JL's Columbia SC Real Estate Blog: 10 Things Your Agent Might Not Want to Tell You

10 Things Your Agent Might Not Want to Tell You

These days price and condition are more important than ever. Maybe dogs are flying off the shelf elsewhere in the world, but since the market has cooled in most of the country, you need to pay particular attention to the key factors that will enable you to successfully sell your house. That being said, most people do not like their personal tastes to be critiqued and that can cause a great deal of stress for your agent. Especially if your personal taste is horrible and hinders the sell of the property. And since your agent is a little too nervous to say what really needs to be said, I am going to do it for them.


10 - Shag is a dance, it should not be a carpet. I will admit that from time to time I have seen shag carpet and thought that it was pretty cool. But each time, it was in a scene from a movie based in the 60's such as Austin Powers. Most buyers will agree with me, so lose that shag if you want to sell.

9 - I should not hear your kitchen before I see it. Or any other room for that matter. Just because you think that a color of yellow so bright that it can knock out an elephant is a cool thing, it doesn't mean that 99.9% of the rest of the world would agree with you. Remember, there are people who suffer from epilepsy and you don't need an agent or a buyer going into convulsions in you house.

8 - Raising your voice is not a form of negotiation. I know that you've seen several movies about high powered people who get their way just by demanding it and you think that's the way things work, but that movie is only for entertainment. Screaming that you don't want to lower the price doesn't suddenly make the rest of the world think your house is more valuable.

7 - Buyers don't care about you. I know that sometimes you think it's nice to ask your agent if they will communicate to the would be buyer all the reasons that it would be a great burden on you to go through with their demands, but they just don't care. They want a good deal and that's about it, so our broken leg, two jobs and inability to have the carpet replaced really means nothing to them.

6 - Dirty cloths are not a fashion statement. I could care less if you are wearing dirty cloths or not, that's more your business than mine. However, you don't need to scatter your dirty cloths that you are not wearing all throughout that house. They make dimmer switches if you want to set the mood, don't do it with a T-shirt draped over your lamp.

5 - It's not your home anymore. For whatever reason you have now decided to sell your house, therefore you no longer intend for it to be your home. So stop taking everything so personal, put on your big boy pants, and do what needs to be done to attract a buyer that will make it their home.

4- Jungle taming is not a favorite past time for buyers. If your lawn looks like you would need a machete to get through, then the buyer not even get out of the car. The only thing you do with an ugly yard is send the message that you don't care and it makes the buyer think you didn't take care of anything else either.

3 - Testing the market only tests my patience. The price your agent said the house should be listed at is usually a good indication of a price that the house should be listed at. I know, you glanced at Zillow and added $20,000 to their Zestimate to come up with your number and you want to "just give it a shot at this price." Or you could just go ahead and price it right from the start and not waste anyone's time including your own.

2 - I know less is more sounds wrong, but let's lose the chicken figurines anyway. The last thing you need to do is draw attention to how little counter space already have by overloading it with crap you don't need. I understand that some of these things may have a great deal of meaning to you, but that's all the more reason to store them out of sight so nothing happens to them.

1 - It's not worth more just because you lived here. Let's lose that ego, because unless you are very famous or are perhaps a historic figure, then your living here doesn't really add value here. I apologize if you are famous, but in case you haven't heard stars are losing money on their houses left and right these days too. So if you're just Joe Blow from the local corporate conglomerate, then I'm sure you're a great person and your family loves you, but see number 7 would you.


Have  a nice day!!



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

My Columbia SC Real Estate Website

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Comment balloon 50 commentsJL Boney, III • November 16 2011 02:10PM


Your agent might not want to tell you but probably should! Thanks for posting.

Posted by David Burrows, No Pressure, Just Seriously Devoted to Real Estate (Classic Realty) over 8 years ago

Great post and you tell it like it is.  Especially for sellers with high expectations.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 8 years ago


Brilliant and honest post.  If you want to sell - make it happen - stop whining and do what needs to be done.  No more excuses.

All the best, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) over 8 years ago

JL...I was wondering if you fell off the face of the planet.

Good to see you back.

Missed your blogs!

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 8 years ago

Like Bill, I hadn't heard from you in a while.  Welcome back.  Nice way to get back in the groove, JL.

