MESSAGE TO HOMEOWNERS - CLUTTER CAN BE DEADLY

By
Real Estate Agent with DFW FINE PROPERTIES 0506509

 

 

CLUTTER STIRS UP MEMORIES

 

I remember the day as if it was yesterday... My sisters and our friends  were walking down Chicago Avenue in the City of Chicago. I was 9 years old at the time. There were many shops such as the Deli, Tailor, Hardware Store, Bakery Shops, Record Shop, including 2 Movie Theaters. On the day us kids were walking to the Movie Theater we passed by the local junk shop - that is what antique stores were called back then. As usual, the junk shop had narrow aisles. The place was stuffed with stuff of everything imaginable both inside and outside the store. There were big things and small things, things I never saw before!

 

As kids usually do when they are excited, they talk a lot among each other and they don't typically pay attention to their surroundings. I didn't know what happened to me the day I woke up in the hospital after head and skull injuries which required surgery. I remember hearing someone's voice say, thank God she's alive! Apparently, the junk store had tall steel pipes leaning up against the parking meter when one of the them fell on my head and pinned me on the ground. I was sprawled out on the sidewalk unconscious until the emergency crew came to my rescue. 

 

 

PEOPLE NEED ACCESS TO YOUR GARAGE

 

It's been years since I thought about that incident. Yesterday I was inside a homeowner's garage and there was stuff, cluttered all over the place. I needed to get over to the water heater and the electrical panels where the electrical outlet was located next to the big mechanics tool box to press the reset button. An 18 foot ladder leaned and hovered over me. There was other dangerous stuff in that same corner but I proceeded carefully and I was very cognizant that if that ladder or any of the number of dangerous things leaning up against tool boxes and other things fell down on me, I could have been in a very precarious situation.

 

 

MAKE SURE YOUR GARAGE IS CLUTTER FREE

 

 

Owners, when you're putting your house on the market, don't turn your garage into a storage shed and make sure your garage is clutter free. People need to walk around and may need to have access to things inside your garage. Clutter in the garage can kill someone or cause serious injury. It's one thing to be in a group when someone can call 911 or come to another persons aid immediately; it can be a tragic if a Real Estate Agent is alone, the house is vacant and nobody knows when the next person will be in the house or the garage to find an unconscious victim.

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 dfw fine properties

 

DFW FINE PROPERTIES

                                        3575 Lone Star Circle, Suite 315
                                        Fort Worth, TX 76117
                                        Office: 817-748-4800/FAX: 817-748-4900

                                         Patricia Feager
                                                        Cell: 469-951-4758

                                                        Email: patricia.feager@gmail.com

 

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"With self-discipline most anything is possible." --- Theodore Roosevelt 

 

 

  

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Rainmaker
1,525,252
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Patricia, what a scary incident, and I can see why you thought of it again while you were in this homeowners garage. Clutter is dangerous to a sale in the form of buyers not making an offer and also a huge safety liability. Suggested.

Feb 27, 2014 03:40 AM #11
Rainer
324,431
Scott Larson
BHHS/Utah Properties - Park City, UT
Park City, Utah Real Estate News

I am glad your situation ended up ok Patricia, that could have been a horrible domino effect and very good point about clutter, it is not only unsightly and could impact the sale of your home but it could obviously be dangerous as well.

Feb 27, 2014 03:43 AM #12
Rainer
84,203
David Johnson
Team Real Estate Sprigfield - Springfield, MO
Let My Family Help Your Family

Great blog.  Clients usually TRY and declutter but they often fail to work on their garage.  Thanks for sharing.

Feb 27, 2014 03:45 AM #13
Ambassador
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George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Patricia clutter can cause an injury like you stated, and it also can cause injury to the bank account because it will make a house tougher to sell.

Feb 27, 2014 05:10 AM #14
Ambassador
877,246
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Wow Patricia! That was some story! You really do need to be able to get to the important parts of the garage without worrying about things falling.

Feb 27, 2014 05:39 AM #15
Ambassador
2,190,741
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

Your personal story is a great way to drive this point home. No one wants to hurt someone else, and it could lead to even bigger issues...like a lawsuit. 

