Does anybody else have this fear?

Real Estate Agent with Real Living HER
I have always taken issue with telling my sellers what they need to do, more related to "neutralizing" their decor, in order to get the house ready for sale. I struggle with not wanting to offend their personal sense of style. Also, encouraging more cleanliness on their part. I just wonder if some of you out there have some good suggestions on how you go about telling your sellers what preperations need to be made? I did not used to do this in the past, but I think it may be best to have them sign a listing agreement before giving them this information. One, I don't want to just hand out "free" info., but also this way if I offend them in anyway while going through their house and making suggestions on preperations, it is too late, they have already signed on the dotted line. Hehe.

Comments (5)

Debi Ernst
St. Charles County, Missouri - Prudential Alliance Realtors - O'Fallon, MO
GRI, e-PRO, Broker/Sales Associate
I usually wait until after I have the listing before giving them suggestions on preparing their home - It just never seemed like the appropriate time until then.  I try to be as "uninsulting" as possible... :)  I usually start by suggesting they use a "display home" as their model.  That seems to be non-threatening.  :)
Apr 03, 2008 05:35 AM
Terri Poehler
Realtor - Coral Springs, FL
Coral Springs Real Estate Agent
With all the inventory now, anything helps to have an "edge" on the competition. That is how I present it. Because a buyer will remember properties that stand out. And if I can help with lowcost staging ideas for the seller, they often apprciate it. Studies are showing the staged properties are moving a little quicker than the non-staged. And it doesn't have to cast an arm and a leg. There are things a buyer can see that the seller may not realize. And if you get good at this, you can point them out. Hope this helps.
Apr 03, 2008 05:38 AM
Cathy Glass
Realty Executives Associates - Knoxville, TN
Realtor - Knoxville, Tennessee
Yes, it's better to give advice after signing the listing agreement. I, too, struggle with not wanting to hurt their feelings. I did come across a blog in ActiveRain, though, that I really liked that made the point that decorating the house and staging the house are two completely different matters. That can eliminate the emotions from the discussion. More here
Apr 03, 2008 05:41 AM
Jude Sandvall: DreamHomes by Jude
Brokers Guild Classic - Englewood, CO
You wouldn't be doing your job if you didn't tell them how their home needs to be presented to potential buyers.  I tell them that I'm going to be brutally honest with them because they want me to do everything in my power to sell their house.  I tell them that everyone who walks through the door is going to buy a house and you want to make sure that it is their house.  I like one of the other comments about a "show home."  I've used that also and tell the sellers that they are going to be living in a "show home" for the duration of their listing.
Apr 03, 2008 05:43 AM
Sarah Berger
R.J. Smith Realty/Real Estate Solutions - Ellenville, NY
I think that it is perfectly acceptable for you to give constructive criticism to your Sellers.  I agree that waiting until after signing the listing papers is best.  We have a pamphlet that we hand out with the listing papers that has helpful hints for cleaning and de-cluttering.  Sometimes, we just review this with the Sellers and it is not as difficult as just coming out and telling them everything at once.  Good luck. 
Apr 03, 2008 06:13 AM