Top Ten Things Not to Do if Your House is For Sale

Photo by Dillon Kydd on Unsplash

 

This post ran on May 23rd, 2016. Still looks like the advice will hold.

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The inspiration for this list came to me while witnessing a couple of houses for sale. I figured that, among other things, these items would be pretty obvious. I have to believe they were just not top of mind when the listing broker showed up to sign the listing. Of course, no listing broker worth their salt would point out particular areas needing improvement until the agreement is signed. After the ink is dry, it is hoped some discussion will occur.

Top Ten Things Not to Do if Your House is For Sale

10 If your house is for sale, do not decide to make your regular batch of sour kraut during the broker open house. If you do, at best, those attending are all sour kraut lovers. At worst, small notes will be made on the file to the effect that a complete cleaning will be needed to eliminate the dead animal smell. (Where did someone get the idea sour kraut smelled like a dead animal?)

9 If your house is for sale, do not assume everyone will overlook all the repairs that have been put off. If you do, At best, you might be able to save the deal by reducing the price to offset what needs fixing. At worst, you will be the proud owner of this house until it falls. (Or until you get off your butt and finish the repairs.)

8 If your house is for sale, do not think the words “Don’t mind the mess” will cause potential buyers to follow your advice. If you do, at best, the potential buyers will politely spend a few moments and then disappear. At worst, the potential buyers will factor in a mess in their offer price. (How do you feel about paying the buyers $1000.00 per messy room in a reduced offer.)

7 If your house is for sale, do not think you can shove all your junk into the garage. If you do, at best, your potential buyers will be the same kind of folks who don’t use their garage for cars. At worst, your potential buyers will assume all your junk will remain with the house and will make for the nearest exit. (Gee, you told them you would have all that stuff moved, right?)

6 If your house is for sale, do not hang around while potential buyers visit. If you do, at best, the potential buyers will think you don’t trust them. At worst, the potential buyers will believe you have some creepy alternative motive for spying on them. (The creepiness of the reason will escalate the more they see you.)

5 If your house is for sale, do not think your massive prize collection of garden gnomes has the same appeal to potential buyers. If you do, at best, your potential buyers will wonder what other collections you have that must be shipped. At worst, your potential buyers will think your house is cursed by the garden people and will make tracks out of there. (Some of those ceramic folk look like they might be dangerous after dark.)

4 If your house is for sale, do not leave your pet parrot behind for the showing. If you do, at best, the potential buyers will learn some new words that Polly has heard from you. At worst, the potential buyers are both grossly allergic to exotic bird droppings due to many years serving in the Peace Corps in the jungle. (Your first inkling of a problem is the flashing EMT lights and police cars in front of your house, all being interviewed by the Nightly News.)

3 If your house is for sale, do not go ahead with the plans for that four-week vacation. If you do, at best, you will need to come home early to sign papers. At worst, you will return after the break to find every light on, running water, and wide open doors due to some showings. (You hope you will be able to get rid of that swarm of mosquitoes that look like they are carrying malaria.)

2 If your house is for sale, do not forget to have your pest and house inspection. If you do forget, at best, the potential buyers will have it done, and the finding repairs will be up to you. At worst, the potential buyers will employ “Midnight House Inspection and Pest Control,” whose fee depends on the number of problems they can find. (You never knew you had a black widow spider infestation, did you, Bunkey?)

1 If your house is for sale, do not try to do it yourself. If you do, at best, you will avoid the obvious pitfalls of “for sale by owner.” At worst, you will find yourself discussing unforeseen issues, which will be resolved by price reductions. (It makes the commission look cheap now, doesn’t it?)

