We'll See How It Goes

Real Estate Agent with Russell Real Estate Services

I was asked to list a house by a lady who felt her yard and house were just too big for her.  She had recently removed herself from an abusive relationship and wanted to move on.

When I arrived at the house, it looked kind of OK from the outside.  Just a cute little bungalow with a brick front.  There was some overgrown shrubbery that could easily have been cut back.  I was met at the door by the client who immediately began to apologize for the condition of the house.  Uh oh.  Aside from the immense amount of clutter that was immediately in front of me, there was a too 


strong smell of "dog" in the house.  She pushed open doors as we made our way to the kitchen and each one was overflowing from top to bottom with "stuff".

We sat at the kitchen table and had a chat again about her reasons for wanting to move, where she thought she would go and so on.  She immediately offered that she knew the house wasn't ready to list yet and that she had a bit of a "hoarding" problem.  She said she was getting help from her family, but just felt so overwhelmed by it all.

As gently as I could, I suggested that she was right, her house was not ready and she needed a plan to get where she wanted to go.

We started a list:  

1.  Find boxes/containers and bags

2.  Categorize where you will put things when you sort.  Goodwill, Trash, Save, etc.

3.  Do just one thing:   One basket on the kitchen counter, one shelf on the bookcase

4.  Spend just 15 minutes

5.  Ask your family for help

6.  Set a goal date for listing.

I tried to help her with some encouragement and by compartmentalizing tasks into small segments and small chunks of time.

I left her with one task for the morning.  Clear the magnets from the refrigerator.  

It's a start, she seems anxious and I made plans to come and see her again in two weeks.

We'll see how it goes. 

Posted by


Mary M. Kandell                                             
ABR, CNE                                               
Russell Real Estate

It Starts With the Heart 


6203 Milan Rd. Sandusky, OH   44870

 419-239-4140  Cell




This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
ActiveRain Community
Active Rain Newbies
Almost Anything Goes
Diary of a Realtor
goal setting

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
JoAnn Moore
The Mortgage Market of Delaware - Georgetown, DE
Home Loans in Delaware

Sounds like you were as tactful as you could be. Offering a plan of action was a helpful thing to do.

Jan 27, 2011 06:25 AM #1
Yolanda Garcia
Keller Williams Realty Signature - Rockford, IL

Good luck on this one!!!!

I have a great company in my area that specializes in not only cleaning services - but also helping folks just like your gal..........If there is a local owned provider in your area that does this, you might save yourself a lot of time - effort and energy by getting your client to hire them for assistance vs you checking in every two weeks.

If she is serious about selling - she should at least be open to exploring her options to meet her personal goals!


Jan 27, 2011 06:26 AM #2
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

That dog or cat litter smell will get you every time.  It is really a shame whwn that happens.

Jan 27, 2011 06:26 AM #3
Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker
RVA Home Team - Richmond, VA
RVA Home Team - Winning with Integrity.

Good luck! She understands there is a problem, so that is half the battle! Hopefully she will go above and beyond and will surprise you! Let us know how this story ends!

Jan 27, 2011 06:31 AM #4
Mary M. Kandell
Russell Real Estate Services - Sandusky, OH

Yolanda, she seemed to be open to suggestions.  She is very financially depressed and, in fact not able to afford a service.  She's having trouble keeping the electric on at this point.  I am not aware of any company in our area that specializes in a cleaning service like this.  We have some trash out companies, but they are pretty indiscriminate.  Hmm...food for thought

The smell is really bad, and she knows it.  She has two beautiful Siberian Huskies.  She said she realizes she probably won't be able to keep them and will need to find them a good home.  I asked her to notify the Humane Society to let them know she has these beautiful animals and they may know someone who is looking.  The sooner she addresses placing the dogs, the better.

Jan 27, 2011 06:37 AM #5
Deborah Byron Leffler BzyBee Real Estate Lady!
Keller Williams Realty Boise - Nampa, ID

Oh boy...I have one liek that.....I went a head and listed it as we are getting very close to getting an NOD on it....lots of showings but i have to talk to her about a reduction!    And the kitty litter is not helping!   uuggghh   It is so hard when they are financially strapped...and emotionally depressed to boot!

Jan 27, 2011 07:57 AM #6
Mary M. Kandell
Russell Real Estate Services - Sandusky, OH

Shannon,  I'm hoping to be surprised.  She'll need a lot of support and encouragement.  I hope her family is up to it.  I'll let you know.

Deborah,  Good luck with your seller as well.  A price reduction can't hurt, right?  This lady is working through a lot, emotionally as well as financially right now.  It will take some time and then some.  Our target date for listing is April 1.  Fingers crossed  

Jan 27, 2011 08:15 AM #7
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Mary M. Kandell

Let Me Know How I Can Help
Spam prevention

Additional Information