The View from South of the Potomac River: Sellers WHAT Are Your Doing???

Sellers WHAT Are Your Doing???

When it comes to selling your home... there is a premise that should be accepted by the owners once you that decision to sell:


"How your live your life while on the market, has nothing to do with how your life normally".


It is inconvenient to put your home on the market, it takes effort (for most people) to put your home on the market, but it is a necessary step to reach the next point in your life.  There are some sellers that really haven't grasped this concept and think it is all about them.  The reason it isn't all about them is that they need another person(s) to buy the property.

To get the best possible terms for your property in the shortest amount of time, you probably have to go through the most inconvenience, but it is worth it.  For those who create barriers to the sale of their home, these are main ones that I have seen:

  • Testing the Market ~ Neither you or your agent set the value of your home, the local market sets the value.  You can set the price for your home, but it should be at the market value or slightly below.  If you decide to test the market by pricing well above the market, you will dramatically reduce showings as buyers and many agents will consider you unrealistic.  If you over price your home, you don't need to worry about the points below.

                                       dollar rolls

  • Access ~ You need to make the home accessible to buyer agents & for open houses so that your home gets exposure.  An electronic lockbox is highly recommended to restrict access to licensed real estate agents in the area, since they can let themselves in when you aren't there.  If you have a pet or small child, asking for an hour or two advance notice is not unreasonable.  You will definitely reduce the exposure of your home by requiring 24 hr advance notice, requiring your agent must be present during the showing, or by showings by appointment only.  I once ran into a seller that was refusing showings for an entire Saturday because of college football, and the home had just come on the market.  If the game is that important to you, go to the local sports bar or a friends house... don't lock out potential buyers.  If you don't provide ready reasonable access, don't worry about the point below.


  • Cleanliness ~ This need to be covered, but it needs to be.  Have your home cleaned to within an inch of it's proverbial life, because that matters.  Most buyers I have worked with appreciate a dated home that is immaculate over a more recently renovated pig sty.  Put down the toilet seat (and flush every time) for showings & photography, every morning scoop the kitty litter, take out the trash, and pick up dirty clothes before leaving for the day.  It matters as buyer project a lot into how you maintained the home by the way you keep the home.

                                           sparkling clean

Please remember that signing the listing agreement is just the start of the sales process, not the end.  You don't want to create barriers that will slow the sale of your home or reduce your proceeds.


AJ Heidmann ~ CRS,  ABR

Cell 703-474-1260 ~ Office 703-717-6324 ~ Fax 703-839-8283

McEnearney Associates, Inc.

4720 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA  22207

Licensed in Virginia

Comment balloon 24 commentsAJ Heidmann ~ CRS • January 15 2014 12:39PM


AJ - GREAT points!  

I'm still laughing about the most simple advise - put the lid down and flush every time. Last night while browsing through MLS listings, I found myself counting how many toilet seats were up in pictures.  Do you think i remembered anything else about those bathrooms?  Nope....      


Posted by Sondra Meyer:, See It. Experience It. Live It. (Star View Real Estate ) over 6 years ago

Howdy and evenin AJ, each of those sure is mighty fine advise which sellers all across the Country sure should pay heed to.

Posted by Dale Baker, New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information (Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections) over 6 years ago

Sondra - When I look at the MLS it just grates on me whenever I see the lid up... it is a simple courtesy and I'm rather shocked that agents & photographers don't see a problem with it

Dale - Thank and nice of you to stop by, have a very good 2014

Posted by AJ Heidmann ~ CRS, YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert (McEnearney Associates, Inc.) over 6 years ago

AJ, some really worthwhile points. Cleanliness is often overlooked, but not by the buyer! Unbelievable what you sometimes see...

