It's Really Hard to Sell a House with Your Legs Crossed!

By
Real Estate Agent with Dove Realty Inc.

Bathroom Chat Part II

While following Kathy Somer's blog on faux staging last week (that topic was beat to death, but here it is if you were living under a rock and missed it...) something came up over and over again that I'd like to challenge address.

  • Stagers keep talking about tying their towels up with assorted doo-dads in order to keep anyone from using them or the bathroom period!

  • Well I have some news for you: we go to the bathroom too, just like everyone else. Especially when we have a 4+ hour tour.

  • Now, do you want us to rush through the house you just staged so lovingly or skip it alltogether in order to find a gas station bathroom?

  • When you have guests do you send them down the street or make them use a port-a-potty in the backyard? I didn't think so.

  • A Realtor with qualified buyers is probably going to be the most important guest you will ever have in your home, so treat them accordingly!

  • They're going to use the bathroom anyway, and it doesn't matter if you tie your towels up with barbed wire ... they will find a corner to wipe their hands on!

  • So may I suggest providing a basket filled with nice disposable hand towels! If you're lucky, they may just use one to wipe up the sink.

  • Whatever you do, do not put plastic over the toilet or tape it down to keep people from using it unless it's non-functioning or  there is another bathroom that has been made available. A note directing them to it would be a good idea so that they don't have to go on a wild goose chase.

    In case you missed Part I, click here
    Coming soon Bathroom Chat Part III...

 

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Rainmaker
116,470
Susan Peters
Dove Realty Inc. - Seattle, WA
The Better it Looks the Better it Sells

Charleen: Open houses are long enough.

Maureen: I ammended my original blog because of that.

Barbara: It's a look but don't touch deal.

Cheryl: Drying your hands with toilet paper is the pits!

Cindy: I like it too!

David: You've got a good point!

Teresa: Thanks!

Alan: You're so right!

 

May 20, 2008 12:07 AM #41
Rainmaker
116,470
Susan Peters
Dove Realty Inc. - Seattle, WA
The Better it Looks the Better it Sells

Terrylynn: A good realtor is like a Girl Scout 'always prepared' or is that a Boy Scout?

Phyllis: I've done the same thing.

Amy: Thanks for the suggestion.

Maureen: That's fine as long as you have a powder room. A lot of my listings only have one bath.

May 20, 2008 12:12 AM #42
Rainmaker
554,643
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

Susan, once when I was pregnant with my second child, I was showing houses and well, I had to go to the bathroom.  When I went into the powder room, I noticed that there were little rounds pieces of paper in the toilet that you get from a hole punch.  I knew that the seller did that to see if anyone used the bathroom but when you are 8 months pregnant and you have to go... you HAVE TO GO!!  So go I went!  Later that day the seller actually called me at home, I have never met her, to suggest that if I, or my buyer need to use the bathroom in the future, that I find a gas station!  Needless to say, I was not in a hurry to sell her home and I was very glad that the buyer, who was also 8 months pregnant, didn't like it!

May 22, 2008 04:13 PM #43
Rainmaker
116,470
Susan Peters
Dove Realty Inc. - Seattle, WA
The Better it Looks the Better it Sells

Susan: This really takes the cake! What were they thinking?

May 23, 2008 01:11 AM #44
Rainmaker
46,013
Sarah Nopp
South Sound, WA

Amen! And Amen! Clients are usually very worried about using restrooms, but I tell them that is what they are for. Although, in vacant properties, I advise them to make sure the water is turned on :) It is especially an Amen when your client is 7+ months pregnant. You just try to tell that woman she can't use the toilet.

May 23, 2008 01:41 AM #45
Rainmaker
116,470
Susan Peters
Dove Realty Inc. - Seattle, WA
The Better it Looks the Better it Sells

Sarah: Fortunately I haven't run into too many houses that have the water turned off but with the increase in REOs it may become more common.

May 24, 2008 12:25 AM #46
Ambassador
2,434,862
Patricia Kennedy
Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. - Washington, DC
For Your Home in the Capital

Susan, I just tripped over this post, and you make such a great point here!  We call it "testing the plumbing".

Jun 02, 2008 08:40 AM #47
Rainer
140,640
Fern Hamberger
Citihabitats - Manhattan, NY
The Fern Hamberger Team Citihabit-Asso RE Brkr NY

Susan,

I agree with you a 100%. People want to feel AT HOME when they are viewing a property. Even if they do not use the bathroom, my clients flush the toilet once in a while to check that it works. 

Thanks for the ideas!!!

Fern Hamberger Broker @ NestQuest Inc.

