Is Your Name Munster? Use Common Sense-Keep The Property Looking Good

Real Estate Broker/Owner with MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC NC# 218097
Why do you suppose that spiderwebs outside the house are magical works of art and inside the house they are sort of creepy and makes the house feel dirty? In the world of real estate it doesn't matter! Cobwebs inside your house never look good to the showing agent OR the buyer. Never. Unless your name is Munster and if you want to sell your property for a good price, use common sense.  Even if it is vacant, keep the property looking good.
One of the houses I showed yesterday (of eight) was vacant but obviously no one has been doing routine maintenance on the house. The listing photos looked great, real life not so much. The grass was overgrown, the deck paint was peeling, several wasp families had attached their nests to the soffit and the best part of all was the massive cobweb on the deck railing extending to the front door handle and lockbox. Nice, real nice. I doublechecked the address and made sure we weren't at 1313 Mockingbird Lane.
Of course once that shudder break was over and the door opened, we had to find a stick to brush out the cobwebs in the entry. Ick. Ick. Ick.
What a shame. The house was okay and probably would have been a possibility except for the unkempt appearance. If that wasn't bad enough, not only did we have the cobweb encounters but the electricity was turned off at the main. Fabulous. Don't you know the trip to the basement was fun? Oh yeah, I went. I figured that even though the buyer I was with wasn't smitten with the house it might work for someone else.
Listing agents...please! (and I am one) There is a good chance that you might sell your own listing but really, we all know that more than likely it will be one of us worker bees Buyer Agents. Talk your sellers into leaving the darned electricity on and spend a little money keeping the grass cut and the house swept. There is still plenty on the market for buyers to choose from and personally? professionally? This Buyer Agent is going to recommend that if the house can't be maintained to show well, beware that maybe it hasn't been maintained at all and if this is the house they want, let's let the offer price reflect the apparent condition.


It's an investment folks. Do you want to sell this house or not? Most agents work their tails off to sell your property, and it isn't necessarily always the listing agent. Use common sense, keep the property looking good.
Awesome Outside but Never in the House!
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Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Where there are spiders, there is no moisture problem Mona! 

I agree with you of course, except for going down to the dungeon. You are braver than me.

Aug 12, 2014 08:33 AM #17
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I have seen quite a bit of this. usually I explain to the buyers that this is the classic look of the Clampetts home before they discovered oil.

Aug 12, 2014 08:50 AM #18
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

Amen!  Wait until winter - that's the worst time for sellers not to have the heat on or the lights!  But I love Joe #18's comment about how to turn this creepy house into a positive! :-)

Aug 12, 2014 10:09 AM #19
Michael Ha Elmhurst
Rego Park, Forest Hills, Jackson Heights, Corona, Middle Village - Elmhurst, NY
Woodside, Maspeth

"a reasonable walkthrough" I agree with barbara, every listing agent should have this in mind every time first time everytime first timne every time.. if you know what I mean

Aug 12, 2014 10:51 AM #20
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

Wow, looked what happened while I was working!  Thanks for all of the observations, I can see we're all on the same page.

Aug 12, 2014 12:11 PM #21
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I recently showed a higher end vacant home.  The sellers had moved on. Spring and summer had sprung .. I almost had to have a weed whacker to get through all the overgrown bushes getting to the front door.  The listing agent said it wasn't part of her job to cut back the bushes.  Oh MY!

Aug 12, 2014 12:17 PM #22
Claude Labbe
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

I do wonder, what's 1313 Mockingbird worth?

It was a nice large home, and I'm thinking major mechanical was being maintained, right?

Sure, it's needs updating...

Aug 12, 2014 12:20 PM #23
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Mona Gersky Doesn't it happen often now-a-days - just because...

Love the advice...

This Buyer Agent is going to recommend that if the house can't be maintained to show well, beware that maybe it hasn't been maintained at all

Aug 12, 2014 01:42 PM #24
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


Well I stopped by because of your clever title, but certainly not because of a love for spiders. They creep me out royally.

It really IS offputting to walk up to a house decorated with arachnid architecture, and even worse inside. I remember a bank sale I took buyers too and walking into a massive cobweb right at the front door that I did not see. Not a reaction of the state of the home inside. Hard to overalook those sorts of things. And of course you wonder what else might be lurking!


Aug 12, 2014 02:03 PM #25
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Exactly! That said, I dug the Munsters! :)

Aug 12, 2014 03:53 PM #26
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Mona, why sellers don't follow the "only one chance to make a good first impression baffles me"! Enjoy your day!

Aug 12, 2014 08:31 PM #27
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Ewwww.  I went into a home one time that had a dead animal in one of the rooms (that I almost stepped on).   It had obviously been there for a while.  Ewwww.

Aug 12, 2014 08:57 PM #28
Joy Roussell
Sugar Land, TX
Dedicated Realtor

I couldn't agree with you more! I have seen some properties that are down right disgusting! I am also a listing agent, but I make sure to keep my properties clean! 

Aug 12, 2014 09:51 PM #29
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

Maybe they were preparing for Halloween in a couple of months? :)

There's really no excuse to do the basics. Clear the cob webs, mow the lawn..come on people. 

Aug 12, 2014 10:30 PM #30
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

The price is falling with every little item of neglect the buyers notice--forget selling at list price or anywhere even close unless some changes are made.

Aug 13, 2014 12:23 AM #31
Holly Biltz
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Saint Cloud, FL
I sell the dream of Home Ownership!

I couldn't agree more just last week I was stung in the face by a wasp while showing a home they were all over the outside of the home this home had been vacant for a LONG time, never had that happen before and hope it never happens again!!!

Aug 13, 2014 05:42 AM #32
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Lately especially on vacant homes I just have the yard maintained and then get reimbursed by the sellers. Makes life easier and better sale prices..

Aug 13, 2014 10:50 AM #33
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

Joan, IMO it isn't the listing agent's job to whack the weeds but it is their job to inform the sellers to have those weeds whacked!  Laura Cerrano me too!  Kat Palmiotti gross and it has happened to me too, yuck. Joy Roussell , that's our responsibility to tell the sellers. Suzanne Otto I couldn't agree more.  The sellers sometimes find this hard to believe, Norma. Holly Biltz I'm really sorry to hear that and glad it was only the one. You are treating this like a business Bill Reddington.

Aug 13, 2014 02:26 PM #35
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Mona, I personally hate showing homes like that. No reason for letting it look that bad.

Aug 14, 2014 12:45 AM #36
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

I agree.  Routine maintenance is so important especially for vacant homes.  I make a point of turning on the lights and opening all the blinds for showings.  As much light as possible!  Of course, this means cleaning is a must as well.  Thank you for sharing.

Aug 18, 2014 12:55 PM #37
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Mona Gersky

GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.
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