Toilet Seat Etiquette for Sellers in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Benton, Linn and Douglas Counties Call Terri today!

Put the toilet set down, please.

This has been one of those pet peeves of mine when I am showing a home. It is so unpleasant to walk in a bathroom, especially a luxurious bathroom, with a buyer and see the toilet seat up (sometimes not real clean, and even other times…, well, you know.)

I decided to Google the reasons why a person should put the toilet seat down, including health benefits in addition to the visual appearance so I could prove my point to any potential seller that may question my opinion on the matter.

And WOW! I hit a gold mine.  If you have the time, this is a great article in the Huffington Post regarding this topic.  Who knew.  It seems that the “men” and “women” see this matter very differently, and for some reason, the men seem to be more outspoken on the issue.

To remain a bit neutral, I went to WikipediaThe highlighted portion was added by me.

A toilet seat is a hinged unit consisting of seat, and usually a lid, which is bolted onto a toilet bowl for a flush toilet. A toilet seat consists of the seat itself, which may be contoured for the user to sit on, and the lid, which covers the toilet when it is not in use – the lid may be absent in some cases, particularly public restrooms.

The seat is generally lifted when a man stands to urinate, or while cleaning the toilet. The issue of men leaving the seat up or putting it back down after use, particularly for the benefit of women, is a perennial topic of discussion and light humor, with it generally argued that leaving the toilet seat up is more efficient, but putting it down is more considerate.[1][2] The lid is frequently left open, but it can be closed after use, to prevent the spread of germs and odors when the water is aerosolized on flushing.[3]

Then I found an article that clearly states that leaving the toilet seat up allows germs to spread. In fact, the article said that  bacteria could be transported up to 10 inches above a toilet seat when left open and remain in the air for up to an hour and a half later. Not so great.

Enough rabbit trails. I personally prefer the toilet lid down.  There is only chance for A FIRST IMPRESSION and we want it to be positive.  You don’t want the buyer to nickname your home “the dirty toilet home.” So, with that in mind, and for the benefit of a healthier home, I encourage all sellers to get in the habit of putting the toilet lid down.


P.S. And real estate agents… when pictures are being taken for the Multiple Listing Service, make sure your photographer takes pictures with the toilet lid down. It does make a difference. For a good laugh, search “Bad MLS Photos Bathroom” and you will probably roll your eyes like I did. For great bathroom photos, visit my Pinterest posts.

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Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Terri, what a great title and important topic for Sellers, agents and photographers!  Well said!

Jan 14, 2014 02:22 PM #1
Dana Hollish Hill
Hollish Hill Group, KW Capital Properties - Bethesda, MD
Lead Associate Broker

One time I was out with clients seeing a handful of townhomes that were pretty highend, but very similar in layout. It was hard for my clients to keep them straight. I showed a home that had floaters in two of the toilets. It was from then on referred to as the "poopy" house. 

When the agent called for feedback and I told her what we encountered she was apppalled. I would have loved to hear the phone call she made to her client after hearing our nick name. 

Jan 15, 2014 12:18 AM #2
AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

Terri - I'm with you on this one completely!  It is highly recommended that a property be completely cleaned from stem to stern, but this particular appliance gets dirtied up on a regular basis.  If I might, I would also like to suggest that agents & photographers put the lid down when taking photos for the MLS.

Jan 15, 2014 02:34 AM #3
Terri Woods
Benton, Linn and Douglas Counties - Days Creek, OR
Selling Homes and Land in Oregon

Hi Sharon - It is important. Especially in pictures and showings. Thanks for your comment.

Hi Dana - That is so funny. I don't think sellers realize the names the buyers put on their houses. Thanks so much for making me laugh.

Hi AJ - Definitely, put the seat down. :)  Thanks for your comment.

Jan 15, 2014 06:25 AM #4
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Terri Woods

Selling Homes and Land in Oregon
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