Want more stories of offenses encountered by buyer’s agents when showing homes? Here are a few more things sellers have done wrong.
Cleanliness and clutter are consistently in the top 10 offences. Dirty laundry piles, dishes on the counter or sink, unmade beds, clothes scattered about, soiled carpets, dirty air conditioner filters, and overflowing trash cans are big turnoffs, and unfortunately are not all that uncommon. If this isn’t your strength, get help, hire someone, or make an extra effort to ensure these things don’t exist when your home is for sale.
Sellers should be careful not to leave sensitive or private documents in plain sight. Some agents say they’ve seen personal information like bank and credit card statements left on the kitchen counter. Plus some buyers are nosey, and will not hesitate to open drawers and cupboards. So don’t leave personal information anywhere it could be seen.
Too dark homes aren’t shown “in the best light.” Dimly lit rooms never look good so open the window coverings. You may be trying to save money, but when your home is on the market, leave the lights so it is “light and bright.” Fix any lighting issues. In one of my listings, a closet was noticeably darker than any where else in the house. So I removed the 40 watt bulb from the fixture and put a clear 100 watt bulb in its place, and that made a noticeable improvement.
Any photos or artwork that could embarrass or offend buyers should be removed. One agent in Kentucky showed a family a home that had life-sized, nude photos hanging on the walls, prompting the buyers to race for the door covering their eyes. In another situation that occurred here in Phoenix, the owner – who was also the listing agent, left a painting of herself scantily clad in lingerie in the master bedroom.
Openly religious objects should be put away also. I’ve had a listing where the owner had a large collection of crucifixes, and another with Judaic artwork on either side of the only hallway. Although all of these objects were attractive and were good decorating ideas, they could turn off buyers.
Finally, don’t forget your computer! To avoid a buyer seeing lewd wallpaper and screen savers and what webpage you were on when you left (you know what kind of website I mean), turn it off!
Although these cautionary tales are amusing, they provide a serious example of what not to do in your home sale. For expert listing advice and guidance on how to avoid other showing no-nos, contact me at 480 675-0112 or firstname.lastname@example.org.