))

Posted by Ann-Marie Clements, Ed.D. candidate, Innovative Proactive Principa (Candidate for an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership) almost 9 years ago

It's quite the confident homeowner that has a nude of themself on the wall!

Posted by Jim Pirkle (Harvest Realty LLC) almost 9 years ago

Big difference between being prude and prudent, but in this case the sellers might as well be both. Since no one can judge how the buyers will react, be a prude to be prudent. It may sell their home.
Thanks for the post.

Posted by LYDIA LAMOREUX (ZipRealty) almost 9 years ago

Nude paintings do have a place when artfully done, however, we are there to buy a house not a painting.  Anything that takes away from that is a distraction.

Posted by Mike Mason almost 9 years ago

Same goes for wild animal heads and such. I got our seller (seller no longer) to take down most of the deer heads, but wouldn't take the bear rung down off the family room wall! They're on their own now...

Posted by Dave Iliff, Real Estate Agent in Hockessin, DE (Patterson Schwartz) almost 9 years ago
A whole wall of nudes may be a problem, but one here and there shouldn't matter. If it distracts the buyer enough to talk only or primarily about the nude, they didn't want the house anyway.
Posted by Rick salzer almost 9 years ago

I staged a home a few months ago where the seller had a print of a nude by a famous artist.  The piece looked great above the fireplace with regard to size, color, and framing, BUT it was risky to leave it there because it could have been a distraction to certain buyers and children.  After complementing the piece (it was one of the few decent pieces of wall decor this seller had), the seller agreed that we should find something different for the fireplace location.  We did, however, keep the nude - we moved it to the master bedroom and placed it on a wall where it looked good but was not a main focal point.  Everyone was happy and the house was under contract in less than 30 days.

Posted by Anita Hoppenstand, A1A Home Staging LLC (A1A Home Staging LLC) almost 9 years ago

I was in a house in Las Colinas not to long ago that made me feel like I needed to go to Confession.  They even had a room with a dance pole in the middle.  This house was priced around a million dollars.

I agree, the nudes need to be packed up with all the other personal photos.

Posted by Scott Killian almost 9 years ago

I agree entirely with the initial post. We've one property with a large and particularly graphic painting in the master bedroom that I always warn applicants about. It could easily offend people, which is a bit silly when the vendor expects quite a high price and we don't get that many people asking about it. Offending the few who do is hardly sensible business !

Peter Ellis Real Estate Agent in Istria, Croatia (

Posted by peter Ellis almost 9 years ago

I think it is a bigger question than just nudes.  It has to do with weighing your Constitutional rights of free speech against reducing the buyer pool for your house.

You have the right to express any of your ideas and materials in your home - but the minute you put your house on the market, it is no longer your home.

It is now simply a thing that you own and want to sell - so why you would want to display something that might interfere with at least a portion of the buyer pool

This goes for political and social issues as well:

  1. You may be a "Holocaust Denier"
  2. You may be extremely Pro-Life
  3. You may be extremely Pro-Choice
  4. You may be a "Birther"
  5. You may be a communist
  6. You may be heavily into porn
  7. You may be have extreme Pro-Israel or Pro-Palestinian feelings

People make purchases emotionally - and if someone who otherwise might like your house has an uncomfortable feeling when they are walking through it, the odds that they will buy from you are likely to be somewhat diminished.

Posted by Rick Schwartz (William Raveis Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

I totally agree!! I was showing a $450k house a few months ago, and as my (male) buyer and I walked into the dining room - well, it was very embarrassing for us both.

Posted by Sue Gabriel almost 9 years ago

It is the seller's home and their right to show what they want, But I did have a home once with a nude of the seller's wife in the bedroom. Yes, it made me uncomfortable. The only good thing was the seller was never there for showings so people didn't get to eyeball the painting and the seller at the same time.

Posted by Jeff Getman, Realty Executives (Realty Executives of Ravalli County) almost 9 years ago

I agree with Rob's post #22, I only show the home for the articles.  I remember gong to list a home owned by two women that had a bust of two naked women embracing on their headboard.  They were more embarrassed than I was. 

Posted by Jim Paulson, Owner,Broker (Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) almost 9 years ago

Hey Richard - must concur with mostly everyone else, great post and topic. Home buying should be a serious endeavor.not to be distracted with nude art on the walls.

Posted by Stephen P. Panczak, Sr, MBA, Realtor, Property Mgm't, LCAM almost 9 years ago

It's one of those "what were they thinking" moments. I have seen it also with trophy animals, firearms and many other "conversation" starters. Things that make you go Hmmmmmmm

Posted by Robby Leviton, Knowles Team (Keller Williams Realty) almost 9 years ago

So true.  We were showing a home and the computer screen save was showing Playboy Bunnies.  Very embarrasing and the lady was out of there in an instant.  No matter what, they weren't going to buy that home.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) almost 9 years ago

Hi Richard,

I showed a house once where they had several photos of their naked baby boy above the fireplace (showing off a particularly large male part).  Like you said, we looked around but honestly saw nothing because we couldn't stop laughing about how proud the father must be of his son.


Posted by The Scott Loper Team Bux-Mont Premier Properties (Keller Williams Real Estate - Montgomeryville) almost 9 years ago

Great post!  I agree, but.......not every Seller is going to "hear" what we have to say as listing agents and sometimes they think they know better as to what will sell their home.  Could be it was discussed, but the Seller refused.  Then what do you do?  If it is a good looking house, priced well, good area, etc. do you walk away from the listing?  Funny, I get Buyers to nickname the homes we are looking at so that they can remember the features of the home.  I guess we know what that one would be named!! 

I think you just give the "nudes" to the Buyer's agent about the artwork if it is overly done in the house.  It always makes for an interesting showing and spices up the day!

Make it a great one!


