If Your Mother Wouldn't Approve, Why Would A Buyer?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

Staging A Home                                                  

We have all been there, showing a home and then then a pause and in full glory for all to view is the object that will now take the focus away from the home.

Such was the case when I was out with a client.  A refrigerator magnet reading "I give the world's best _ _ _ _.  I'll let your imagination fill in the four letter blanks.  Well, needless to say the good natured clients I was out with and thankfully young buyers just stared - comments began.  It was downhill from that point.  With chuckles for the remainder of the day we came up with all sorts of quips - well the home with the ups and downs ... it just spiraled to even worse corn ball comments.  It wasn't the home with possibilities, or warm fuzzy feeling it gave, etc.  The distraction had been created the moment we entered the kitchen.

It is up to us as professionals to view our listings and take the owners by the hand to view each room and discuss ways to improve if needed.  This not only applies to furniture rearranging, paint colors to neutralized, a pillow added to the sofa to pop a color but also look for items that may be of questionable taste.  Even true art pieces like nude statues or paintings may make buyers feel uncomfortable.  The popular pictures of maternity huge belly and then mom breast feeding a newborn may be special to the owners but certainly not to all buyers. 

Screen for teenage rooms that have posters that would not be considered in good taste.  Bumper stickers, magnets, and personal products sitting out need to be tucked away.  Undergarments hung up to line dry need to be taken down, no one enjoys seeing thongs or bras in the bathrooms.  Dirty clothes hampers hidden, trash cans emptied. Reading material and magazines that may raise an eyebrow need to be put away. 

If you would be embarrassed if your mother saw something then that is the test to hide it away. 

It is up to the listing agent to politely but firmly make the sellers aware that these things are distractions and in your most professional wording get them on board to stage for success.




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  1. Lynn Bentley 08/11/2011 01:45 PM
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Nancy Pav
Century 21 Redwood Realty - Ashburn, VA
Nancy Pav, Your "GottaHave" Realtor

So very true.  Thanks for sharing

Aug 11, 2011 01:35 PM #1
Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind
KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate - Tucson, AZ

HI CONNIE!  Had to suggest this one because today, while showing a home, we were stepping over things that would make anyone gasp!  I could only imagine the comments and jokes on your end since I was having a few of my own over here!  Nice one!

Aug 11, 2011 01:42 PM #2
David Spencer
Keller Williams Northland - Kansas City, MO
Show Me real estate in Kansas City

On broker tour we were made aware of the next door neighbor squatters who were using the bedroom  to escape the left over party.

We were discreet in ignoring the forms under the bedroom blankets asnd just smiled and said "broker tour, carry on".

Aug 11, 2011 01:46 PM #3
Shannon Jones
The Shannon Jones Team - Long Beach, CA
Long Beach CA Real Estate

Connie, great post. I'm amazed by some of the things I see in people's homes. It's very important to remove things that may be offensive or questionable to potential buyers.

Aug 11, 2011 01:52 PM #4
David Gibson CNE, 719-304-4684 ~ Colorado Springs Relocation
Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Relocation, Luxury & Lifestyle residential

Connie so often when that happens it not only ruins that house but all the showings for the day. Buyers just lose focus or something. Thanks for the reminder.

Aug 11, 2011 02:23 PM #5
Bill Pohl
Tetra Homes, Inc. - Loveland, OH

Hey Connie....send me the address of the house, my imagination works fine!! LOL.

Aug 11, 2011 02:32 PM #6
Randy Ostrander
Lake and Lodge Realty LLC - Big Rapids, MI
Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI

Good evening Connie. How crazy is it that people actually need to be told to clean their house or not have offensive things laying around. Even worse is having to them their family pet has an odor. That is almost always guaranteed to make the seller angry.

Aug 11, 2011 02:33 PM #7
Judith Parker
ProStead Realty - Charlotte, NC
CRS, GRI, CMRS, Charlotte, NC

Hi Connie, it is amazing the things that people leave out and feel that it is okay.  I agree that it is our job as a listing agent to point these things out and have a discussion about them.

Aug 11, 2011 03:35 PM #8
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

How horrible. I once previewed a home where the garage was definitely a mancave, with every Playboy calendar ever printed hanging in there. The home itself wasn’t much better, so I declined to show it.

Aug 11, 2011 06:39 PM #9
Cherise Selley
Selley Group Real Estate, LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realtor


It's amazing how something obtrusive can change the focus of the homebuying process.  I bet the jokes were far from this planet... g

Aug 12, 2011 04:30 AM #10
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Connie Goodrich

CRS ABR (McKinney Realtor)Texas
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