Anything can be funny when you are showing houses.

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Advantage

We've got people shopping again!! 

I was showing a house today to people who have bought from me before and let me sell their house before.  You know, those people that you absolutely love!!

They referred a relative to me and we were looking at a house for the third time.  My past clients were to look and give their opinion.  They were all in the dining room and started laughing. 

Upon asking them what was so funny, they pointed to the dining room table which had a big zigzaw puzzle laid out on it.  One of them said, "Wouldn't it be funny if we took just one piece of that puzzle?"  Visualizing the family putting the whole thing together and lacking one piece which couldn't be found anywhere was pretty funny.

I joined in the laughter and said they'd better not dare!!  It was a light moment and a fun moment. 

It also points out the fact that a house needs to be depersonalized when it is on the market.  We saw kids and relatives photos everywhere and there we were looking at a puzzle instead of concentrating on the dining room! 

Depersonalize!  Depersonalize!  Please! 

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Topic:
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Groups:
Club Chaos
Home Staging 101
Realtors®
Stage It Forward...
Diary of a Realtor
Tags:
preparing house to show
showing houses
depersonalizing houses
barbara s duncan real estate

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Rainmaker
723,733
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Gary, you said that very well.  Thanks.

Ginger, I'm sure their chess sets are very depersonalized and would be okay!  Hopefully!

Chuck, surely no one!!  My people didn't.  They just thought it would be funny if they did.

Jason, there is a possibility too that the puzzle never gets worked on!  Perhaps it is leftover from kids visiting?  They may never miss a piece.  LOL

Michele, that was the point of the blog.  Depersonalize the whole house for better showings.

Charles, that's a novel idea.  I like your truck signature!

Jan 18, 2009 08:12 AM #9
Rainmaker
563,876
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Barbara - being an avid jig saw puzzler,

THAT IS NOT FUNNY!

It is cruel to have someone spend hours and then find out one, or more pieces, are missing.

But then again, I have had that thought a time or two myself.

Jan 18, 2009 09:03 AM #10
Rainer
174,125
Don Thompson
Donthomp Associates - Little Rock, AR

How things have changed. I remember from the deep recesses of my memory reading an article about how to show a house and the emphasis was to show the house was a friendly, lived in, family home by having a zigzaw puzzle on the table. Go figure.

Now folks tend to clear the house of personal effects, remove unsightly furniture and rent some trendy pieces to make a good impression.

 

Jan 18, 2009 09:35 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,228,828
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hahahhaha. That's funny. That's not all that people want to take. When I opened a closet in a hallway for clients, we could all smell something very strong. The shelves were filled with shoe boxes. We opened one of them and found pot. I told the clients they better not be slipping any ziplock baggies into their pockets . . .

Elizabeth Weintraub Land Park Real Estate Agent in Sacramento

Jan 18, 2009 09:54 AM #12
Rainmaker
723,733
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Mike Saunders, now you know "the rest of the story" about your missing zigsaw puzzle pieces.  You'd made someone in your family mad!!!  Sweet revenge for them when you got to the bottom of the puzzle.  HA HA!!

Don, perhaps that was what they were doing but there was no fire going and no other indications of warm and fuzzy family life.  Personal effects definitely take the attention away from the house.  I myself was looking at the family photos and wondering who was who.  NOT needed! 

Elizabeth, I've never had anything like that happen!  Were all the shoeboxes full of pot?  Now your story IS funny!!!  Your responsibility?  Was it to call the police?  Report to anyone?  Ethically, what should be done?  And what did you do?  That's blog fodder for you for tomorrow.

 

Jan 18, 2009 10:07 AM #13
Rainer
256,188
Debi Ernst
St. Charles County, Missouri - Prudential Alliance Realtors - O'Fallon, MO
GRI, e-PRO, Broker/Sales Associate

Barbara - That's great that you are showing houses to friends of past clients!  It shows their trust in you... I totally agree about depersonalizing...  :)

Jan 18, 2009 10:16 AM #14
Rainmaker
311,335
James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move

A great laugh AND a Great point.  In this town; seller have often have pictures of famous people from "the other party" (than your buyers) and the buyers often are too focused on them; than the actual home.

