Is Your House the Leftover Turkey?

Reblogger Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
Industry Observer with RETIRED / State License is Inactive Inactive License Oregon

Great post from home stager Marie Graham.  She really nailed it.

Buyers want TURN KEY . . . not Turkey!

I recently showed property that had all the items Marie listed:  photos were not representative, sellers were home, it was appointment only . . .

Since this property came up on my rader, I actually toured it and the living room was MUCH nicer in person, as opposed to the photos (which made it seem very smal).  The backyard was very nice, not the soggy bog the photos made it seem.

In an area that is selling well, this is a dried out turkey to many buyers.  It has had a $20,000 (total) drop in price and that's a shame when the area is doing so well, and this really isn't a bad listing.  Now, if only the listing agent could get buyers through the door! 


Original content by Marie Graham

Is Your House the Leftover Turkey?

Anything more cliched this time of year than leftover turkey that no one wants to see? Oh. Right. Old listings with little interest, and no offers. And sellers who whine and twist their hands, bemoaning their state of affairs.

Two things entice a buyer to act: Price, and condition. I'm not an agent, and will not discuss pricing except to say if it's not in line with the rest of the market, you're out. But condition....and conditions are two things this Westchester County Home Stager is an expert on. Here are three conditions that guarantee buyers will pick over, but ultimately pass on you, and your leftover turkey house.

Accompanied tours

If I were an agent, sellers being out of the house for Open Houses and showings would be addressed in the first meeting, and a non-negotiable part of my contracts, period. A buyer's time in a house is all about THEM. It's when their dreams come out and play; showing agents are there to listen, and answer any questions the buyers actually pose.

NOTHING makes buyers shut down and lose interest quicker than having to edit their thoughts, or listen to what the current owner thinks is important about the property. Sellers who stubbornly argue this point will probably never sell their house. Or it will drag on-grimly, grittily, and at considerable expense to the seller (price reductions and carrying costs) MORAL: If you really want to sell, let your agent do their job. Get. Out. Of. The. House.

Listing photos

We've all heard the stats, online searches are the very first things 90% of buyers do. If your listing photos are not the best they can be, guess what! CLICK! In seconds, they're gone, on to the next listing. Photographic quality is important, but subject matter comes first, and agent and seller are equally responsible.

Photos of under-lit, messy rooms, say volumes about how the agents run the rest of their business, and make me question how ready the seller really is to sell. It costs NOTHING to turn on a light, straighten a shade, clear off the counter, make the bed, or lower the toliet seat. Think about it. Better yet, do it.

Bad first dates

Ever have a first date where the other person obviously cared a lot less than you did? Maybe they looked or smelled like they got dressed out of the hamper, or their personal grooming was minimal. Perhaps they were late, or spent the entire time talking about themselves.

Whatever it was, it was clear the other person cared about themselves and their needs/interests more than they did about connecting with you. It didn't feel good, and chances are there was no second date. It's the same way with houses. When a seller doesn't put a house's best foot forward, doesn't keep it neat, or make every effort to accomodate reasonable showing requests-buyers get the message. They will move ON, not IN.


NEED to sell? Have listless listings?  Know that something has to be done, but don't know where-or how-to start?   Call me, I can help.

the refreshed home is your Westchester County Interior Decorating and Home Staging specialist. We create solutions and facilitate changes, so you can get on with your life.

Together, we get things done:  Helping property owners make wise plans and confident decisions; working with Realtors and their clients to develop a strategy, and plan of action.

Buying, selling or staying - let the refreshed home be your partner in change.  Because when your space works, so  many other things fall into place!

Marie Graham ASP, IAHSP, IDS Your Stager With A Mission!

QUESTIONS? Don't hesitate!! 914.607.2895 

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Dana Hollish Hill
Hollish Hill Group, Keller William Capital Properties - Bethesda, MD
Lead Associate Broker

Great blog. Thanks for sharing the post and your story as well. I am seeing a LOT of left over turkeys in my local markets. I wish I could forward this to the sellers.

Dec 03, 2012 04:37 AM #1
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County
That certainly is a clever analogy and an excellent way to describe a home. Good reblog.
Dec 03, 2012 12:26 PM #2
John G. Johnston
John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC - Westcliffe, CO
An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO

Carla  Thanks for sharing.  I wish the local agents would read this as some believe in only taking 1 or 2 pics thinking that is enough to spark interest and buyers will call for more info.  If they only knew how many buyers pass on their listings thinking it is below standard...

Dec 03, 2012 12:48 PM #3
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Carla, This is a great re-blog!  I missed the original which I can't believe was not featured! I've had a lot of bad first dates and with houses too!  We only get one change to make a first impression. 

Dec 05, 2012 10:24 AM #4
Marie Graham
Owner, The Refreshed Home White Plains NY - White Plains, NY
Westchester County Interior Decorator, Home Stager

CARLA! And DANA! MELISSA! JOHN! KATHLEEN!  Thank you! only saw this was re-blogged just now.  There is very little I write that is not appropriate for sellers, buyers AND agents, so if it fits, definitely pass it will make things better for all of us :)

Dec 13, 2012 06:02 AM #5
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Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED

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