10 Ways to Guarantee Your House Doesn’t Sell

House Won't SellWahoo! It is official. We closed on our condo sale last week…mortgage paid off and check deposited. We were on the market for 2 weeks when we received a full price offer!

We all know that the market is particularly challenging but our situation posed two additional obstacles.

Obstacle #1- Our condo fees were through the roof {just over $1,000 per month- no, not a typo}. Yes, we lived within 10 miles of DC and our complex had fantastic amenities like utilities included, indoor/outdoor pools, fitness center, parking, tennis, convenience store, etc. However, when you’re listed at a specific price and your condo fees put you in another bracket for monthly housing costs, it’s a challenge.

Obstacle #2- Since we lived in a condo complex with four high-rise buildings there were plenty of comps that matched our floor plan exactly. They were listed between $25-50,000 lower than ours due to short sales and foreclosures. So not only did it not bode well for an offer, we had to hold our breath until the appraisal came through even though the finishes and fixtures in those may have been over 30 years old. Otherwise, we would be paying for someone to buy our home.

Thankfully, that didn’t happen. We feel like a ton of bricks has been lifted from our shoulders. Anyway, I’m still amazed at what sellers will and won’t do for a sale. I hear people complaining about how their house isn’t selling but yet they don’t feel that they need to do anything to help it along. So, I thought I’d share my Top 11 (had to add one more) list of ways to guarantee your house doesn’t sell.

1. Don’t pick up your dirty laundry. There is nothing a buyer wants to see more than your dirty underwear lying around the house.

2. Leave the clumps in the kitty litter and pet hair tumbleweeds rolling around. The aroma of pets is attractive to all.

3. Leave the repairs to the new owner. Who cares if the door knob is falling off or the light switch is broken? Buyers love to DIY and pay full price for a property.

4. Smoke a bunch of cigarettes and leave your ashtrays lying around. I don’t know about you but I want my next home to have the aroma of ashtray permeating the walls, carpet and window treatments.

5. Paint the rooms in your house a rainbow of colors. Potential buyers will also love that mustard colored room with your ketchup accent wall. {OR paint it all white OR leave your ten-year old paint job as is- the scuffs and pencil marks give it real character}

6. Place a dusty, silk plant in every corner. The dated and dusty allergen will add such appeal…oh, and they look so real, too!

7. Leave dirty dishes soaking in the sink. Everyone wants to see what you had for dinner last night and the night before.

8. Stuff your cabinets, closets and built-ins until overflowing. Buyers will see all the storage potential your home offers.

9. Use all of your kid’s primary-colored toys to decorate the floors of the dining and living room. Who doesn’t love a trip hazard along with some physical and visual clutter?

10. Don’t answer or be flexible when a Realtor calls to show your property. They should work around your schedule.

11.  Insist on being present and following the buyers around when the property is being shown. Buyers appreciate when you’re breathing down they’re neck and chatting their ear off about the improvements you paid a lot of money for. Oh, better yet, elaborate on the roof leak or humidity problem you have in the basement.

Please join in the fun and hear any additions you have to the list!

Ciao for now!



2 thoughts on “10 Ways to Guarantee Your House Doesn’t Sell

  1. Lauren, congratulations on your new baby, home, move and business! Yes, it’s challenging, but also so rewarding. I’ll for sure share your great list with friends and realtors. It’s so amusing!

    1. Thanks, Helena! Just this evening hubby and I were browsing property photos and came across a beautifully clean home in a desirable location that was painted two different shades of purple, blue, green, yellow and had some quite ornate decor. Of course, it’s been on the market for almost 6 months with a price change. They must have read my list. Ha!Ha!

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