Your Buyer is a Detective

Real Estate Sales Representative with Immeubles Deakin Realty

Yup, that’s right. Your buyer is a detective. In fact, all buyers are.

They’ve watched Holmes on Homes, listened to the Jon Eakes radio show and gone blurry-eyed from hours spent in front of HGTV.

They’ve lost themselves in the glorious rabbit hole that is Houzz, gone to Home Depot workshops and googled “what to look for when buying a house” more than once.

In short, they’re armed with more information than buyers at any other point in history.

And what this means for you as a seller is that virtually every buyer now is a detective. They will look around your house and try to determine what kind of a homeowner you are and how well you have or have not been taking care of what they are thinking about spending their life savings on.

Clue: Dripping kitchen faucet. Is it leaking underneath too? Is there water damage under the sink that no one knows about?

Clue: Messy yard. What other work is not getting done around here?

Clue: Missing grout around the tub. Has water been leaking behind the wall? Is there mold growing back there now?!

Clue: Smelly compost bin under the kitchen sink. What in the world is rotting in this house? 

Clue: Home renovations that are obviously not done professionally. Is the electrical also DIY? The roof? The plumbing? Do they know what they’re doing?

Clue: Home not prepped for a showing. These people don’t care. What else have they not cared about when it comes to the house?

Now, you and I both know that none of these clues necessarily mean these things. But they could. And that’s where a buyer…and a detective…begins to worry.

So save yourself some trouble and make every effort to show that you have taken exceptionally good care of your home, that you are proud to show it, that you care what the buyer thinks and want to make a great impression. Minimize the fodder for detective work, and you’ll have a better sale.

And if you need some home selling tips on how to do this, or an objective overview of the current look of things, I’m happy to help.


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Professional home staging and professional photography: two critical factors to making sure your home looks its best, both in person and on the Internet, and neither of them cost you a penny when you list with me.


Put your best house forward. TM

Tanya Nouwens

Tanya Nouwens Inc., Montreal Real Estate Broker and Canadian Staging Professional (TM) 


C. 514-919-8468

This blog is written with my opinions. My opinions are presented with accuracy but not guarantees. Copyright Tanya Nouwens - 2015. If you want to reprint parts of this, just email me for my permission at


Comments (5)

Pat Champion
John Roberts Realty - Eustis, FL
Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs

Great post you are right buyer's today are educating themselves before they start the home buying process. Thanks for sharing I hope you have a great afternoon.

Oct 07, 2015 08:02 AM
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

You are so correct. And don't think of throwing everything into the closet, they are going to open those as well.

Oct 07, 2015 08:14 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

At a minimum sellers should repair the things that are tell tale signs that the house has been neglected.

Oct 07, 2015 10:28 AM
Mark Piscitelli & Theresa Ziebro
Remax Trinity - Brecksville, OH

Great post!  You are right on about the savvy buyers in today's market!

Oct 07, 2015 10:35 AM
Greg Brown, Sales Rep Toronto, Durham region
Sutton Group Heritage Reallty Inc., Brokerage - Whitby, ON

Buyers are not stupid, I tell my sellers all the time, they are smart and have educated themselfs, to the most part.

Oct 11, 2020 07:18 AM