 

 

Jun 02, 2008 10:40 AM #48
Rainer
9,501
Tim Hoffmann & Laurie Nadeau Nationwide
Park City, UT

Susan, loved the post. Neither me nor my clients care if someone uses the bathroom during a showing, after all, you want to make sure the plumbing works:) I only ask that if they do use the bathroom please FLUSH (that's always a great surprise), and if you clog it...fix it, or at least call me and I will!

Jun 02, 2008 01:33 PM #49
Rainmaker
116,470
Susan Peters
Dove Realty Inc. - Seattle, WA
The Better it Looks the Better it Sells

Patricia: The real challenge is showing houses where they have turned off the water and the electricity. Yikes!

Fern: Thanks for the comment and I love your name (Nest Quest Inc.).

Tim and Laurie: It's really hard to get people to fess up when they incapacitate the toilet. Yuk!

Jun 02, 2008 03:59 PM #50
Rainer
205,262
Sylvie Conde
Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, Toronto Real Estate

Wow ... it happens there too? :)  I took a client recently to see a luxury condo and the bathroom door had a note on it, the bathroom mirror had the same note on it, and the toilet lid had the same note on it:  "DO NOT USE. USE PUBLIC BATHROOM OUTSIDE" ...  We were out of there very fast, and ran into the seller, waiting outside the door, and he asked why we were leaving so fast - no way we could possibly have seen the entire condo ... we told him we had to go to the bathroom, but wouldn't be back. (My client bought, but not that one - he was turned off by their attitude/notes.)

Of course I've also walked into vacant homes, after another agent, and it was quite obvious by the 'scent' in the air, that someone forgot to flush the toilet, so I suggest to Realtors that they double check the bathroom, before they exit with their clients. :)

Jun 02, 2008 04:20 PM #51
Rainmaker
116,470
Susan Peters
Dove Realty Inc. - Seattle, WA
The Better it Looks the Better it Sells

Sylvie: That guy deserves to have his condo sit on the market!

Jun 05, 2008 01:11 PM #52
Rainer
214,994
Lisa Friedman
Alliance Realtors - Bedminster, NJ
Central New Jersey Real Estate

Susan, that is the best suggestion ever - about the disposable hand towels in the bathroom.  It is so unclassy not to let guests use the bathroom and it is always a turn off for me.

Jul 10, 2008 09:19 AM #53
Rainmaker
177,778
Michelle Finnamore
in Vaughan and Toronto GTA - Vaughan, ON
Preparing your property for sale

I always carry my own paper towels and toilet paper when working or travelling. Call it experience,

When you are staging vacants sometimes there are neither available. Better to be prepared than the alternative.

Great idea about the disposable towels. Hadn't thought of it before. Will do it now.

It is so refreshing to read the point of view by Realtors. I read the Realtor group each day but rarely see these topics come up.

thank you for posting and keep them coming.

Jul 10, 2008 10:50 AM #54
Rainer
79,809
Kristina Leone
Lionheart Home Staging, LLC - Minneapolis, MN

I didn't realize that people have taped toilets down...  You bring up a valid point on catering to the buyer, not just with the decor, but with "other" amenities that would make them comfortable in a home.  I really like the disposable towel idea.  Thank you for sharing your insight into this "urgent" matter!

Jul 10, 2008 04:13 PM #55
Rainmaker
116,470
Susan Peters
Dove Realty Inc. - Seattle, WA
The Better it Looks the Better it Sells

Lisa: Tell me about it! Especially after a 6 hour tour.

Michelle and Kristina: Thanks, my pleasure!

 

Jul 13, 2008 02:40 AM #56
Rainer
12,681
Joyce Zdenek
Hallmark Sotheby's International Realty & Joyce's Interiors - Hopkinton, MA

I agree and have never tied up the towels, but do place decorative towels on the towel bars and then place an additonal towel to use on the sink, decorative, but functional.  In fact, it's the way I do it in my own home.

Joyce

Jul 13, 2008 07:13 AM #57
Anonymous
Anonymous
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Jul 23, 2008 09:59 AM #58
Rainer
13,544
Amy Jeffrey
Currant Designs & Home Staging - Austin, TX
Currant Designs & Home Staging Serving Austin, Texas

As a stager with a good portion of my business coming from new home builders, I've never seen it from this point of view.  New home builders have models, so I always thought their buyers would just use the model bathroom.  But, qeez, you're right.  When ya gotta go, ya gotta go.  I've never gone to any length to stop people from using the towels but when I found them used I would always be peeved.  So simple, give them an option!

Jul 24, 2008 06:22 AM #59
Rainmaker
116,470
Susan Peters
Dove Realty Inc. - Seattle, WA
The Better it Looks the Better it Sells

Joyce: It works for me!

Jack: Hmmmm.....

Amy: It saves your good towels too.

Oct 02, 2008 11:02 PM #60
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