Listing From Hell? Not Necessarily

By
Real Estate Agent with Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. AB95346

Yesterday, I showed a house that was rather disturbing.

If it was being sold because of a divorce, he didn't leave her for someone younger, thinner or prettier.  He left her for a Zen minimalist.

The house, listed Friday night, is in one of Washington's most popular neighborhoods, and it has a price tag we haven't seen there since about the Millennium.  The MRIS information warns that the place is very messy and to not let the cats out.

When we got there, several agents and their buyers were inside.  One of the agents warned us to watch our steps.  The house itself was not terrible.  It was filthy dirty, and I should have handed out face masks for my buyers, and the basics and bones were not in awful shape.  It had what looked like updated systems, including new central air.  But every square foot of floor was covered with several feet of stuff, and every once in a while, we'd find a little cat asleep on top of a pile of something.  And there was grime all over everything.

In this day and age, where we rarely see homes that are not spiffed up and nicely staged, this was the opposite extreme - an opportunity to look past a mess.  It was a chance to pay less than top dollar in a great neighborhood in return for some serious elbow grease.

Once we got over the initial shock, I realized that my buyers like the place.  And while the agents were pulling our designer scarves over our noses and mouths and rolling our eyes (feeling so sorry for the poor listing agent having to deal with the place), our clients were getting pretty excited.

The listing agent here is no fool.  It might be the ugliest, dirtiest house she's ever listed.  But guess what?

It's priced perfectly! 

I think I smell a bidding war here!  Stay tuned for more!

Anyone know a good exorcist?

close

Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Joseph J. Chang 02/21/2010 09:26 AM
  2. Lori Liveston 02/21/2010 08:41 PM
  3. Donald Bradbury 02/22/2010 01:50 PM
  4. Donna Brnilovich 02/22/2010 05:54 PM
Topic:
Home Selling
Location:
District of Columbia District of Columbia County Washington
Groups:
Club Chaos
Diary of a Realtor
RealtorsĀ®
Tags:
washignton dc real estate
unstaged house

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Rainmaker
1,712,362
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors - Austin, TX
Realtor-Canyon Creek- NW, Austin TX Homes For Sale

Good morning Pat,

Wow between your description and the visual photo I can only imagine how it looks and smell. There are some buyers out there who can look past it and go for the kill! The inspection will reveal how the basics are..it's allot to tackle but if the buyers have the resources then it could be a steal. It sounds like the listing agent got the house priced right where it should be a quick sale.

Feb 22, 2010 06:18 AM #121
Rainmaker
175,231
Linda Greco
Exit Preferred Realty - Bel Air, MD
Realtor of Bel Air MD and Surrounding Areas

Pat, When we show houses, our reactions can break a deal. Congratulations on allowing your buyers to see past the mess and dirt.

Feb 22, 2010 07:00 AM #122
Rainer
421,810
Peggy Chirico
Prudential CT Realty - Manchester, CT
REALTORĀ® 860-748-8900, Hartford & Tolland County Real Estate

I feel sorry for the cats! Maybe they want to get out!

Feb 22, 2010 07:05 AM #123
Rainmaker
851,764
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY
Broker-Owner

Hoarders. Worse, hoarders and Cat people. Get out the sanitizer after you leave. Even if it priced to sell, the issue looms as to how and when they'll vacate. I've had people like this want post possession agreements.

 

Feb 22, 2010 07:09 AM #124
Rainer
268,400
Lisa Moroniak
Keller Williams Realty | Northern Virginia | 703.635.0388 - Leesburg, VA
SFR - Short Sale & Foreclosure Certified

Hey Patricia - how can you be mindful of cats you can't see??  Well written, made me laugh :).  Good luck getting selected!!

Feb 22, 2010 08:01 AM #125
Rainmaker
140,452
Michelle Fradella-Barfuss
Marketing Coach - Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Picayune, MS
Author of "Top 10 Mistakes Agents Make When Market

Wow, looks like a crack house!  Unfortunately I've shown a couple of properties in my career that look similar.  Good thing it's priced right.

I feel sorry for the cats.

Feb 22, 2010 08:49 AM #126
Ambassador
1,345,542
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices

Patricia,

I could be interesting to see how much money the condition cost the seller. Whether it made sense to clean it up, and make it nice vs simply reduce the price to overcome the mess.

How much is the cost of the mess?

Feb 22, 2010 09:07 AM #127
Rainmaker
363,365
Lori Mode
Keller Williams Realty - Elk Grove, CA Homes for Sale - Elk Grove, CA
Mode and Durham, Your Elk Grove Real Estate team

Patricia - right price and so much can be overlooked by buyers with a vision...good luck!

Feb 22, 2010 09:24 AM #128
Rainmaker
363,365
Lori Mode
Keller Williams Realty - Elk Grove, CA Homes for Sale - Elk Grove, CA
Mode and Durham, Your Elk Grove Real Estate team

Patricia - right price and so much can be overlooked by buyers with a vision...good luck!