Posted by Kathleen Gallagher McIver CRS, SRES, A lifetime of local knowledge and experience (RE/MAX Central Realty) almost 9 years ago

Can you imagine hanging a nude pic of your Mother-in-Law on the wall?  I don't even want to see a pic of my Mother-in-Law (Sorry mom, no offense) much less put it on public display.  What a crazy world we live it!

Posted by Jim Beardsley (Keller Williams Realty West) almost 9 years ago

Tasteful artwork and tasteful decor is appropriate, even a nude painting and moose head on the mantel. I live and work in NW Wisconsin, big hunting country. I'm generally surprised when I don't see a dead deer head over the fireplace. In this area "up north" decor involving plenty of pine and large deer head mounts is entirely appropriate. I did recently suggest to a seller to remove a huge reindeer head with enormous antlters over the fireplace. It was taking over the livingroom. While the fireplace is a large stone fireplace the livingroom is not so big. Taking down the mount has opened up the room and made it more inviting. Any decor if tasteful and appropriate works. If not, take it down.

Posted by Jean Hedren, CRS ABR SRES RSPS, Your Northwest Wisconsin Realtor (Edina Realty, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

I agree 100%, and that goes ditto for items of a political or religious nature as well. In this competetive market, why risk alienating anyone? A seller i once knew, struggling to sell, had a picture of himself shaking hands with a former President prominently displayed in his home. I said "I know how proud you are of this photograph, but statistically speaking, over half of our population would never vote for him again." When he (reluctantly) removed the photograph, he was under contract in two weeks. Peggy Musto, Beautiful Downtown St. Petersburg

Posted by Peggy Musto almost 9 years ago

DEPERSONALIZE DEPERSONALIZE DEPERSONALIZE . I have shown homes where the prospect spent most of the time looking at family photos, art, plaques, planters and everything else. Others have left a house “turned off” saying “I could never decorate a home that well it was beautiful—What’s next?”

Posted by STAN GRAHAM (ARIZONA ELITE PROPERTIES) almost 9 years ago

When in another business I was at a home (in Hollywood) and there was a giant nude of the owners daughter hanging on the stairs.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

I'm not sure I understand why anyone would even have this in their home.  Amazing how in our society we see a nude painting as art but a nude photo as porn. 

Posted by Michael Johnson, Metro Charleston SC (Carolina One Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

I showed one house to a very Catholic family.  The man was a nude photographer!  You couldn't help but gasp at the photos and the accessories.

When we brought her parents to the house, I was a nervous wreck.  At the closing it was hilarious.  His wife whom we met for the first time was one of his models.  She had the biggest chest I had ever seen in my life.  All of the men at the closing were so flustered.

In the end my client made the home a beauty with her own classy flare.  Bottom line, art is subjective and when you are selling you should appeal to the masses and not just your own taste.  Joy

Posted by Joy Carter & Jeff Booker Brother and Sister Team, Trust Your Family's Move To Our Expertise! (Keller Williams Parkland/Coral Springs Realty-GreatFloridaHomes Team) almost 9 years ago

We are with you on this -- get rid of the photos of the nudes and the photos of the owners who are carrying machine guns as well (it happens!)

Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) almost 9 years ago

Nudes photos and such are not really the problem out here in rural Western Colorado. Our problem can be the dead animals mounted on the walls. In most cases it's only one or it's not really a big deal. But one house has several in EVERY room. This includes the bathrooms. There are numerous dead heads even mounted over the bed in the master bedroom. I told the listing agent that he should sell this as the Cabelas Limited Edition Model.

Posted by Debbie Laity, Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO (Cedaredge Land Company) almost 9 years ago

Very clever title. As a professional home stager, I advocate getting rid of all photos of humans and animals when putting a home on the market. We, all of us, are drawn to look at photos of humans and animals. When selling a home, we want the buyers to look at the house, not the photos!

Regarding nudes, again, what do you want home buyers to be looking at? Do you want them to admire your fabulous taste in art, or the home you are trying to sell?

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) almost 9 years ago

Nudes and mounted dead animals, get rid of them! I showed a home that had no less than four mounted trophies on the walls in each room by the proud avid hunter home owner. He refused to take them down and the listing agent had to put a warning on the listing. Despite my warning and questioning the buyers they forged in.

All of us were pretty creeped-out and we departed quickly.

What are people thinking? Why don't they listen? When it comes to real estate why does everyone think that they're the experts?

Posted by Bob Pisa, Broker Associate, Commitment, Service, Satisfaction... (Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. Naples, FL) almost 9 years ago

You just reminded me of an experience I had early in my career.  We were completing a caravan of new listings, coming to the home of a local agent, whose property had just come on the market.  It was a large, attractive house and at the higher end of the price range.  One by one, agents entered the master bedroom, never to exit as the rest of us slowly made our way through the other rooms upstairs.  By the time I walking into the master suite, there were a sea of bodies staring at this monstrous sized painting over the bed.  It was our agent, in all her glory, on a background of black velvet (at least that's the way I remember it all these years later).  It took quite awhile for that house to sell.

Posted by Geri Sonkin, Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert (Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103) almost 9 years ago

The worst I saw 2 years ago was a full bronze nude statue of the owner.  $2+ million dollar home.  Shocked the tar out of me.  It still sold in 60 days.  I may actually disagree with your post. Though tacky as can be, people remember it.  I have never seen a house with nude photos including nude photos of wives/model stay on the market very long.  There is something to that....even though distasteful.  I know each house that has had nudes in them for the past 10 years.  Why?  We will call a house the naked lady house....or the naked guy house.  People remembered those houses over other houses.  Just got a listing and I am leaving the nude picture up as a shock value as I may get an offer today.  Agent said she could not believe that picture was up and it offended them.  She called me back yesterday saying they may make an offer today.  We will see.

Posted by TIM MONCRIEF, Over 2,000 homes sold….. (Tim Monciref) almost 9 years ago

Richard, thanks for sharing such funny stories. While it seems pretty obvious to RE & Staging Professionals that Nudies are a No No, it can take some convincing to a seller. I LOL when I read your post though, so again, thanks for sharing.