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or over 6 years ago


You've made some excellent points that any seller needs to keep in mind. I think jsut have no idea about the amount of work it can take to get a home ready to sell, but also to keep it in showing condition. These tips will really help!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) over 6 years ago

Tom - Couldn't agree more Tom... some people are just oblivious to the condition of their own home and then to try and sell it the same why is baffling

Jeff - It is an everyday effort to keep a home in showing condition and you're right, a lot of people have no idea

Posted by AJ Heidmann ~ CRS, YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert (McEnearney Associates, Inc.) over 6 years ago

Yes, the ones that deny access always make me laugh. They wonder why their house isn't selling and it is because they make it too hard to show!

Posted by Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker, RVA Home Team - Winning with Integrity. (RVA Home Team) over 6 years ago


All I can say is AMEN to this, cheers cvc

Posted by Curtis Van Carter, Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire (Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group) over 6 years ago

Shannon - They just don't seem to get it... apparently their home is special enough to make people jump through hoops.

Curtis - Thanks for stopping by

Posted by AJ Heidmann ~ CRS, YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert (McEnearney Associates, Inc.) over 6 years ago

Lots of great advice AJ and these suggestions show be taught to anyone selling a home. Well done.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) over 6 years ago

Joe - Thanks... it may seem like common sense, but it needs to be reviewed with every seller.

Posted by AJ Heidmann ~ CRS, YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert (McEnearney Associates, Inc.) over 6 years ago

Hi AJ, I hope that sellers read your post and follow the simple steps.....

Posted by Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula, Realty Works Temecula (Realty Works Temecula) over 6 years ago

Hi AJ - These are good fundamentals. Fortunately the agents I've worked with get their clients to take care of these basics, so much so that the clients often look exhausted or are still vacuuming when I arrive to shoot ;)

The hard work will be worth it for them in the end.

Posted by Andre R. Aragon, Real Estate Photographer (Greater Tampa Real Estate Photographer) over 6 years ago

Jane - They are pretty simple, they just need to be followed. 

Andre - That is a great situation to be in Andre, here's hoping that it continues for you.

Posted by AJ Heidmann ~ CRS, YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert (McEnearney Associates, Inc.) over 6 years ago

AJ, anything less than doing it right is a waist of everyone's time and money!

Posted by Connie Harvey, Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate (Pilkerton Realtors) over 6 years ago

AJ, It seems that the amount of cooperation the Seller gives on the above items is in direct proportion to the amount of (or lack of) motivation they have to sell. The faster their house sells, the faster they can get back to their normal lifestyle.


Posted by Diana Zaccaro, "The Accidental Blogger" Cocoa Beach, Florida (Tropical Beachside brokered by eXp) over 6 years ago

Excellent tips, AJ.  All sellers should read this post.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 6 years ago

Connie - Makes sense... but we both know that sometimes sellers just "figure" that it will be overlooked.

Diana - I'm in a 100% agreement with you and reflecting on the couple of times when sellers didn't comply, they weren't totally sold on selling (in my personal experience).

Gabe - Appreciate it Gabe, best wishes for a great 2014.

Posted by AJ Heidmann ~ CRS, YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert (McEnearney Associates, Inc.) over 6 years ago

Three ways that Sellers can make sure that their home is being considered fir purchase by those looking to buy in their price range and location.

Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) over 6 years ago

GREAT post, and one every Seller should read!    Just because they like all their nic nacs around, doesn't mean they should be out when on the market!

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) over 6 years ago

FAB TIPS!  It is so important to be show ready and let it happen as quick as possible to be successful!

Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) over 6 years ago

Great post AJ, Access seems to be our number 1 problem around here - so many homes are rented for the winter months and the owners never thought of including a term to allow showings, so we are at the mercy of the tenants.

Posted by Ellie Penaranda, Naples Florida Real Estate - Waterfront & Beach Co (239.776.5077 Downing-Frye Realty ) over 6 years ago

Hi AJ~ You have addressed a good point. The sale of the home takes 2 people, the seller and most importantly, the buyer!

Posted by Donna Foerster, Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant (HomeSmart Realty Group) over 6 years ago

AJ - This is an excellent post and something every seller needs to read before they list their home.

Posted by Michelle Gibson, REALTOR (Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. ) over 6 years ago