Wednesday, January 25, 2006

One Would Think...

In touring homes for sale recently, I've noticed many odd things. One would think that people trying to sell their homes might have a look around before opening the place to perfect strangers.

I expect a certain level of messiness in some neighborhoods, but I'm still shocked to see it in homes over $200,000! Below are some notes from a variety of different houses, not just one terrible home.

I'm sure no one reading this blog is guilty of the following:
  1. Please remove all posters or calendars of naked women from the walls. This is a family neighborhood, right?
  2. If you are a teenager, try a bit harder to hide the overflowing ashtray in your bedroom.
  3. Your refrigerator should be visible, not covered with notices like a telephone pole on a busy street corner.
  4. If you have a big glass aquarium with a snake inside, please make sure it has a top on it before you leave the house. Likewise for the chain on the snarling pit bull outside.
  5. can I put this delicately? If you plan to leave the beds unmade, you might want to make sure the sheets are not stained. Including the one in the master bedroom.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I would write a note and leave it somewhere obvious...
Dear homeowner
I liked your house, but chose not to purchase it because I was distracted by the messiness (ie: give example)

You may want to clean up better so it will sell faster.
A concerned home shopper

Is this to harsh? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

write a letter to the homeowner after leaving and offer your services (for a price!) showing them what to do to sell their home faster/better, etc. Lisa LaPorta style. This assumes you have the time to do such a thing.


Anonymous said...


'Nuff said.

Laura Talbert said...

I once looked at a house: I was almost knocked over the strong ammonia smell the minute I walked in the door. Apparently their shih-tzus weren't properly house trained. And the house had shag carpet.
Really, one would think the realtor would have them shampoo the carpets or something.

Anonymous said...

Yikes! I'm glad you made it out alive.

I have an almost unrelated question. I know what clean is. My question is how do you determine when you are done renovating/redecorating? Do you cap the investment you will make in each house or agree on certain projects and said estimated budget before purchasing. How do you determine which projects are truly necessary and which are beneficial and which ones are optional if you come across near free materials? In short, how do you know when you've done enough to maximize your return and minimize your investmentof time and materials? Do you rank certain rooms? We have lived in our home for 9years and may be considering relocating. We did not purchase our home to resell. We live in a well built shaker style farmhouse that is nearing 100 years old. We love it and have been redecoaring, new windows, roof , flooring, etc. as time, money and materials allowed. If we decide to move, I want to get every penny possible for it . How do I know where to focus my time and money? If we do not move, we want to add on. We had 2 children when we moved in and now we have 6 :). We also do not want to invest more in our house than we could ever recoup. How do we find this out? I never wondered these things before I read your blog... Thanks - Melissa

Anonymous said...

Meredith, and others who move frequently to make a profit: It should go without saying that if you keep your home pet-free you will appeal to more buyers. My husband has significant cat and dog allergies. When looking at a house recently could not stay in it even 10 minutes without an allergic reaction starting because of the cats.

I too hate the airfreshener layer. It doesnt delete ANYTHING, just layers a cloying smell over the offense.

Catherine at Frugal Homemaker Plus said...

My parents crossed a house off their list because there were tons of vanilla candles burning in every room. They were wondering what smell they were trying to hide.

As a former maid, I have to say that it is AMAZING what messes people leave. And think is acceptable for strangers to see. I've cleaned things off of beds in Master bedrooms that I wore gloves to do. There are bathrooms that I have REFUSED to clean. (and I do not have a weak stomach.) If you have a person like that, I'm willing to bet that they think their house is "clean" because it's better than what they usually live in. I worked for a woman who was amazed that the time she saw me scrub the sink- she thought you just had to spray in the cleaner and it would be fine. She was not a young woman, either.

Anonymous said...

I say "Yuck!!", too. It makes me feel a little bit better,though, about putting our house up for sale sometime within the next year. We have four kids and it's sometimes hard for me to keep up with everything, but we still manage to keep it pretty darn clean. I obsess about it not being "perfect", but I guess I shouldn't worry so much if this is the way that people are putting their houses on the market! When we bought this house 14 years ago, we, too, were AMAZED at the way that people kept their houses. I don't know why, but I think that many adults are much lazier nowadays than their parents or grandparents ever were as far as keeping up things around their homes.

MommyLydia said...

I'm much lazier than my parents were, yeah...
but when we sold our condo I still did things like keep the clutter up, made SURE to make the bed every day, etc. Vacuum more often.

(and we don't smoke or have pets so neither of those is relevant. a friend who used to have cats, and they soaked the carpet through to the pad knows she is going to have to do significant restoration before she can sell her place. And at that I'm not sure I'd want it knowing the history