Posted by Sharon Sein (Sein Organizing Solutions & Home Staging) almost 9 years ago

When I was achild my mother was a nude model for an artist. I walked into a home I was holding open for a collegue and found a picture of my mother on the wall. That was a shock! If it had been my listing the picture wold have been long gone.

Posted by Marcy Moyer, Probate, Trust, and Investment Specialist (eXp Realty of California Silicon Valley Probate, Trust, and Investment Sales) almost 9 years ago

Nudes are cool,  if people like the house they will buy it.  Regardless what is on the wall.  Lighten up

Posted by Bill Iannelli (Iannelli and Associates) almost 9 years ago

A client of mine had a nude painting in the master bedroom. There was other art throughout the house. All very tasteful and interesting art.

All personal items were removed. All art work remained. The house sold, and there was never any negative feedback.

Posted by Bill Travis, Broker/Owner (Captain Bill Realty, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Wow, I've never had this situation.  You know, if I were uncomfortable about asking them to take the photos/paintings/sculptures down, I might consult a stager to do the dirty work.  They are, after all, professionals in this very aspect of listing a home.  The only collection I have had a seller display was of ornate crosses.  They were all very tasteful, thankfully, and several potential buyers actually asked if they would stay with the home because they liked them so much. (The actual buyer did not choose to ask for them)

Posted by Jennifer Prestwich, Madison & Co Properties (Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster) almost 9 years ago

Very good point. I don't see it very often around here but it has happened. We all know some people just don't get it that it is about the house not them or their ideas.

Posted by Surprise Arizona Realtor Jim Braun Sun City Grand Active Adult Communities, Surprise AZ real estate Phoenix West Valley (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Jim Braun Sun City Grand Az ) almost 9 years ago

You have gotta be kidding me!  Some people don't have a clue and others couldn't buy a clue.  Sorry, you don't get off the hook either.  When your client asked you if she should take the picture down, you shoulda said yes, uncomfortable as it would have been, or something to the effect of, "I think it's a lovely rendering, but it may be a little distracting."  You sound like the diplomatic type, so you could have softened the blow somehow.  On the other hand, thanks for giving me a good laugh.  Your blog was hilarious!



Posted by Pam Canova almost 9 years ago

Yes, please remove the nudes, the blow up woman in the closet, the handcuffs on the bed, the disco ball, the dance pole and, oh yea, please don't leave your sex toys in plain sight.  That's really more than I EVER needed to know about you. And even if you are a really fun person, the buyer has already formed an opinion about you.  It may not be good, or they may want your number, but don't take a chance.

Posted by Jeanne Gregory, RE/MAX Southwest, Sugar Land, TX almost 9 years ago

Richard, You nude it would come to this: the bare facts are the painting has to go, or the price will have to...

Now, we know things that distract will cost the seller, and the decision comes down to sales price and time on the market vs. personal preference items.

Someone raised the question of what do you do when seller says "It stays."  Perhaps a nice velvet cloth could be hung over the art, but the buyer would then be more curious of what is under the cloth.  If I were the listing agent, under those circumstances, I would at least alert the showing agent, and at the worst--I might refuse to list the property: a decision that should have been made while going over the listing agreement.  I'd suspect that the commission check makes a pretty effective blindfold.

Posted by Fred Cope, Looking For Homes With A Smile (Reliant Realty in Nashville, TN) almost 9 years ago

Good point, I know we sometimes have to be the P C police and request items be removed which may not be vanilla enough for the average person coming through the home. On the other hand it may be just the thing to have them remember the home? Of course this may be the wrong memory we are looking for!!

Posted by Rex Schofield almost 9 years ago


Been there, and had no problem standing next to the clothed "model". And what if they have a copy of one of Peter Paul Rubens' famous nudes?

Why is that we need to try to match the tastes of the buyer that much? Are they buying the pictures? Are they buying the colors?

The house will get its buyer, and not everyone is its buyer, no matter what you do.

It is often more productive to concentrate on the right buyer for the home, rather on the Home for a buyer.

Just my 2 cents

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) almost 9 years ago

You can always kind of laugh and say "If I were selling the home to you...I'd say leave it up!  But we are going on the market to reach EVERYONE and they may or may not be offended so why risk it?  Let's work on selling your home and getting you a new one where you will love to hang your picture again!"

Posted by Laura Sargent (Carolina One Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Try showing it with three teenagers in tow!!! Parents looking at you as if its your fault that the nudes are hanging. Geesh!!!

Posted by De'Lores P. Arline almost 9 years ago

Nudes might offend some but it's the clients that want to leave the stripper pole in the family room that gets me. Not that I have anything against stripper poles mind you.

Posted by William Norton Johnson almost 9 years ago


I agree, it does make it more diffucult with some buyers. Nude pictures are better than having the owners with their entire family at the home while you are showing it. That happened to me yesterday! Grandchildren included!!

Posted by Blaine Williamson (McClain-Williamson Realty) almost 9 years ago

This reminds me of an incident on our tour not long ago .  Right inside the front door , in the entrance hall of a million dollar range home , was a large portrait of a monkey all dressed up with a fancy hat , etc. in bright colors . After leaving the otherwise lovely home ,  I remarked to the agent with me that the "artwork" was surprising .  She agreed and commented , " I don't know why people hang nudes in the living room ."  I had missed the nude , she had missed the monkey , we both missed many of the finer points of the home . And we are agents who should know how to ignore things like that !

Posted by Eileen Burk Murray (Re/Max New Orleans Properties) almost 9 years ago

Hi Richard,

I believe those are personal pictures, so before I go in a listing appointment, I always say, De-clutter and De-personalize, and they should remove personal pictures, nude or not, and end with, "If you want the buyers to look at your personal pictures instead of your house...........". They get the point.