Feb 22, 2010 09:24 AM #129
Rainmaker
363,365
Lori Mode
Keller Williams Realty - Elk Grove, CA Homes for Sale - Elk Grove, CA
Mode and Durham, Your Elk Grove Real Estate team

Patricia - right price and so much can be overlooked by buyers with a vision...good luck!

Feb 22, 2010 09:24 AM #130
Rainmaker
473,464
Ritu Desai
Samson Properties - Ashburn, VA
Virginia Realtor-Fairfax/Loudoun/PW-703-625-4949

Sounds like a golden opportunity !!! How is appraiser & lender going to see the home. I would be interesed in knowing the ending of this. Good Luck

Feb 22, 2010 10:07 AM #131
Rainer
5,364
Shannon Jungmann
Allen Realtors - Lakewood, WA

Wow, I think buyers really can look past the mess if they are serious about purchasing. The bones of the home is really what we need to get all our buyers to look at. Great post! Thanks for sharing and good luck!

Feb 22, 2010 10:28 AM #132
Rainer
28,743
Bill Petrey
AgentHarvest - A Real Estate Agent Finder Service - Dallas, TX

I think I saw this house featured in the TV series HOARDERS.

Feb 22, 2010 10:34 AM #133
Rainmaker
104,673
Eileen Liles
970-216-0530 http://WeSellDeltaCounty.com - Cedaredge, CO
Macht-Liles Real Estate Group - Cedaredge, CO

Made me laugh!  I represented some buyers once on a home similar to this.  I wrote in the additional provisions that ALL the "stuff" had to be removed before the walk-thru and had to be cleaned by professionals (which they did).  I agree with Bill, this person should have call "Hoarders" and had them do the clean up - they would have made more money....

Feb 22, 2010 11:33 AM #134
Rainer
19,509
Dixon Team OC
RE/MAX Select One - Huntington Beach, CA

Have Goodwill come and take care of that stuff!!

Dixon Team OC


Feb 22, 2010 12:31 PM #135
Ambassador
2,441,333
Patricia Kennedy
Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. - Washington, DC
For Your Home in the Capital

Wow!  This is more comments than I've ever gotten on a post - ever!  A couple of things.

I feel like I sounded totally not empathetic, and that's not like me.

Clearly, this seller is going through something awful in her life, and the evidence was piled all around us.  And it was all pretty extreme.  And after I wrote this, I looked around my own house.  I am no Martha Stewart, and if something in life pushed me over the edge, it could easily manifest in my living environment.

So I have this one on my watch list and I'll let you all know how it ends.

Feb 22, 2010 07:47 PM #136
Rainer
48,917
Clark Hitchcock
Re/Max Nyda Realty Inc - Chilliwack, BC
Realtor - Fraser Valley

Hope it ends well for your client and the seller has some positive things come out of it in the end as well.

Feb 23, 2010 12:33 AM #137
Rainmaker
73,228
Glen Fisher
National Property Inspections of Southern New Jersey, LLC - Oaklyn, NJ

Hello Patricia.  Please tread very carefully.  Hidden damage from the cat urine is likely present.  In addition to engaging a qualified home inspector, I suggest a specialist be engaged for review of the cat urine issue. 

While the buyer may be excited now, cat urine can be consider toxic and may cause health issues in certain individuals.  There has been extensive litigation involving real estate and cat urine. 

Consider having a cat urine release prepared by your broker's attorney and signed by the buyer prior to closing.

Feb 23, 2010 05:02 AM #138
Rainmaker
622,713
Sandy Shores Broker, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County FL Real Estate

Pat, This house looks like one of those before photos for one of those TV shows, where they go in and clean the place out top to bottom.  Good luck on that bidding war. I hope your buyer gets it.

Feb 23, 2010 07:08 PM #139
Rainmaker
1,323,879
Richie Alan Naggar Author PEARLS SERIES of books
People first then business! Ran Right Realty Riverside, Ca - Riverside, CA
on LIFE and LOVE plus Real Estate too!

Patricia:

I have had those experiences you described in both renting and selling. if you are priced right......the following will take place. You will have showings whether you are ready or not. For remedies on what you described, I have had to pull carpets and padding and treat the cement/floor with an ammonia wash which kills the bacteria which is where the smell comes from. Skip this process and even new carpeting wont help you. By the way, the cats are worst as they look for places to hide their mess where dogs just do it. Consequently, cleaning up after dear old kitty is a nightmare. And, yes, I never failed to have eye contact with buyer/renter who has says to me between gags....you will take care of this problem of which I (most of the time)  say...what problem? As to the condition of the premises..........And you wonder why people are divorcing?

Thank you

Mar 26, 2010 12:46 PM #140
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