Feb 27, 2014 07:19 AM #16
Ambassador
1,241,398
Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor
Sun Lakes Realty - Banning, CA
(909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning

Hi Patricia,

Good advice Patricia,

I suggest getting rid of stuff or renting a storage shed. Once I sold a home and the garage was filled with boxes from the back to the front and as high as possible. The appraiser and home inspector had a real problem doing their job but the family finally got it moved out. They had a big garage sale and took a lot to the thrift shop. Plus they invited their friends and family to come by and take anything they wanted so it made it much easier for the appraiser when he came back to check on a few repairs necessary. Great post and true what Debbie said that no one wants a lawsuit.

Feb 27, 2014 08:03 AM #17
Rainmaker
2,046,399
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Fort Worth, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Amanda... so many accidents can be avoided if people would stop to think about consequences. I can understand why some people would wan to save money but when liability is involved, the cost of a storage unit is minimal and less painful to all!

Thanks Amanda.

Feb 27, 2014 08:56 AM #18
Rainmaker
2,046,399
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Fort Worth, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Scott... so many what ifs... Lucky this time for me; however may not be lucky for the next person. Home owners have responsibility througout their ownership.

Thank you Scott.

Feb 27, 2014 08:58 AM #19
Rainmaker
2,046,399
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Fort Worth, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

David,

I have seen many cluttered garages before too. People need to realize it's not a storage unit. Everything should have a place and leaning up against something is not a solution. Thank you David.

Feb 27, 2014 08:59 AM #20
Rainmaker
2,046,399
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Fort Worth, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

George... good point. If there's a lawsuit on the property owner the that will delay or kill the deal if one is in progress. So many things owners need to think about with regards to putting their homes one the market and liability is ongoing whether one puts their home on the market or not.

Thanks George.

Feb 27, 2014 09:01 AM #21
Rainmaker
2,046,399
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Fort Worth, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Connie... as agents we are always at risk and something like what I described is unexceptable. Thanks Connie.

Feb 27, 2014 09:02 AM #22
Rainmaker
2,046,399
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Fort Worth, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Thanks Debbie! Clutter is a lawsuit waiting to happen! Hopefully, as you say, this will drive home the point!

Feb 27, 2014 09:03 AM #23
Rainmaker
2,046,399
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Fort Worth, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Kristin,

Yours is a good story too. I think most agents do a good job helping the owners to get the home prepared for a sale; yet stuff like this happens all the time. When it's not your listing, you have to be prepared. I try to preview most showings to see in advance what my buyers, especially those with children can expect. If I describe a lot of clutter, they don't ever want to see the house and they will rule it out.

Feb 27, 2014 09:05 AM #24
Rainmaker
3,206,226
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Home and Condo Specialists

Yes, it seems that many garages are the "catch-all" cluttered storage area. Many times we have asked homeowners to "stage" their garages too because buyers want to look at everything!

Feb 27, 2014 07:07 PM #25
Rainmaker
2,276,093
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Patricia. Access, how can you really sell anything without unobstructed access? Your right, clutter can easily kill a possible transaction, how about if we compare it to bad breath?  

Feb 27, 2014 07:13 PM #26
Ambassador
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Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Thank heaven you were alright, other than a hospital visit! Nothing worse than clutter and many prospective buyers walk when they see it, including in the garage!

Feb 27, 2014 08:57 PM #27
Rainmaker
4,432,317
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Patricia, Thank you for sharing the story. Clutter in garages and basements are common and we have to be careful when we show such homes. 

Feb 27, 2014 09:42 PM #28
Rainmaker
3,389,988
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Patricia - a messy, cluttered and inacessible garage can send a message to a home buyer -- not enough space for one and what are they trying to hide behind all that stuff could be another.  

Feb 28, 2014 01:40 AM #29
Rainmaker
4,130,299
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Patricia, that would have been so frightening for your family, and garages truly can be just as deadly!

Mar 01, 2014 11:13 PM #30
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