Please Ask Them to Hide the Dirty Underwear

Real Estate Agent with Floridian International Realty Inc.


As a real estate professional who works predominantly with Buyers, I usually don't get to view a home until I'm showing to a client. There are some things I've seen that would make every mother mad and ready to get out a rolling pin ready to discipline someone, anyone. As for me, I am sometimes just so flabbergasted I find myself at a loss for words trying to explain what's there to incredulous clients. Here's just a short list of some of the showing no-no's that I have been subjected to, and believe me when I say the value of the home really isn't the factor that determines what you'll see once inside. Some of these strange things have happened in $100,000 homes as well as in $750,000 homes:


- Dirty underwear on the floor, many items, not just one
- Unmade beds - this is so much more common than you would believe
- Dirty dishes in the sink - not just from breakfast this morning, sometimes, days old
- Is leftover foods on the dining table a separate category or does it fit with the point above
- Bathrooms that look like they've never been cleaned with bottles and boxes of every personal care product on show
- Open suitcases with dirty laundry strewn all over the floor
- Here a living one, the owner lounging on her bed on the phone wearing - well, not very much (and the listing agent met me here)
- Sex toys on the side table - I won't go into detail here :)
- Enough religious items hanging on every inch of wall space, to make the place look like a cult den
Oh, I could go on but I think you get the message. Needless to say, I haven't yet met a Buyer willing to overlook any of these showing transgressions. If fact, they usually want to get out of the home as quickly as possible.
So, please, please get your clients to understand that their home will never sell if it looks like a college dorm room or like some religious sect has invaded the property. Now don't get all mad at me about the religious items, a few pieces here and there are fine, but when there is no more wall space left to hang one more religious item and that's the only decoration you have on the walls, you may have a problem selling the home.
I am out of excuses to give my clients – suggestions please.
Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

Tali, I think this is a new art form called "Reverse Staging for Short Sales". I think it's safe to say that a great many owners of listed properties don't want to receive an offer that might be acceptable to the bank. Not too soon, anyway.

Oct 21, 2011 09:59 AM
Gay E. Rosen
Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty - Larchmont, NY
As Real as Real Estate Gets!

Hi Tali: You are so right!

Oct 21, 2011 10:00 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Oh my!  I can appreciate the average dirty sinkful of dishes sometimes, but your pictures go the extra mile.  Much less the "toys"!  Every realtor needs to read this!  Suggest!

Oct 21, 2011 10:01 AM
Megan Sellers
The Collection Madeira at Elk Grove - Elk Grove, CA
New Homes in Elk Grove, CA

OK - I just have to say - I loved the headline!  I think you have to learn to sell the "lived in" look.  There's a reason I only sell new homes!!  Thanks for the entertainment today!  Have a fabulous weekend. 

Oct 21, 2011 10:01 AM
John Souerbry
Cordon Real Estate - Fairfield, CA
Homes, Land & Investments

By your title, it appears you're asking clients to display their CLEAN underwear?  I don't see either as art...

Oct 21, 2011 12:44 PM
Tali Wolder
Floridian International Realty Inc. - Boca Raton, FL

John, that's definitely a tongue in cheeck comment - I hope.......

No underwear on display should be a mantra. I for one can do without seeing it strewn around.

Oct 22, 2011 02:23 AM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Happy Hump Day!

Oct 26, 2011 03:12 AM