3. Misleading marketing
Problems in the condition of the home that will be obvious when buyers enter, like a shifting foundation or clearly leaky roof, should be disclosed as such in the listing to minimize the inconvenience to you and those buyers who wouldn't have bothered to visit if they knew. Disclosing such problems upfront will maximize your chances of finding the right buyer, who is willing to take them on.
Phrases like "immaculate" and "better than new" set you (and your home) up for failure when the buyer walks in and sees even normal wear and tear, or the smells and clutter of daily living.
4. "Stalkerish" sellers
Sellers who are intrusive or follow buyers around during a showing were No. 1 on my own list, and on the lists of buyers who commented on my earlier article. You might love the murals you've painted on your kids' walls or the custom living room crafting area you've set up, and want to share your love with prospective buyers.
But the fact is that most buyers just aren't interested, and would rather be able to discuss their plans to get rid of crazy customizations freely with their spouse and their agent than feel obliged to feign appreciation. (I've even had some buyers say they liked a house, but kept looking because they would have hated to pull out the sellers' beloved personal touches.)
5. Bizarro showings
Dogs, kids and sleeping residents all made recurrent appearances in the comments to my article. I've personally shown more than one home with dog "leavings" on the interior carpets, and even once joined my out-of-shape clients on a foot chase to catch a wily little dog whose owner had left explicit instructions not to let "Fido" out (but left him roaming around the house, poised to dart out the front door the second I opened it). One reader related a showing in which she opened a hall closet door and out popped a dog that had been cooped up there for the occasion.
A short-sale buyer related the depressing tale of an 8-year-old boy who showed her the whole house, while another distressed property viewer told of the kid who ran after her and her husband, screaming, "You can't have my house!" Multiple buyers told of walking into rooms where people were changing clothes, eating, frying up food or sleeping during the showing.
And there was the house in which someone had recently passed away — where someone had reportedly placed a rose on the deceased person's bed. Not a selling point.
Showing bizarreness is tough for buyers to get past, even if the place is a palace