Have you had a suborn owner? with BLACK-N-WHITE COWS?

Real Estate Agent with WPI-Gatefield Realty

I had sellers who wouldn't help themselves. They wouldn't clean, pack, paint, mow or fix never mind "stage" their house. At the listing appointment we went room by room pointing out what should be done. The sellers were all yes, yes, great we've meant to do that. I explained to them that in this market there are about 30,000 homes in their price range and they need to make theirs the most appealing. Oh we know, we know! They chanted. we'll get right to it.

Nothing. Absolutely nothing was done. The next day the sellers called me up and told me they were all moved out. They had moved in with her aunt, who lived like 4 houses away.

This made it easy to come back and do laundry and pick up clothes as needed. There were ironing boards and ironing set up in the master and the laundry, cob webs in the windows and vaulted ceilings.

It wasn't thilthy, more untidy. Every room had way too much furniture, way too much big heavy furniture.

 Pictures, on every square inch of wall space, on every flat surface in every room was a family picture. A picture in a frame, most of witch tied into the theme of the house. Now the theme of the house was BLACK-N-WHITE COWS.

Nowhere could you stand, at no angle could you look and not see something to do with

BLACK-N-WHITE COWS. They were on coffee cups, salt-n-pepper shakers, cookie jars the corners of picture frames, stenciled on crown molding. Statues of BLACK-N-WHITE COWS standing, sitting, dancing, reading the news paper. Fuzzy BLACK-N-WHITE COW hide toilet bowl rugs and covers. There were even BLACK-N-WHITE COW pulls on the ceiling fans. I could go on.

I explained the feed back I was getting from the showings several times. I even went so far as to forward some of the email. Nothing, absolutely nothing. All I got was "my wife likes BLACK-N-WHITE COWS".

The listing is expired. The owners are going with a new broker. I truly believe I could have sold the place if it were DE-cluttered, DE-personalized and Cleaned, D.D.&C.

Thank you for letting me vent.


Comments (10)

Sue Player
First Homestead Mortgage, LLC - Oyster Bay, NY

This is hilarious!  Though, not for you - sorry to laugh at something that made your job tougher.  It just reminds me of the horror show I called house hunting a few years back.  There was 1 house we saw that had a theme also - we called it the Safari House!  Every item in every room had a safari theme, not just a few accent pieces here & there. 

 It was actually a clean & a nice house, I would have bought it if it weren't for the crazy layout (that couldn't be worked around or fixed w/o MAJOR money being spent).

Jul 23, 2007 06:32 AM
Richard Dolbeare, R(B)
eXp Realty - Wailuku, HI
R(B), ABR, CRS...Hawaii Multi-Island Specialist

So was the new broker successful in making stew out of the black and white cows?

Jul 23, 2007 06:35 AM
Richard Dolbeare, R(B)
eXp Realty - Wailuku, HI
R(B), ABR, CRS...Hawaii Multi-Island Specialist
More to the point than my first comment, yes, I've had stubborn owners.  One insisted on listing their home far above comps and then refusing to budge.  The listing expired, they selected a new broker, and lowered the price.  Quite frustrating indeed.
Jul 23, 2007 06:37 AM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County
It is sad when you get sellers who just don't get it! There are a lot of jokes that can be made about the cows...But, they will probably have it listed until the cows come home! Sad when you do so much work... and get nothing for your effort.
Jul 23, 2007 06:39 AM
Chuck Christensen
Your Financial Coach - Bellingham, WA
And they usually don't get it. Every Realtor has a story like this and it always ends in not selling the house. I don't understand why realtors still spend all that money just trying to get the listing. Why not tell them you will list it when it gets ready to show?
Jul 23, 2007 06:46 AM
Patrick Canavan
Keller Williams Realty - Yorba Linda, CA
Orange County Real Estate Voice

Listing a home and selling it has to be a combination of effort between the agent and the home owner.  I am lucky to never have listed a home with this extreme a situation, but I have turned down a listing when a seller was not motivated enough to do what was the minimum to sell their home. 

When the market was very hot this might have not mattered that much.  But now buyers are more selective.  Also, you must have incurred expenses for advertising and spent valuable time on the listing as well.  I'd say the new listing broker/agent will have a hard time with this one too!

Jul 23, 2007 06:50 AM
Bob Southard
Atlas Realty Service, LLC - Kennesaw, GA
e-Pro - Cobb, Cherokee, North Fulton
Maybe I am too picky but I just won't list them way overpriced or ugly.  Everything will sell at some price even with black and white cows.  But I won't take it if I don't think it will sell.  All that does is set me up to get yelled at because the home doesn't sell and its my fault (or so the owner thinks anyway).
Jul 23, 2007 06:57 AM
Doug Jackson
WPI-Gatefield Realty - Leland, NC

Thank you for the sympathy people!

Don't get me wrong these are nice people. I really thought they were going to do "The Plan"

Maybe I can do like Chuck suggests and somehow not take a listing until it's ready.

Bob, is right people not "seeing past the cows was my fault (or so the owner thinks anyway).

Jul 23, 2007 07:19 AM
Sue Player
First Homestead Mortgage, LLC - Oyster Bay, NY
After looking at some websites of some of our home stagers on Active Rain - showing before & after photos - I will never sell my house without getting a home stager in to prep it.  I think it's tough to be objective about one's own home.
Jul 24, 2007 03:32 AM
Doug Jackson
WPI-Gatefield Realty - Leland, NC

Unfortunately I live in an area where I can,t find a home stager. I know enough to get me into trouble, but I do know to Clean, paint, depersonalize and DE-clutter.

What do Home Stagers customarily charge?

Jul 24, 2007 08:56 AM