Jan 18, 2009 10:28 AM #15
Rainmaker
723,733
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Debi, it is a good, good feeling.  Thanks for commenting.

James, so you also have people peering at pictures (Hey that has a good ring to it, doesn't it?) instead of looking at the house.  The surprising thing is how FEW agents tell them to prepare the hosue for showing and how to do it.

 

Jan 18, 2009 12:21 PM #16
Ambassador
663,222
Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

... lol ... very cute story, they sound like they are fun people to work with !

...... but a VERY good visual analogy as to why we ask for sellers to depersonalize !

Great story !

Jan 18, 2009 04:50 PM #17
Rainmaker
723,733
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Shelton, they are likable buyers!  I hope I can get them something sold.

Jan 18, 2009 07:25 PM #18
Rainer
92,857
Zane Coffin
Century-21 Homestar - Geneva, OH
(Geneva Ohio Real Estate Agent)

So Barbara, what did you do with that puzzle piece? I know you took it....I sold my dads old house a few years ago and I got a hard time from my own father about taking pictures down..so he went to work I took the pictures down and sold the house a week later and now I tell all my sellers the story....some times it works some times it don't.....peace zane

Jan 18, 2009 08:16 PM #19
Rainer
14,797
Victoria Carter
Century 21 Percy Fulton - Pickering, ON
TwoMoveYou

Hahaha, My mom was trying to sell her house at one time too, but it was the CAT who "hid" the puzzle piece!

Speaking of "anything can happen"... I was showing a client around a house one day and we got up to the masterbath and found a USED ADULT DIAPER left on the edge of the sink.  EWWWW...

Remember to remind your clients to do one last check before they leave the house!

Victoria

Jan 18, 2009 10:30 PM #20
Rainmaker
723,733
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Zane, you've got a kid's mischievous mind.  I didn't take a puzzle piece!  Did your dad compliment you on your brilliance in getting the house sold?  Thanks for comment.

Victoria, that diaper would have been awful to find, worse than a commode full of stuff that needs to be flushed, which I've often found.  Thanks for comments!!

Jan 19, 2009 07:19 AM #21
Rainmaker
1,181,743
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Barbara,

 

Since Nutsy is not answering the business phone, my daughter is. She says that I am getting calls but we are trying to figure out why Nutsy is so low profile.

Jan 19, 2009 10:06 AM #22
Rainmaker
723,733
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Steve, that squirrel is worse than a teen-aged kid.  He's taking advantage of your being gone, probably having parties at your house..  Did you call the neighbor to see if your house is still recognizable?

Jan 19, 2009 12:41 PM #23
Rainmaker
312,527
Carol Culkin
Reece & Nichols - Leawood, KS
Overland Park

That house might not sell and there will be another piece of a puzzle needing to be solved. If I had my choice as a seller, I think I'd rather the missing piece be that of a zigzaw puzzle.    

Jan 19, 2009 05:18 PM #24
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Barbara,

Now that would be mean to hide a piece!  I love to work puzzles and it would drive me crazy if that last piece was missing!

Jan 19, 2009 06:21 PM #25
Rainmaker
723,733
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Carol, again you've put it very nicely!  Thanks.

Mary, that would be the whole reason for doing it!  : )

Jan 19, 2009 07:09 PM #26
Rainer
10,079
Tony Favata
First Class Properties - Milford, DE

We just went into a home last week and thought the same exact thing! One of them even said lets just sit here and put the whole thing together so when they come back home it will be done!!!! LOL I agree though, it did need to be put away.

Jan 20, 2009 09:46 AM #27
Rainmaker
723,733
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Tony, I like your idea of putting it together!  That's a new way of thinking.

Jan 20, 2009 12:05 PM #28
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Barbara S. Duncan

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