Showing houses: The easiest part of the buying process and the hardest part of the selling process
As a Realtor, one of the first jobs I have after interviewing for a listing agent job is to give guidance to the seller about getting the property into good showing condition. I won’t be back for pictures until some of the cleaning, decluttering and rearranging has been completed. Showing houses is all about first impressions.
Giving bad news or a long list of “to-do’s” needs to be done diplomatically. In the same way you’d never tell a new mom her infant has a funny shaped head, I’d never want to offend a seller with tactless remarks about their personal residence… Even if it does smell disgusting, is painted an unflattering shade of purple or has the most dysfunctional layout you’ve ever seen. There are ways of suggesting improvements prior to showing houses that are helpful and will result in more money to the seller and ways that will stir up an emotional response and not get you where you need to go.
What would I say if I was met with this situation? (Yep, thank goodness smellavision hasn’t been invented yet!)
Ummm… Mostly like I would ask about the pet for whom this elaborate set up was intended, then congratulate the seller on keeping the carpet underneath so clean and free of pet smells and stains – as this will surely help with selling the place (after the incontinence pads are removed).
I’d probably suggest that the pet be removed for showings and ask the seller to give me an idea of showing restrictions that might best help us accommodate the infirm/un-housebroken animal – We don’t want to stress him/her out or risk potential buyers touching that member of the family while the owner is not around. We certainly don’t want the buyer to SEE the dog pooping in the house either!
I would of course recommend that the house be shown (and photographed) only after the pads are disposed of and the seller has confirmed that the underlying flooring is unstained and odor-free.
If the seller does a good job of disguising the fact the pet was incontinent in the property, it will sell quickly in this market. It’s vital that no picture like the above one, ever make it to the MLS and my job is to make sure the property puts it’s best foot forward, even if that means being a little bit blunter than normal or giving the seller a tour of competing properties for sale, so they have a good idea of what is attractive and what is not.
What do you expect from me as your listing agent?
I’m a Realtor with 10 years experience in the Boulder area. I’m a certified staging professional and avid photographer who enjoys landscape and interior design. With a good eye for color and lots of practice in the fields of decorating, remodeling and design, I can offer advice on changes that range from the removal, addition or rearrangement of small elements, to the complete redesign of a room – including paint colors, new carpet and fixtures.
My business is almost exactly 50% buyers and 50% sellers, which means I get to see the coin from both sides. I bring experience and the most common comments from buyers and use them enhance listings for greater marketability. I’m certified to work with seniors, trained to help investors and second home buyers and am a Master Negotiator.
When you work with me we’ll discuss goals and your timeline, then formulate a plan and a strategies for achieving those goals. Hopefully I’ll just keep adding value and in turn you’ll trust my advice is in your best interests… And when I suggest that the incontinence pads have to go, you’ll know it’s for the greater good! 🙂