JL's Columbia SC Real Estate Blog: Don't Really Want to Sell Your House, Here's 10 Ways Not to do It

Don't Really Want to Sell Your House, Here's 10 Ways Not to do It

 Recently I wrote a posts for buyers on the 10 reasons they should wait to buy in today's market. Today I figured I would tackle a different topic and help out those sellers in the market that would like to have their home on the market, but not actually sell it. These are steps that if followed correctly, can certainly aid in the process of NOT selling your home.

10- Landscaping. It is imperative that you make no special effort to make the yard look nice. Allow the shrubs to grow out of control and make sure the grass is not cut on a regular basis. A nicely maintained yard is pleasing to the eye, and it may make people want to take a look at the inside. If we can just make them drive by, then we have nothing to worry about.

9- The outside of the home itself. Try to make sure there is some paint peeling and that there are leaves in the gutters. The outside condition of the home is just as important as the yard itself. Just like a well maintained yard, a well maintained home will draw attention and that is completely against our cause of not selling the house.

8- Floors- If for some reasons a curious buyer sees through our efforts to run them away and decides to walk inside, then we have to take things to the next level. Be sure that the floors throughout the house are not clean. If they are already older and worn out floors, then be sure you leave them like they are. You don't want nice new floors causing the place to seem appealing. If possible have stains and some cigarette burns in carpet.

7- Clutter- You can make a small room seem even smaller by simply staging it with too much crap. Be sure you put as much stuff as possible on your counter tops in the kitchen and on any flat surface where you can fit trinkets. This is a sure fire turn off for buyers, so don't over look it. A nice decluttered house can accentuate the positives, and that's not what we want.

6- Paint- The best thing you can do is slap some paint on the walls that offends the sense of anyone who sees it. I mean bright purples and reds and anything else you can think of that the average buyer doesn't want to see. Sometimes dark colors can be used to make a room look smaller as well. Between that and the clutter we should be able to send many prospective buyers running for the hills. The last thing you should do is put a fresh coat of neutral paint on the walls. That just makes a place look too good.

5- Poor lighting- The darker the better for us, so try to make sure we block windows to avoid natural light. If at all possible be sure that there are some burnt out light bulbs, that way the place will look even less inviting to touring agents and buyers. We don't want inviting.

4- A dirty house- This is a huge help for us in our effort to avoid an offer. If the place is clean and decluttered, then it shows better and we run the risk of selling. Instead, be sure that you leave the home trashed every chance you get. Dirty dishes in the sink and piles of cloths on the floor in bedrooms. These are two great ways to make a home look bad.

3- Show by appointment only- And don't be reasonable about it when you do. Don't even allow a Realtor to put a lockbox on the home. The last thing we want is for buyers and agents to have availability to the property. When someone does call to show the house stick around and make the buyer feel uncomfortable by following them around. If they start to picture themselves living there, they may get that warm and fuzzy feeling that could lead to sell. They don't live there, it's your home, make sure they know that.

2- Smoke in your home- This will cause another huge turn off to buyers. The smell will work it's way into every part of the home. If possible leave full ashtrays throughout to drive the point home.

1- Price- I should say over price to be more specific. Price has become a crucial factor in the sell of many homes, so the last thing you want is to put a fair market price on your home. You need to price it above market value and stand firm with the willingness to negotiate.

 You really shouldn't need to take all of these steps, if you just pick a few you can greatly increase the chances that your home will not sell. So decide which ones are right for you, and stick to the plan. Your success should be easy on this one.




JL Boney, III - Columbia, SC Realtor - Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

 I specialize in Columbia, SC real estate and the surrounding areas, including Blythewood, SC, Kershaw County, Fairfield County, and Lexington, SC. If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in Columbia, SC or any of the surrounding areas, I would love the opportunity to speak with to see how I can help. Thanks for reading and feel free to contact me if I can be of service to you.

Office- 803-788-1450     Cell- 803-730-9601     Email- James_Boney@Yahoo.com

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Comment balloon 25 commentsJL Boney, III • April 29 2009 03:51PM


This is a GREAT list JL, keep them coming!

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) over 11 years ago

Hey, I think I know a few sellers I can pass this on to...thanks! :)

Posted by Joddie Roberts, Your Spokane Realtor - Spokane, WA (Mountain Real Estate and Property Management) over 11 years ago

Great tips, JL...I thinks some of the sellers in my area that I have taken the tiome to show their home have taken your list to heart!

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 11 years ago

Hi JL-I think you have a theme running here. Think it will wake them up. You and buddy Jason are funny. He didn't like being behind you on that list.  Hope you had a great day, I see you snuck 2 in <SMILE>

Posted by Sharon Lee, Retired and loving life (Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance) over 11 years ago

Hi J.L., oh, and you forgot about Cujo.  Make sure to leave your guard dogs in the house to properly greet any visitors.  Cars on blocks in the front yard works too.  You're TOO much!!