60 comments

  1. All good advice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My neighbor’s sons are cleaning up the condo and preparing it for sale. I’d best give this list to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They might hand it back. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. haha, they’re a good bunch!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh good. Too bad they are moving.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes, indeed.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Number seven brought my mother to mind. She was given to shoving things under the bed, until she realized that the first place like-minded women would look was under the bed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that, Linda. I can imaging the wide eyed expression of those seeing the under bed storage items. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve seen some of these in action. Good tips.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Craig. 😊

      Like

  5. The way our housing market is right now, the seller doesn’t seem to have time to follow any tips. Most homes are gone the first day. I laughed at number seven! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jill. You are so right. I like number seven too. 😊

      Like

  6. #10 and #4 had me belly laughing!! 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always love to hear that. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m so glad!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve seen so many of these. The worst was when the homeowners had the days of the showing mixed up and we saw a very dirty kitchen, a mountain of laundry piled on the floor, and their teenage son still in bed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not a pretty picture for sure. Thanks for sharing. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I have seen many of the above when I was looking for houses.
    When we had our house on the market, the realtor gave us specific instructions on what she wanted us to do for showing purposes. They wanted the home staged as though it were in a magazine. While I believe the house should be well maintained and free of clutter, I think the buyer should know that you still live there and you do use your kitchen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it would be funny if the buyer asked the realtor, “Do the appliances work?”

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Wise words!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Joan.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Another great “Top Ten Things,” John. I’ve never tried to sell a home without a realtor, but once I bought a home that was for sale by the owner. Thankfully, all went well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have never bought a home that was for sale by owner. I’ve always used realtors. Thanks, Gwen.

      Like

  11. Managed to avoid all of these when selling our house three years ago, but 23 showing exhausted us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah that would do it.😁

      Like

  12. I’m dealing with number seven now…going to take all the garage junk and put it on the roof…here come the offers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No one will think to look on the roof. Smart move, Jim. 😁

      Like

  13. Good advice, John. 🙂 I’ll keep these things in mind if I decide to sell in the future (assuming there is a future).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is a future, Tim. Thanks for reminding me.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. A scary list, John, since I’ll probably be guilty of a lot of these when the time comes. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We all will. Thanks, Diana.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    All good advice and a process I dread.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We all do. Thanks, Denise

      Liked by 1 person

  16. These are great, John. We bought our house in a private sale from a “friend” who left the garage full. I had to call him after 30 days and inform him that I was going to start charging him rent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That can be an uncomfortable situation for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. House transactions are so wild, John. It’s a crazy time for all involved. Anything can happen…and usually does!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it does. All of mine have had some wacky situation.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Funny but true in many cases. We looked at a house that smelled of dead fish. Even though the house met our requirements, my husband could not get the smell out of his mind.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I could not imagine living with a dead fish smell. We looked at a place that had a curry smell. Could not do that either.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Dear John
    Funny but true, indeed! We agree with Darlene.
    We loved to read your advice. We don’t want to sell but the estate agents in our area phone and write to ask if you want to sell at least twice a week. We all have this problem here on our coast.
    Thanks and cheers
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your house is probably very desirable. That was our house on the coast. It lasted a day when we put it up for sale.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s the area and our big garden.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Excellent advice, John. Thank goodness I am not buying or selling a house, but if I were, I’d take all this to heart. 🙂

    Like

  21. Wonderful set, dear John. I’ll keep it in mind for the future.👍👍👍🍤🍤🍤🍻😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, if you ever decide to sell Versailles it will come in handy. 🥂🍰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 😁😁😁

        Liked by 1 person

  22. I would add to the list clean the cat urine and feces from the floors before listing the house for sale. (I couldn’t run out of that house fast enough!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 🤢 I’m right behind you.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I’ve never owned a house to sell, so I have no prior experience, but in case my rich uncle gets out of the poorhouse and gives me a bunch of money to buy a house, I’ll keep this advice tucked away safely for future reference! Awww … they wouldn’t like the gnomes? Gnomes are adorable & fun! Any buyer who hated the gnomes wouldn’t deserve my house anyway!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe you’ll find a gnome loving buyer if your uncle ever gets out of the poor house and cuts loose with some money and you decide to sell. (whew)

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I’ve never accumulated enough wealth to own a house. But I’m thinking of leasing my cardboard pad under the bridge. Got any advice for that?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes . Don’t let the potential lessor try before buy. I’m sure that cardboard pad is something to possess and you’ll never get it back.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. A great list, John, and I got a chuckle from #4. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you did. Thanks, Lauren.

      Liked by 1 person

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