…to how dumb people are. In general, of course, but specifically, people who are trying to sell their homes. Or at least that’s the impression you get if you watch some of these HGTV shows like “Get It Sold.”
Dumb. People. Everywhere.
I mean, just for an example, I saw an episode the other day about a woman with a fairly standard townhome that had been on the market for 90 days with no offers and very little interest. She could not understand why! (Der! Duh!) Not surprisingly, she was way overpriced – she was asking more for her rundown center unit than a brand-new end unit was going for in the same subdivision. For that I blame her agent – a good agent should always keep up to date on your comparables, and help you set a competitive price. But why her agent never said anything to her about the HORRIBLE shape her house was in, I have no idea.
The front yard was full of weeds (no curb appeal); the house itself was full of temporary furniture (like folding tables), half-packed boxes, weird decorating choices, and tons of clutter; and the deck (which should have been a big selling point) was dirty and cluttered with garbage.
Well gee…I wonder why nobody wanted to even make a low-ball offer on your busted-ass mess of a house!
Sadly, this woman was very typical, and I say this from experience – I’ve known people who tried to sell a house and made some of the very same idiotic mistakes. And goodness news my husband and I looked at plenty of hot messes when we were looking to move up from our own townhome to the single family where we live now. Lucky for the woman on the show, a professional intervened and helped her not only set a reasonable price, but fix some of the crazy decor and messy non-staging that was going on.
Here’s a handy guide to what stupid people say about their messy houses, and what it really means:
“The house has character.” Translation: my house is full of broken shit, and I don’t want to spend the time/effort/money to fix it because I’m hoping you’ll buy my problems when you buy my house.
“I don’t want it to seem cold.” Translation: I don’t understand that seeing lots of personal photos and chotchkes turns people off. I’m too lazy or stupid to clear away my personal clutter and stage the house to look attractive to strangers. (Seriously – people don’t seem to get this at all. For better or worse, buyers have become conditioned by looking at lots of model homes to houses that are well-decorated but NOT covered in personal photos and artwork. Appeal to them!)
“I think buyers want to see a house that looks lived-in.” Translation: I’m too lazy to clean this place up. Guess what, Einstein? People do not look at YOUR clutter and imagine themselves living amongst it. They want to look at a house that is clean, tasteful, and uncluttered – because THEN they can imagine themselves moving in.
I’m just glad that a.) I’m not in the market to buy a house and b.) I’m not trying to sell my own house! I’d probably go insane!