10 Ways to Sabotage Your Home Sale

Home Stager with StageTwoSell LLC

This Keller Williams Agent has had some experience with poor showings.  This may ring true for you if you are an agent, and if you are selling your house...listen well.

Original content by Holly Weatherwax

If you really don't want to sell your home, here are 10 things that you can do to sabotage the sale (based on my real world experience working with buyers).

1. Make it difficult to see your home. If you really want to turn off the buyer, agree to a time and For Salethen don't show up (no lockbox, obviously). 

2. Don't clean off the front walkway and front porch. This is especially a deterrent if it has been snowy or icy.

3. Keep your Holiday decorations up all year round. 

4. Don't remove the dead trees and shrubs on your property.

5. Put a key that doesn't work well in your lock in the lockbox. Using a deadbolt and then not providing a key in the lockbox works well, too.

6. Put lots of plug-in air fresheners in your house. A lot of them!

7. Don't get too caught up in vacuuming or keeping the kitchens and bathrooms clean.

8. Leave the dogs out and about…especially if they bark at the door when someone rings the bell.

9. Agree to a showing time and have people asleep in different bedrooms so that they can't be seen.

10. Keep a lot of trash around the yard; old appliances, recycling and broken bikes work really well for this.

It is a lot of work to sell your home. Many buyers try to overlook some of the things that buyers opt not to do before their home is listed, but at some point, it is very difficult to pay attention to the house when there are so many non-essential things vying for a buyer's attention.

Do the heavy lifting (literally!) prior to listing your home. Your home will look good, buyers will be impressed and, hopefully, it will go under contract quickly and for a good price. After all, isn't that your ultimate goal? 


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I believe that buying or selling real estate should be a GREAT EXPERIENCE. If I can help you, your friends or family buy or sell their next home in Northern Virginia, please let me know!

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Comments (6)

Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Debra, and absolute great list. It baffles me, the one about access where people keep wanting an appointment as far out as the next day, or multiple tries to see the home, and you keep getting a NO. I walk away shaking my head.

Feb 10, 2014 11:11 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Debra, you are so right - sometimes we have to educate sellers on how to 'SHOW' their home when it is on sale.

Feb 10, 2014 11:39 PM
John Owen
RE/MAX Impact Realty, Brokerage - Courtice, ON
Broker serving Durham Region, Ontario

Hi Debra - great list! It's frustrating on both sides to see sellers that are inconvenienced in doing the basics.

Feb 11, 2014 01:51 AM
Debra Landy
StageTwoSell LLC - Horseheads, NY
PA and NY Home Stager

Thanks Gary,Prayful and John.  I, like you, found this list very helpful.  As a stager I'm doing my best to help the Real Estate Agent's  educate their sellers on the ROI of preparing the product for sale.  It's nice that we as stagers can focus totally on that and you as agents can work on marketing the improved product.

Happy Spring season!


Feb 20, 2014 10:22 PM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

This is a great list from a Realtor who has seen and experienced it all when showing homes.

Mar 22, 2014 05:45 PM
Debra Landy
StageTwoSell LLC - Horseheads, NY
PA and NY Home Stager

Yes,  I admire all that you do as agents.


Mar 23, 2014 10:07 AM