Deerwood Realty and Friends Podcast
I often read articles that say you should remove this, or get rid of that…but I’ve been through a lot of houses at this point and I don’t always agree. Here are some things I’ve heard over the years and we’ll just go over whether or not they make sense.
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1. Cleaning Supplies?….So the idea here is that you shouldn’t have a bunch of cleaning supplies laying around your house because it makes it seem like it’s dirty. I know…it’s a perception thing, and it’s strange. Even when you go into the bathroom, and there’s the squeegee there and the toilet brush…pretend that stuff doesn’t really get dirty…so I agree with this. Put your cleaning supplies somewhere else.
2. Family Photos? I’m not so sure I care whether or not you have family photos up in the house. My buyers are trying to picture themselves in the space, but it’s not easy to do in the first place. Do personal photos keep you from getting your home sold fast? I don’t think so. In the real world, I would guess that I see about 50% of houses that do have family photos and 50% that don’t. Now, if your family is ugly or something…that’s a different story 😉
3. Political Pictures or Photos? This one is tricky. 20 years ago, this wasn’t an issue. We didn’t virtue signal politics..at least I don’t remember being like it is now. Kinda seem hyper partisan as well now. There was a time when you would worry that your buyer might be from a different political leaning and they wouldn’t be comfortable in your house but now it’s show the buyers who you are and if they don’t like the perception of you it’s fine. Gonna get real interesting when sellers stop selling to people because of the buyers political affiliation but I don’t think we’ve gotten there yet…at least not in the open.
4. College Diploma I don’t think it matters if you have a college diploma up at your house. I see people from KU put their diplomas on the wall in St. Louis…their houses still sell. If you have an office and you have your diplomas and certifications, that’s kinda what a home office looks like. In a way, you are giving buyers a vision of how they could use the space, which is always beneficial.
5. Kids stuff I don’t agree with this one either. I know many couples who just swoon over a kids room when it has all the toys out. As long as it’s clean. I have no doubt house flippers make girls and boys rooms up SPECIFICALLY to draw in young families. So, no, it’s totally ok to keep kids stuff out as long as it’s organized and somewhat clean looking.
6. Pets I like pets..I don’t particularly like pet smells. I also don’t want to wrangle cats…and those things are sneaky! If you are used to crating your dog or something, that’s totally fine. I don’t think pets help a showing.
7. Meds Hide your meds. No question. If you are showing your house and you are still living in it, take your meds with you when you leave.
8. Stuffed animals…like deer heads So, I don’t agree that a stuffed animal is necessarily an issue. A whole room full of dead animals? Maybe that’s a detractor. But one or two stuffed animals on a wall in an office or game room is no big deal.
9. Fan/space heater/dehumidifier? The thought it that if you have a fan out or a space heater out you are signaling to the buyer that the house has hot and cold spots. Now, a dehumidifier in a basement, at least here in St. Louis, isn’t an issue at all. It’s a good idea for most basements.
10. You should keep things clean The cleaner you can keep your house…the better….pay special attention to the following
a. empty trash cans-ever go to a hotel, and the trash cans are full? You know you aren’t in a good situation. It’s the same with houses.
b. no visible dirty laundry-Yes, indeed. Put your laundry in a hamper or something…don’t leave it laying around.
c. no dirty dishes in sink-You’d think this would be obvious? It must not be because I’ve seen it.
d. pet toys in a container-I like pets…I’ve said it before in this episode…but the house looks so much better if you have all your pets toys in a container.
e. Clean litter boxes You haven’t lived until you go to an old lady’s house for a showing on a hot summer day with the air conditioner off and her 4 cats using the litter box for well past the point where smells are minimal. One of the joys of showing houses I guess.
f. beds made This is one of those things that seems rather obvious, but it’s not..I guess. Make the bed before you leave your house if you suspect you will have showings.
g. toilet seats and lids down– And, might I offer another? Please, please, flush the toilet and check before you leave the house. Yes, I’ve gotten to show houses where the owners have left us presents in the bathroom and it’s not exactly helpful in “setting the buying mood”
h. bathroom stuff put away – You may brush your teeth and that’s totally normal. If you can though, put all that kind of stuff away and off the vanity. It will make it look bigger and also cleaner.
i. vacuum carpets – Yes! When you show a house and there are all the lines still in the carpet…even though it is carpet, it’s still better than when it isn’t done.
12. Fresh flowers? – If you want extra points…if you want buyers to be impressed…fresh cut flowers in the house are a wonderful addition, I agree.
13. Packed Boxes Agents say that you shouldn’t have packed boxes out because it gives off the impression that you are desperate to sell the property. With the market we are in, multiple offers likely, I don’t think it matters as much. IF the market goes cold for sellers, of course, do what you can…designate one room or the garage for all moving boxes.
15. Anything that takes up space on your kitchen counters I agree with this one. Let’s say you have a microwave, a coffee maker, a mixer, and a toaster on your countertop. You are giving away a lot of space and your kitchen is going to look smaller and more cramped. Pull everything from the counters…you would be amazed at the difference
16. Religious décor or materials I don’t necessarily agree that you should pull all of your religious décor or materials. I think most buyers understand that there are different or no religions and they aren’t all that upset by them.
17. Air fresheners – The over use of air fresheners should be a crime! Seriously, I know immediately when I go to a house and the sellers are trying to hide a smell…it’s usually pet related or mildew related and sometimes both. When buyers figure out you are trying to hide something, they start to wonder what else you are hiding. It’s not good.
18. Political signs Similar to political pictures or photos, the traditional thought had always been to avoid. But people use political signs now days to virtue signal…and those they are trying to impress will actually be impressed by those signs. Would someone refuse to buy a house because of a political sign in your yard? Maybe. But again, in a hot market, I don’t think buyers have any choice other than to make an offer if the house is priced right and they like everything else about the house.
If you keep your house clean. If you make an effort, buyers are going to recognize this. I think most people are benefit of the doubt type people. I’ve seen many houses that have things about them that the seller could have done a better job of and it really doesn’t hurt the sale of the home.
Generally, if you can remove clutter, if you can make it so buyers can easily walk from room to room and get an idea for the spaces, you should be fine.
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