Reposted with permission from Amy’s House.

I showed a house that I just can’t get out of my head. I’ve shown countless houses in similar condition, so I don’t know why I can’t stop thinking about this particular house.

It isn’t the house so much as it is a thought…a question, really, that keeps running through my mind….

Did your agent not tell you, or did you just not listen?

It was a nice enough house; there was nothing blatantly wrong with it. The entire selling family and their yapping dog were home for the showing, and that didn’t help, but it was the house itself that could have shown so much better.

A good bit of decluttering, a fair amount of depersonalizing and a couple of coats of paint, and the house would have shown and looked completely different. Better different, worth more money different.

And all the while I was showing the house, as I walked from room to room, the question kept running through my mind….

If this particular agent, in this particular instance, didn’t tell his clients how to properly prepare their home for the market, shame on him. If the agent didn’t tell the seller to do the things that would maximize the sales price of their home, then he did his client a disservice. He didn’t do his job.

If the agent did tell them…if the agent let them know that the walls of family photos, the knick-knacks on top of knick-knacks, the lilac and pink and neon-green rooms, the too-much-stuff and the yapping-dog presence would be a hindrance to a top-dollar sale…if the agent told them all that and they didn’t listen? Then the sellers are fools.

Harsh, I know.

Lest you think I write this from my high horse, I have a confession to make.

In my earlier days, and regretfully more than once since, I’ve been an agent who “did not tell you.” Because I wanted your listing, I needed your listing, because I wanted you to like me, because I didn’t want you to be angry with me, because I didn’t know, because I was too new or too scared, I didn’t tell you.

I didn’t tell you that the price you wanted for your house was never going to happen, I didn’t tell you that your house was dirty or cluttered or entirely too decorated. I didn’t tell you to get real, get cleaning and painting. I didn’t tell you to make sure you and your yapping dog weren’t home for showings. I didn’t tell you.

And I’m sorry. Shame on me. I did a disservice; I didn’t do my job. And I won’t let it happen again.

And I think that’s why I haven’t been able to get that house and the question out of my head until now…it’s been working its way through my mind until it could become this promise:

My seller clients may not always listen; it is their right to do as they wish.

But wondering isn’t necessary. I told them.

Amy Curtis is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Orland Park Il (a southwest suburb of Chicago). Follow her on Twitter.

Email Amy Curtis.

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