The Challenge Of Selling An Indoor Outhouse

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 311291
https://activerain.com/droplet/5lDP

 

Some years ago, I took a listing that was very much "an indoor outhouse."   In addition to stray animals, they had stray people. It was a referral from a friend, and they needed my help! Stuff was piled high, and you could not walk through the rooms. Think about a hoarder. Dirty would have been a compliment, and these were bright, educated people with professional degrees. Go figure.

 

indoor outhouse

                          

Now, this was a real challenge. How do I sell this dirty, messy, cluttered house?

To start, I told them to paint the dining room. It was packed floor to ceiling, and the table was piled three feet high with stuff.  One would assume they would empty the space to paint it. Wrong assumption!

 

They moved everything one foot from the wall, painted, and moved it all back. We could not make a dent in the mess.


At the same time, I was working with a young musician and his fiancé. They wanted a large, new home that no one had lived in before.  After a lot of searching, we found new construction that had three bedrooms, an unfinished lower level. It was in their price range, ready to go, but it did not have all they wanted.  Still, they prepared to put down a deposit.

With their wedding less than a month away, I suggested they look at the dirty, messy listing in the same neighborhood as the new one: It had a finished lower level, beautiful yard, and much larger square footage.

But how would I ever get someone who was set on clean and NEW even to consider this pigsty?
Did I have their trust enough to take a look? I warned and forewarned the young couple to not look at the condition. Picture the house empty, white walls, new carpet, new appliances, etc.

The bride-to-be walked in and immediately clasped her hands behind her back – she did not want to touch a thing! I could see she was grossed out and thinking, "How can I live here?"

There was only one way to get these young people into the house that was right for them. Make an offer asking the owner to strip the property down to bare walls. Remove carpet, all appliances, ceiling fans, shower doors, blinds, toilet seats, shades, everything!

We requested an empty walkthrough with proof of extermination after everything, especially the carpet, was removed. The buyer did not believe they could make these kinds of requests.  Wouldn't it be an insult?  

Guess what; the sellers thought it was fabulous because the family could take all of their stuff when they moved. (Once a hoarder, always a hoarder.)


One of the most unusual contracts I have written. After the house received all new paint, new flooring, new kitchen, new baths, new windows, etc., this young couple had a much better five-bedroom home for less money than the much smaller brand new home.

That's how I sold a messy, dirty house, aka an indoor outhouse!

Thanks to Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS Carol Williams, for hosting the December challenge.

 

 Margaret Rome

 

 

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Topic:
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Location:
Maryland Baltimore County
Groups:
Cosmic Cow Pie...The Rome Way
Bananatude
Bartender, Make it a Double
ActiveRain Challenges
Old Farts Club
Tags:
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hoarding
indoor outhouse

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Rainmaker
5,176,435
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland only experience and confidence in your ability could have sold this home.... congratulations on another mission accomplished..... that's what you do for a living....YOU ACCOMPLISH DIFFICULT MISSIONS.

Dec 11, 2019 03:10 AM #6
Rainmaker
3,472,807
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Margaret - from "grossed out" to "engrossed" --- now, that's an example of Real Estate Done The Rome Way.

Dec 11, 2019 05:08 AM #7
Rainmaker
3,415,130
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Margaret. This was a case of "double vision"! You had the vision and your buyer had it also! Good for you. Thinking outside the box! Enjoy your day!

Dec 11, 2019 05:09 AM #8
Rainmaker
2,097,423
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Flower Mound, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Good morning Margaret!

Best story to date, in my opinon!!! Every paragraph made my nose wrinkle and grossed me out and I got a lot of chuckles too! If ever there was a good and magical "Good Witch" like Glenda from the Wizard of Oz it would be Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland! Hmmm.... maybe it's an idea for our friend Sharon Tara???

Dec 11, 2019 05:31 AM #9
Rainmaker
1,832,937
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Hoarding disorder strikes many people regardless of education or profession as we know. This tale seems a bit serendipitous to be true, but strange things happen in real estate, as we also know.

Dec 11, 2019 08:22 AM #14
Rainmaker
1,400,328
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Oh, Margaret. Is this True or Fake?  It's amazing that you could even get your new construction buyer to even look at your indoor outhouse.  I'm also amazed at getting the sellers to agree to the strip down.  Hmmm... Not sure if this is true, fake or a combination of both.  Great entry. Thanks!

Dec 11, 2019 08:37 AM #15
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP The house was pretty gross but I was doing a favor for a friend.  For sure...this one was true. 

Enjoyed reading about your AR MeetUp in the forest!

Dec 11, 2019 12:53 PM #18
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Lottie Kendall This one was true. I was amazed to see the seller back up with a big truck and unloaded the entire contents of the house...everything, appliances, old carpeting etc. For sure I did not want to see their next domicile.

Dec 11, 2019 12:56 PM #19
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Margaret- YOU made it happen and the sellers as well as the buyers trusted you!  I wonder if the sellers moved all of the "ick" into their new home. 

Dec 11, 2019 01:10 PM #20
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Anna Banana Kruchten Broker/Owner, CRB, CRS
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
602-380-4886

You did great Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland  pairing the young couple with a fantastic (and much better in the long run) starter home. You reminded me of one of my recent transaction. I was picturing it in my mind while reading your post! Creativity to the max - way to sell homes!!

Dec 11, 2019 01:31 PM #21
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS Ready to read about your creativity to the max!!

Dec 11, 2019 03:02 PM #22
Rainmaker
589,186
Steve Higgins
RE/MAX Kelowna - Kelowna, BC

Hi Margaret,

Great title and post. Congrats on selling the indoor outhouse! I could just picture the carpet rolled up on top of all their stuff in the moving van.

Dec 11, 2019 06:22 PM #23
Ambassador
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Steve Higgins, You have got the picture!

Dec 11, 2019 06:32 PM #24
Rainmaker
1,518,134
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, I feel like taking a shower just by reading and picturing this home. Clearly, the buyers were working with the right REALTOR®. 

Dec 12, 2019 09:54 AM #25
Ambassador
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Beth Atalay It was a happy ending all the way around. Just a bit challenging!

Dec 12, 2019 10:03 AM #26
Rainmaker
2,138,252
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Thank you Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP for mentioning me. If you think Margaret would be a good Glinda, who am I to disagree with you.

Margaret, I love this story and I can just imagine you orchestrating the deal...magical!

 

Dec 12, 2019 01:14 PM #27
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Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

True story! It is amazing how some people can and do live Margaret, so glad everything worked for all involved. One of the most cluttery, dirty houses ever to walk through was being rented by an RN and her family of three kids and five dogs, unbelievable! 

Dec 16, 2019 03:21 PM #43
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!  Fortunately, I have only encountered this only one other time. 

Hoarding does not seem to be limited to education or profession or background.

Dec 16, 2019 05:09 PM #44
Rainmaker
729,473
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA
ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN

Well, Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, you had your hands full with that transaction. In the end, you managed to satisfy the needs of two sets of clients and not just sell the horders' house. Quite a feat! 

Dec 24, 2019 02:30 PM #45
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

That transaction was a long time ago...nothing ever came close to that one. John Juarez 

Dec 24, 2019 11:26 PM #46
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