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Top 9 Showing Offenses for Houses for Sale

Real estate articles that are really just lists are now being called “listicles”—and there are certainly plenty of them around. The other day one appeared that just had to be read: Bankrate’s “7 things that could turn off homebuyers.”

The actual listicle may not have been the product of much real research into houses for sale, but it was amusing. In the best social media tradition, I’d like to add a few thoughts in order to come up with a modified/improved “7 things” (for starters, there are 9):

9 Things Bound to Offend Today’s Homebuyers

  1. Monkeys
  2. All right, that first requires an explanation. It headed up the Bankrate list, with a picture of a rhesus macaque clinging to a balcony railing. I’d have to agree that monkeys freewheeling around a house for sale might drive some potential buyers away. Make number 2: uncaged rabbits.
  3. Animal trophies. Better to pack them up. Dead animals can offend some non-Ernest Hemmingway fans.
  4. I think an American flag is okay, but Confederate flags just get people thinking about controversy instead of the house.
  5. Sports teams memorabilia. This one is questionable, especially in a nicely understated den or TV room. Trash-talking posters, not so much.
  6. The Bankrate article was describing artwork—the point being that for some homebuyers, even tasteful artwork produces a degree of shock value. Universally showable homes strive to avoid shock value.
  7. Locked rooms. Bankrate called this phenomenon ‘Mystery rooms’—but the effect is always the same: curiosity that’s not helpful. If the idea is to help potential  buyers to picture themselves as owners, a locked door works against the goal.
  8. Odors (bad or exotic ones, that is). Our sense of smell is a powerful memory trigger, and if the lingering aroma of a cigar or onions predominates, it could easily make buyers associate the property with something in their past. Whether the “something” is good or bad is anyone’s guess.
  9. Even if the potential buyers turn out to be exactly your kind of people, that too is a distraction from the business at hand. It’s hard enough for buyers to visit a series of properties and remember which place had which features—so it’s a relief for them not to have to go through the social niceties of meeting new people—owners included.

This should be a fairly non-controversial listicle. Once we’ve all agreed that the monkey should step out for a coffee with its owners while the showing is in progress, the rest will be easy to accept. For other proven ways to speed your own  house for sale into the ‘sold’ category, give me a call anytime!

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