Posted by Laura Rivera almost 9 years ago

I'm mostly with Jon (#92) on this but it depends on the neighborhood and the quality of the nudes.  There is a huge difference between artistic nudes and old Polaroid snapshots of the homeowner blown up to poster size!  Artistic nudes may go virtually unnoticed in many areas of the country, but could be the "talk of the town" in others!  Maybe you could make it work for you!  "Open House from 1-3 at 123 Main . . .please don't attend if you are offended by nude paintings!"  Look . . .the title drew in almost 100 AR members so far!! lol

Posted by Valerie Baker, Spokane Realtor (Exit Real Estate Professionals) almost 9 years ago


Do they want to sell their home or showcase their penchant for art (or whatever it may be)?

Posted by Eugene Adan, Carlsbad Real Estate (Adan Properties, Carlsbad, CA (760) 720-9710) almost 9 years ago

Maybe we should add "ratings" on our MLS listing just to worn other agents and brokers of potential embarassments when they show the home.  We could begin with "NPP" for nude pictures/paintings present!!!

Royce Vanderpool, REOS, Broker : Devan Realty and Development Corporation

Posted by Anonymous almost 9 years ago

Richard, we sell real estate and help people prepare to sell their real estate. Even offending 1 person may be that potential purchaser.


Posted by Ty Lacroix (Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc) almost 9 years ago

If we are taught in staging classes to remove excess family photos, I would think that nude paintings or prtraits would certainly be more distracting to most people.

Posted by Randy Selby almost 9 years ago

Can't say that I've come across this issue before.  However, people being what we are, there's always that one in a million shot that the art makes the deal. Not agreeing that its a good idea to leave it out, just goes to the observation that people can be weird.

Posted by Mick Michaud, Your Texas Lifestyle is Here! (Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107) almost 9 years ago

Richard, It's best to take the personal collection down from the wall, especially when it can be potentially offensive. Homes that are decorated like that have a voyeuristic feel to them...perhaps a note in the private remarks section would be helpful to alert buyer agents to the decor.

Posted by Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR (Prado Real Estate South) almost 9 years ago

As a Home Stager I agree.....take down the Nudes. Also take down the dead animal heads hanging on the walls and dead animal skins on the floors!

Posted by Shar Sitter, Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M (Rooms With Style) almost 9 years ago

You're so right, Richard--everyone does not share the same decorating taste, so when sellers put their homes up for sale, they need to realize that they're only selling their property, not their lifestyle.  Sellers should strive for a decor that is "pleasant, but forgettable." Each room should look good as a whole, but nothing specific should stand out to grab a potential buyer's attention.

Posted by Jill Banks,, South Jersey Home Stager (Happily Better After Room Redesign & Home Staging) almost 9 years ago

A home on tour recently had a giant poster of Johnny Cash offering the one-finger salute, placed over the very prominent fireplace. It was the only piece of art in the house, and the house was rented to abunch of college students, which may explain the, um, "decoration." When the agent asked if I would do an open house there for her, I said I would be happy to, if someone would remove that awful poster. It was really the only thing people saw when they entered the house.

Posted by Sonsie Conroy, Energetic, Enthusiastic, Knowledgeable Realtor (I serve buyers and sellers everywhere in San Luis Obispo County) almost 9 years ago

Richard, great post! I showed a house where the owner had several "tasteful" nude photos of a girlfried/wife etc. on the bedroom wall (not totally nude, but artfully cropped & very clear intent).

Do I need to add that our attention was completely shifted from the house to the pictures? End of showing.

Posted by Barb Charlton almost 9 years ago

Very well written Sir.


Seems like most agree.

Well I have to be the contraian I guess...

I have always found that when I was uncomfortabel with something, then

others were uncomfortable also...

When I was OK with it, others were OK also.

Children are another story however.

I really do not think it is that big a deal....


Posted by Sherwood almost 9 years ago

Richard, clever title for a post! entire wall of nudes! That is quite the collection indeed. 

I agree, if you're trying to sell your home it is always a good idea to put away decor/art that will distract from the home itself, especially if the distraction may actually make a buyer uncomfortable.


Posted by Chezlene Kocian (MaxWell Mountain Realty) almost 9 years ago

Richard, great post! I showed a house where the owner had several "tasteful" nude photos of a girlfried/wife etc. on the bedroom wall (not totally nude, but artfully cropped & very clear intent).

Do I need to add that our attention was completely shifted from the house to the pictures? End of showing.

Posted by Barb Charlton almost 9 years ago

There is some sort of theme on AR today regarding prudish and prudent.  I believe in this case, prudish would indeed be prudent.

This coming from Prudence McPrude, mayor of Prudey-town!

Posted by Jenna Dixon, Empowers You With a Better Real Estate Experience (DRA Homes | Cobb County Real Estate ) almost 9 years ago

Excellent post, Richard.

I recently held an Open House and the ex-South African sellers had a real zebra-skin on the tiled floor entry-way. They had brought it over when they immigrated over 30 years ago!

I had them remove it after the Open House, when I noticed the effect it was having on people. They focused more on the zebra-skin than on the beautiful home! Quite a few commented on it.

I can imagine that a wall of nude pictures would produce a similar reaction!


Posted by Debbie Sagorin, Marketing Irvine to the Highest Level (Coldwell Banker Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Along the same line.... PLEASE put your sex toys AWAY!  It's a bit ackward to show the property while your _______ (fill in the blank!) is setting next to the bed!

Posted by Kathy Opatka, Serving Ocean City, MD, & The Delaware Beaches (RE/MAX CROSSROADS) almost 9 years ago

Richard, it doesn't make you a prude to want the nudes put away.  It makes you SMART!

My advice to my clients:  "If it has eyes or words, pack it up for the move!"  Buyers get too distracted by anything with eyes or words (and if the nude has their back turned, it still has eyes!)