Posted by Alyce Martin, Albuquerque - THE Place To Be! (The Realty Group, LLC) over 11 years ago


Insightful post; your right on target, you can position to sell your home or not.

Good luck and success

Lou Ludwig


Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 11 years ago

Hey JL, great list!! I am on overwhelm here and my home is actually a living example of many of your points!!  I must get busy and get this placed cleaned up before someone sends you over here to list my house!

Posted by Susan Mangigian, Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) over 11 years ago


This list is really nice and clear, I do like #2 and #7.  Nothing like walking up to the front door and being knocked over by a heavy smoke smell then walking in and not being able to see the floor for all of the clutter.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 11 years ago


You know that your top ten lists are going to be featured in the group "Whacked!!!" but this one is WAY above your normally fine lists. Good job.

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 11 years ago

JL: What a great list. We never know what you will come up with next.

Posted by Sandy Childs, Realtor - Spartanburg, SC (Keller Williams Realty) over 11 years ago

JL - Were you following me around last weekend?  Again?  How do you do that?  It wouldn't be so annoying if you just introduced yourself...finally.  I tried showing three homes...they don't show property on the weekends, and then need 24 hours notice.  Hmm... really?  Well, thankfully, there are lots of vacant bank-owneds to show and sell.  And, they won't have the owners there to follow us around.....

Great list. Keep up the great work! 

Posted by Suzanne McLaughlin, Sabinske & Associates, Realtor (Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael)) over 11 years ago

Your "pointer" should give many something to think about :)

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) over 11 years ago

OK, now THAT beats the pants of of my list post, tips for selling your home. I think this is the top of all lists, and should be given to every home owner who is even thinking of selling.

You did forget the pile of junk cars in the yard though. That really is a must NOT sell feature I particularly love. Plus, as Alyce mentioned, Cujo roaming the house and/or yard.

Love love love this post. I am bookmarking it for sure, need to re-read it every so often!


Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 11 years ago

Great post!  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Renee Marrs Caperton, Realtor - Corsicana Texas Real Estate (Marrs & Associates) over 11 years ago

Terrific post JL.  I too have Sellers who need to read this.  Thanks

Posted by Tom Boos, Providing the very best of service to Sellers and (Sine & Monaghan Realtors, Real Living) over 11 years ago

Now THIS is a list we should all promote.

... it is CLEARLY something that many selleres can relate too...


Well done JLB !!!

That British Agent

Posted by Sheldon Neal, That British Agent Bergen County NJ (Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited) over 11 years ago

Very funny.  I hope many people in your area take your advice... NOT.  Two great lists though for your buyers and sellers.

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com) over 11 years ago

Good post J.L.; I'm to add it to my listing presentation.

Posted by Terry Chenier (Homelife Glenayre Realty) over 11 years ago

This is perfect, thank you JL. I may just have to forward this to my sellers of a listing they claim is "ready". I think we actually may hit all 10. Sad.

Posted by Marney Kirk, Towson, Maryland Real Estate (Cummings & Co. Realtors) over 11 years ago

JL, I did all the above and sold my house in 7 weeks, I also had a Pre Home Inspection done and left a copy of it for all the showings! I also offered a Home Warranty... In our "Buyers Market " you have to have your home in tip top shape b/c there are lots of other homes buyers can go see and compare.  Also received a very clean offer, the buyers didn't ask for any additional "stuff" b/c I had it all done for them! The couple who purchased our home was 8 months pregnant, believe me she loved my "move in ready"  house and we loved the offer they wrote!! Karol

Posted by Karol Yeager, "We choose to give" (REALTY FIVE of Defiance) over 11 years ago

JL- my mom always says great minds run the same channel.  I just did several posting yesterday about preparing your home for sale.  I really like your list and it is to the point of how not to sell your home.


Posted by Kim Peasley-Parker (AgentOwned Realty, Heritage Group, Inc.) over 11 years ago

Nino- I will try to my friend.

Joddie- Pass it on.

Bill- I think we have all seen some who have.

Sharon- He has never liked being behind me, even though he usually is.

Alyce- The cars on blocks don't chase us, I'll take them over the dogs.


Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 11 years ago

Lou- Thanks for stopping by my friend.

Susan- I'll come do it, you know me.

Don- They are two quick ways to lose a buyer.

Richard- I knew you'd approve of this one, thanks for the feature.

Sandy- I have a knack for being a little different.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 11 years ago

Suzanne- Next time I will step up and say hello.

Sally- I certainly hope so.

Andrea- Feel free to read this as many times as you'd like. The car in the yard might make the next list.

Renee- Thanks for stopping by.

Tom- Send it to them my friend.

Sheldon- I think it could get their attention, that's for sure.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 11 years ago

John- I'll be passing them along to both.

Terry- Feel free, I hope it helps some.

Marney- Send away, maybe they will get the point.

Karol- If you do what you are supposed to and do it right, then good things will happen.

Kim- It's important for people to learn what they need to do, this was just a fun way to say it.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 11 years ago