Posted by Kathleen Emhof, Home Staging and Redesign, Experts in Transition (Buffalo, Amherst, Orchard Park and Western New York) almost 9 years ago

The whole idea is to let the qualities of the house shine through.  It only takes one buyer to make a sale, and why jeopardize offending that buyer, or hiding the house behind anything that is simply overdone.  It can be something as innocuous as a plate collection covering every inch of a wall, a single mounted moose head, a very personalized color scheme, or just clutter.  It doesn't matter if it could be considered offensive:  It is personalization, and if there is a chance it may cause one single buyer to turn away, it needs to be neutralized. 

Posted by Lorelei Windhorn (Prudential Northwest Realty Associates) almost 9 years ago

I would have no trouble asking sellers to remove any nudes.  I would point out that it's a personal taste, just like having a bunch of personal photos on a mantel or on a "family photo wall."  Distracts from the house and in the case of nudes, it is going to make some potential buyers uncomfortable.  They can put the art back up in their next place.

Posted by Judy Orr, SW & Near West Chicago suburbs (HomeSmart Realty Group) almost 9 years ago

Just listed an investor special house and was signing the last piece of paperwork while standing at the kitchen counter (no furniture) and looked up and saw one of those cheap calendars of perhaps 18 year old naked girls on motorcyles staring me in the face.  While I don't consider myself uptight I couldn't get out of there fast enough!  I'm sending my husband back to take the pics and tell the guy to take the calendar down. 

Posted by Julia Fishel, ASKjulia. REAL estate. REAL answers. (Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Besides a nude painting of the wife by the husband--strategically placed at the end of the hallway with a spotlight on it--I know of a house that also has a grunting potbellied pig and growling rottweiler in the back yard. When showing the house, buyers didn't know what to look at!

Posted by Don Duvall (Chapman Hall, REALTORS, Atlanta, GA) almost 9 years ago

What great advice! nudes is good nudes...may also fit in the category of taking away personal /familly pics :)

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) almost 9 years ago

At least it was artistic and better than the pin up calendars I've dealt with in the past.  Definitely troublesome for some buyers, and not point in alienating a potential buyer.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) almost 9 years ago

That's exactly why a stager should be hired so the burden of telling them what not to do is on the shoulders of the stager and not you. Iwill pay for the consultation services when I have a huge problem like photos and things lying around that should not be there.

Posted by Patty Clark, Helping Families Move with Care (Morningside Homes, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Great post, instead of nudes I see alot of animal heads and skins.  Equally hard to deal with because the owners love them and are proud of them!  What do you do when you unkowingly show it to a PETA member?

Posted by Sandra Shurling (Sycamore Oconee Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

I am reading all the comments stating that this art maybe uncomfortable.

If it is uncomfortable, then it not art, but porno. If it is art, then there should be no bad feelings. 

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) almost 9 years ago

I recently previed a home that had silver wallpaper with black sketches of nude women all over it in the bathroom.  It was an elderly lady's home and her realtor said she would not take it down. I would have insisted.  It is all I can remember from the house, and I am used to looking beyond people's stuff!  No nudes for sure.

Posted by Coral Gundlach, Real Lives. Not Just Real Estate. (Compass) almost 9 years ago

Well, certainly this must have been a distraction for the buyer, but I would have asked them something like "besides the owner's taste in art - how did you like the house..."  We have to remember that not everyone is going to love an ower's taste in furnishings, decorations or artwork.  Same goes with ashtrays, water pipes (hookkah), etc.  When we ask clients to neutralize and they don't I always return to them feedback related to buyers comments on the "non-neutral" items that they leave around. 

Posted by Martin Kalisker, Professional Standards & Legal Assistant (Greater Boston Association of REALTORS) almost 9 years ago

Hi Richard~  I vote no to nude pictures.  Inappropriate in our society.  Now I am sure in other societies it would be no big deal, but here, it does matter.  The goal is to appeal to the majority of buyers not the minority.

Posted by Vickie McCartney, Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY (Maverick Realty) almost 9 years ago

Good job, Richard!  My rule of thumb is, "When in doubt, toss it out."  I hope you know you can always get a job as a stager if the Realtor thing ever dries up.

Posted by Patsy Overton (Patsy Overton Interiors, Atlanta, Georgia) almost 9 years ago


Hello Richard:

I'm surprised the homeowner had to ask. Hope you were able to help them with the depersonalize and declutter guidelines without offending

Posted by Brian Rugg, Sun City TX Real Estate - Georgetown, TX Real Est (Rugg Realty LLC Sun City Texas 512-966-3200) almost 9 years ago

Richard, you've said it best. We, nor our buyers, want to see the naked artwork.

Charles #12 - Bapti-costal, now that's funny!!! I 've never seen anyone mix the two, somewhat incompatible as they are, considering that they both have alot in common...

Posted by William James Walton Sr., Greater Waterbury Real Estate (WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group) almost 9 years ago

It's amazing how many people just don't get it! What if the buyer's brought their teen age children. That would be a short showing.

Great post, and good title!

Posted by Linda Jandura, Realtor, North Carolina Buyer & Seller Specialist (Raleigh Cary Realty) almost 9 years ago

I showed a house that had nude photos and Gothic drawings on the wall of the sellers daughter in her bedroom who was 18 or 20 years old. The father in me was disgusted. The Realtor in me was embarrassed to show that home to someone who had young children with them or to a lady who was buy herself. Standing in a bedroom with a female client or young children with nude photos all over the wall makes me very uncomfortable. If that makes me a prude then I am proud to be one.

I did show that home to a few other people but I did let them know what they were going to find before we went in.

I bet you can guess what everyone talked about that went into that house.


Posted by Alan Grizzle, Full Time Realtor, Lifelong Resident of Dahlonega (Chestatee Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Talk about house exposure ... yes, the seller needs to make the house appeal to the greater amount of the marketplace, and while it is art, it can deter some buyers ...

Posted by Jason Allen Gardner (Exit Realty Imoti) almost 9 years ago

Agree with your advice to the owner/seller clients:  Lose the Nudes.  I would also tell them to lose anything else that has a sexual conotation.

We previewed with our clients a swanky what turned out to be for sale batchelor pad in a pricey area at Newport Beach.  The owner in his office had a 3 foot tall bronze statute of a nude woman showing from neck down.  Wow!  It didn't help sell the home for our clients.

Posted by Harrison K. Long, REALTOR , GRI, Broker associate, Attorney (HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty) almost 9 years ago

I showed a house a few years back where the seller was a REALTOR and had some "sexy" photos of herself hanging in the MBR.  Our client found it odd and asked us why she would do this.  Till this day he still jokingly brings it up - she should only know how funny we all found it....and no, none of us remember anything about the house!  Angela

Posted by Angela Gandolfo (Citywide Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Absolutely - anything that distracts from the house itself should come down. It doesn't matter if it's nudes, political posters, a fabulous collection of something, or photographs of the homeowners with celebritites. If it captures attention - get it out of there!

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) almost 9 years ago

In 6 years as an agent, that is actually one thing I have not come across in a house yet. Maybe it's a regional thing??

Posted by Debi Braulik, Selling Maple Valley to Fife WA Homes For Sale ( almost 9 years ago

Wow - the response to this has been amazing!  Thank you all for your comments.  It seems most people here seems to agree with me that the "Lose the Nudes" campaign is the way to go.  For the people with dissenting opinions, I hear you, too!  If a client of mine specifically didn't bid on a house they loved because of a nude, I'd keel over.

My favorite comment:  Rob in #22.  "But I only show the house for the articles!"  HILARIOUS!!

Posted by Richard Strahm, Lansdale and North Penn Real Estate (American Foursquare Realty) almost 9 years ago

I agree with Marte...If it draws attention away from what you are selling i.e., the house, then take it down!

Posted by Monica Atherton, Your Temecula Real Estate Gal (The Associates Realty Group) almost 9 years ago

I work in Las Vegas NV and it has happened a number of times that I have been in homes with st riper poles in them with mirrors around them... Again, like yu I am not a prude, but most customers can not get part the image... DAMN agents, educate your sellers... I make my sellers take all that stuff down with the nicknack's...


Posted by Richard Foster, Broker Owner, BS, ABR/M, CREN, CRS, GRI, RRG, SFR (Nevada Perfect Homes) almost 9 years ago

My husband once showed a house that had lots of portraits of the woman seller, including a huge nude portrait of her on the master bedroom wall.  He was embarrassed, but the seller apparently was not.  They also had the ceiling mirrored.

Posted by Susan Neal, Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker (RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks) almost 9 years ago

Who are we to judge who should be embarrassed with themselves? My team recently listed a home with a nude in the master bathroom. Didn't say much about it because it was painted on the wall and not removable. I didn't feature it in the virtual tour but it didn't seem to affect the price of the home either. House sold in less than a month.

Posted by Howard Goff (Keller Williams Realty) almost 9 years ago

Weeeeel, tasteful art, nude or not, should not bother anyone. It sounds like the nude art in this home was way over the top--and maybe bordering on porn..... and that is a deterrent for Buyers.

Posted by Anonymous almost 9 years ago

As a stager, I have NO problem telling homeowners what has to "go" out of their house when they are selling -- nudes, gun cabinets, deer heads, swords on the wall and knives on the kitchen counter, religious paintings and statuary, etc., and I have never gotten a seller who objected to MY objections. All you have to do is make the point that they MAY be offending a certain percentage of buyers, and why risk it, and they listen! Maybe they're the truly motivated sellers, since they hire me to begin with, but I don't understand why a listing agent WOULDN'T at least let sellers know the potential risks of those items being left on display. I just wrote a blog on this topic a couple of weeks ago, as a matter of fact. 

Diversity and personal taste have their place, but not in a home for sale, sorry! 

Posted by Amy Bly, Styling Homes for Selling and Staying (Great Impressions Home Staging/Interiors) almost 9 years ago

I had a similar experience a few years ago while showing houses to a friend. In a lovely gated community, we found a nice home with some extremely embarrassing "artwork" - sexually explicit paintings - in every room except the kitchen.  Huge, graphic, sexually explicit "art" in the entry foyer, dining room, living room, den, and every bedroom.  There was one huge bare space over the master king-size bed where only a large picture hanger was nailed to the wall.  We decided to NOT imagine what might have been hanging there - at least the "master" of the home had enough sense to take that one down.  He should have taken ALL of them down!  I called the broker (of the other company) after the showing .... and he connected me to the listing agent who was also the SELLER!!!  Don't ya think he should have known better? 

Posted by Jan Evett, Broker Associate, 20 years+ in real estate (The Premier Property Group LLC) almost 9 years ago

There doesn't seem to be a place for it when you are selling your home.  Art may be arguable but actually photographs ot the owner(s) is just ridiculous to me.  I would be actually upset if I was looking and had my kids with me.

Posted by Gary & April Greer, Real Estate Professionals (Century 21 Wright) almost 9 years ago

There doesn't seem to be a place for it when you are selling your home.  Art may be arguable but actually photographs ot the owner(s) is just ridiculous to me.  I would be actually upset if I was looking and had my kids with me.

Posted by Gary & April Greer, Real Estate Professionals (Century 21 Wright) almost 9 years ago

Not bad for the mother-in law !

Posted by Walter White almost 9 years ago

I've only had this happen once. The spouse was a photographer and explicit photos of the wife adorned the walls of the owner's bedroom. It was an uncomfortable, but much needed consultation, during the post listing tour.

Posted by Mike Mayer (Mike Mayer, Broker/Owner - i List For Less Realty, LLC) almost 9 years ago

LOL - Personally, I wouldn't be bothered at all, and would notice the pocket doors. However, I know it's not for all. Maybe change the advertising on the property to read 'View at your own risk - this home's decor is not for the artistically challenged', but has potential. ;o)

Before this is over, I wouldn't be surprised if you received all 187,000+ AR Members' comments.

Posted by Roseanne Campagna, Kent/DesMoines/Blk Diamond/Renton/Maple Valley, WA (John L. Scott RE Maple Valley, WA ) almost 9 years ago

Durn, you reminded me of the nude I got rid of when I moved to Hawaii.  It was very tasteful but I let her go.

Posted by Richard T. Dolbeare, R(B), ABR, CRS...Hawaii Multi-Island Specialist (Keller Williams Realty Maui) almost 9 years ago

Regardless, nudes, family pictures, trophies, aanything that is inappropriate or might seem offensive should be removed during the marketing phase of the property and if the ultimate goal of the seller is to sell the home, this shouldn't be a challenge, shouldn't it? I always try to preview homes before escorting my clients to inspect any properties.

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) almost 9 years ago

This belongs on my "You Don't Need a Home Stager If...." list!

If you think your collection of nude art, including nude photos of you, the owner, will help sell your don't need a home stager!

Some people think that their "artsy and off-the-wall taste" will actually help sell the home. They think, "Well, if someone comes along that actually appreciates my taste, they will buy the house."

(Keep Dreaming!)

Posted by Palma Minnich, Home Stager, Charleston, SC (In2itive Design) almost 9 years ago

shocking! ...could i have the address? dmeyers

Posted by dmeyers almost 9 years ago

I am not offended by nude art. Of course, I haven't seen it all, right? But in the DINING ROOM?!?! Where people eat?!?! Holy moly!

Well, I suppose a photo is a lot better than walking into a showing and the owner themselves are walking around nude. (Yeah, it really happened and THAT image is permanently emblazoned into my corneas.)

Posted by Linda Arvanitis, Your Team Advantage (RE/MAX AllStars Realty) almost 9 years ago

Here in artsy Westchester County we see that a lot. Just this past weekend on a showing, right in front of the front door, was a life sized nude female torso. We laughed and moved on. There was art all over the house and I've shown homes like this in the past. I can see where it could be a problem. I don't see the advantage in keeping it. It either doesn't offend (neutral) or offends (negative) but I never saw it help or be a positive. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) almost 9 years ago

I agree with the nudes coming down, but very offended with comments about stuffed heads and crosses! If my house was on the market:

My home is a rustic mountain home with carefully placed animal heads. I love it and it is tastefully done. I am a christian and WILL NOT remove my religious items-go buy another house!

Posted by Pam Dunn, Relocation Specialist (RE/MAX Premier Choice) almost 9 years ago

Very timely post, Richard.  This subject has been on my mind lately (nude art in listing - not just NUDES!), as I have shown a couple of homes with interesting nude art in the finished basements recently. 

I think it depends where your market is.  If I were showing a loft in TriBeCa, I don't think I would bat an eye with nude art.  Even in my market, if I were showing a home in an arts district, or an upscale home in an area that might have "patron" type of homeowners, I wouldn't be surprised.  It's just a bit of a shock in a family-oriented suburb.

As an aside, it may be a trend:  We were at our local Parade of Homes here in the Columbus, OH market over the weekend, and one of our favorite builders had an exercise room in the finished lower level with a stripper pole, rainbow disco lights, a fog machine, and some nude and "sexy" art on the walls of that room.  A bit of a surprise, needless to say. 

Posted by Don Corson (Coldwell Banker King Thompson) almost 9 years ago

Fortunately I have not had to deal with this problem. I'm an art major (photography) but don't see its place in Real Estate Sales.

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) almost 9 years ago

Hey Richard,

I must say that there is something about nudity that definitely captures people's attention (hence, the reason for your title No Nudes is Good Nudes sparking my interest...very clever indeed). Your point is well taken and clearly someone with a nude portrait of themselves hanging up for potential buyers to see is someone who wants exposure, but not the kind that will get their home sold. It kind of reminds me of a place I had looked at in New York that had a platform right to the left when you walked in with a spotlight above....kind of felt like the set of a porn shoot....10 years later and that's what I remember about the place. So yes, keep the nudes off the walls, along with all those Heather Thomas posters from the '80s.

Posted by Chad Basinger (Windermere Homes & Estates) almost 9 years ago

What a fantastic headline! I haven't had the 'experience' yet, but when I do, I'll whip out your sage advice.

Posted by Judy Chapman (Referral Network of Illinois LLC) almost 9 years ago

OMG!!! I can't believe the listing agent didn't tell them to take that portrait down! Being from the South, that would not go over very well and you would definitely offend most of the Buyers coming thru the home.

Posted by Paige Walker, Real Estate Guru - Alexandria Pineville LA (Paige Walker) almost 9 years ago

OMG!!! I can't believe the listing agent didn't tell them to take that portrait down! Being from the South, that would not go over very well and you would definitely offend most of the Buyers coming thru the home.

Posted by Paige Walker, Real Estate Guru - Alexandria Pineville LA (Paige Walker) almost 9 years ago

I tend to think most folks are sophisticated enough to deal with nudes whence looking at homes. I don't look at it as a deal breaker. If the buyer likes the home I'm sure they are not totally distracted by a nude. But that's just my opinion.

Posted by John DL Arendsen, Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & Contractor (CREST BACKYARD HOMES, ON THE LEVEL GENERAL & FACTORY BUILT HOME CONTRACTOR, TAG REAL ESTATE SALES & INVESTMENTS) almost 9 years ago

In Texas we hunt and fish -- many of my sellers have animal trophies and they have to go when marketing a home -- transplants do not like or understand the heads on the wall or cowhide rugs.  Great post! 

Posted by Anne Edwards Johnson, Austin Realtor | HookemhomesATX (512)917-5260 (JP and Associates) almost 9 years ago


I too had a client that owned the local topless bar. In his family room was a life size nude picture. He saw it as art and rightfully so to some it is art. I told him it is art to many however he is not trying to convince the potential buyyers of his home that they need to have his sense of art! I told him since his home is a 4 bedroom usually families will look at it and the parents with children maybe offended and not look any further afraid of what can be in the master bedroom. He laughed and removed all pictures, because there were more in the master bedroom!!


Posted by Nona Swann, Serving the needs of the Sellers in Brevard County (Swann & Associates Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Oh yes!  This is one of my own pet peeves.  I don't understand any seller that would even consider leaving something on the wall like that while their home is for sale.

The only home that should ever have nudes hanging around while for sale is the Playboy Mansion.

Posted by Randy Elliott almost 9 years ago

Oh yes!  This is one of my own pet peeves.  I don't understand any seller that would even consider leaving something on the wall like that while their home is for sale.

The only home that should ever have nudes hanging around while for sale is the Playboy Mansion.

Posted by Randy Elliott, REALTOR : Lodi / Stockton, CA (RE/MAX Gold) almost 9 years ago

It's Art . Its Controversial. It's life. Up to the seller and not anyone else. I represent many artist on Maui. We all have the freedom to express ourselves. Don't take things so serious, loosen up, chill out. Hang Loose, Aloha ha ha Jeff

Posted by Jeffery Griffin, Broker Owner (Jeff Griffin LLC ) almost 9 years ago

Oh I LOVE how buyers reference each house they have been in. You may have given me a blog idea, and I needed one today :)

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA almost 9 years ago

As a professional Stager the picture of the home owner would definitely have to go!!  After all we advise that they remove all personal photos, I would say that is definitely personal:)

Posted by Brenda Hughes, Home Staging & Re-Design Southern IN, KY (Evansville Home Staging & Re-Design) almost 9 years ago

Prudence is my middle name. If I as a buyer had my kids with me...I would not go into the nude room, so I totally agree. No nudes!

Posted by Sonja Patterson, Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou (Keller Williams - BV) almost 9 years ago

Simply put, denude! The stuff has gotta go...nudes, taxidermies (prize fish displays may be ok?), masks, personal photos, etc. OUT! GO!

Posted by Kristina Heili, Comprehensive Real Estate Services (Keller Williams Premier Realty) almost 9 years ago

I once toured a house for sale that had an enormous mounted sailfish hanging on display in the recreation room.  The agent asked me why I thought the house had failed to sell after a prolonged market time.  "Well," I told her, "among other things, it might be that darned fish!"  It was kinda scarey, and to those folks who do not condone sport fishing, it would also be offensive. 

And then there was the house with art work that was not artistic, but arguable suggestive hanging on the walls.  Ahem!

Side note: The title line on this day's Active Rain "newsletter", borrowed from your title, landed the email right in my spam folder.  Had to "save it" from a certain death in the spam eliminator system.  Just thought I would let you know...

Posted by Susan Ani almost 9 years ago

Hi Richard,

I usually preview the homes I am showing when I have advance notice. 

That way I can contact the other agent to make some adjustments prior to the showing.  I did show a home where the homeowner had numerous pictures of herself in a bikini.  That was all the different sets of buyers ever remembered about that house.  Contact the agent about removal of nude art.

Posted by Elizabeth Vincent almost 9 years ago

Hi Richard,

I usually preview the homes I am showing when I have advance notice. 

That way I can contact the other agent to make some adjustments prior to the showing.  I did show a home where the homeowner had numerous pictures of herself in a bikini.  That was all the different sets of buyers ever remembered about that house.  Contact the agent about removal of nude art.

Posted by Elizabeth Vincent almost 9 years ago

Hi Richard,

I usually preview the homes I am showing when I have advance notice. 

That way I can contact the other agent to make some adjustments prior to the showing.  I did show a home where the homeowner had numerous pictures of herself in a bikini.  That was all the different sets of buyers ever remembered about that house.  Contact the agent about removal of nude art.

Posted by Elizabeth Vincent almost 9 years ago

Hi Richard,

I usually preview the homes I am showing when I have advance notice. 

That way I can contact the other agent to make some adjustments prior to the showing.  I did show a home where the homeowner had numerous pictures of herself in a bikini.  That was all the different sets of buyers ever remembered about that house.  Contact the agent about removal of nude art.

Posted by Elizabeth Vincent almost 9 years ago

Richard:  Wow!  It's difficult enough to tactfully explain to people that the family photos should be toned down, at the very least, but this, yikes!  I hope you were able to express to the listing agent the inappropriateness of it all.  Carrie

Posted by Carrie Sampron, ABR SFR & Kathy Sampron (303) 931-3629 Highlands R (Home Smart Realty Group) almost 9 years ago


I agree, Nudes are Bad Nudes when it comes to staging a house for sale! It is always a good idea to bring in a stager to advise sellers how to prepare their house for sale. Stagers help the seller make the transition from selling their home to selling their house.  

Tawni Oppenheim,



Posted by Tawni oppenheim almost 9 years ago

I couldn't agree with you more.  I tell my sellers that once they put their house on the market, it is no longer their home but it is a prooduct for sale.

Posted by Sybil Campbell, REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia (Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia) almost 9 years ago

Thanks for the post and the great comments. This is good stuff.

Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) almost 9 years ago

I was once showing a place that had nudes throughout the house, a stripper pole in the kitchen, a bong under the table, and a bag of pot on top... Tenants ... and they knew I was coming.

Posted by Jordy Brisbin (Sutton Centre Realty) over 8 years ago
Usually when someone says "I'm not a prude but...", they are, in fact, a prude. When we see the phrase twice, we can say so with certainty.
Posted by MHM over 5 years ago