Posted by Suzanne McLaughlin, Sabinske & Associates, Realtor (Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael)) over 8 years ago

Those are ce.rtainly big challenges. Buyers in this market won't give a house that has these features a 2nd look or they will bring a low ball offer.

Posted by Ellie McIntire, Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville (Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Great read and very true.  People always wonder why I work hard to ensure our renovations are near immaculate and the answer is the same, 'so someone will actually buy it!'

Thanks for sharing!


Posted by Frank Iglesias, Atlanta, GA Real Estate Investor (Working With Houses, LLC - Atlanta Real Estate Investments) over 8 years ago

JL:  Great post, where ya been? Glad to see you have reappeared from the internet ether.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 8 years ago

Talk about short and to the point. I'm new to ActiveRain and reading others blogs has given me great ideas! Thank you for your contribution. BTW  I did my last blog last night, would love to hear some good honest feedback. I think!  lol

Posted by Luis C. Munoz (International City Mortgage) over 8 years ago

Yikes!!! JL, I'm sure these statements are based on years of business and many different customers.   We all come across one or two of these issues, personally I just address them tactfully and focus on selling the home.

Thanks for sharing.



Posted by Carmela Jacobs, Ventura Co., Los Angeles Co., CA, & Global Realtor (Carmela Realty) over 8 years ago

Hilarious, but true, true, true!!

Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA over 8 years ago

Definitely things we hate to mention, but any good agent always will! If you have an agent that isn't afraid to tell you these things, you have a good agent!

Posted by Ben Blonder, Buyers, Sellers, Investors! (Broker/Owner, Keller Williams) over 8 years ago

JL, you sure put a smile on my face today! This is something that all homeowners need to read!

Posted by Donald Reich (Prudential Centennial) over 8 years ago

Good list. I've said a few...but have wanted to say them all.

Posted by Michael Emerson (Keller Williams Realty) over 8 years ago

Very cool blog, although I think you may have it mostly right, I feel some clients actually want to hear real honesty from an agent. Not so direct as your blog, but the point, taking out the fluff and just being honest is appreciated by clients. Believe it or not it's not just corporate conglomerates, because real people need homes as well. Great blog!

Posted by Jon Kolsky, Licensed California Real Estate Broker (Kolsky Realty & Management) over 8 years ago

Number 8 is my favorite. Was in a situation recently where reading number 8 would have been of some use. I think all of them are true in most cases.

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) over 8 years ago

Condition is a major issue for homes in today's market.  Poor condition = no sale.  The amazing thing is how many owners will go to the matt for their wallpaper, paint colors, clutter, heavy drapes, etc.  These people need to understand your #5 or else they will not allow the changes that must happen to cross the finish line & close!

Posted by Margo Otey (REMAX EXECUTIVE REALTY) over 8 years ago

JL, I love it man!  I'm assuming you came up with all of these on your own?  Gotta send these to Letterman.

Posted by Morris Massre, Real Estate Instructor Broward County Florida over 8 years ago

I've seen lists like this before, but it's still a good laugh with so much truth to it. 

Posted by Larry Atkins (State Wide Realty Co.) over 8 years ago

Hello JL, great blog!  I enjoyed it very much and hope you have a great day.

Posted by Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School, Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor (REcampus Fully Accredited Florida ONLINE & Classroom Training in Destin, Pensacola Florida) over 8 years ago

Yes, Telling sellers that they have flaws in the home, or things that are not what the buyers would be interesting is like... telling parents that they have an ugly child. Nobody wants to say it, and certainly the sellers are insulted and never want to hear it!!

Posted by Janis Borgueta, LIC RE Salesperson (Key Properties of the Hudson Valley ) over 8 years ago

Nicely said, JL. It certainly is true and should be understood by all sellers.

Posted by Bruce Kunz, REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale (C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100) over 8 years ago


So glad to see you back at AR and on the feature board. We've missed your top ten lists.

So glad you're back! Featured in "Whacked!!!"

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 8 years ago

" Raising your voice is not a form of negotiation" -People raise their voices?

Posted by Gabrielle Jeans, Real Estate Web Solution, Real Estate Trainer and Coach (WebTech Dezine, Gabrielle Jeans Real Estate Coach) over 8 years ago

Clutter never encourages the sale of a house. I do wish clients will understand this simple fact.

Posted by Gabrielle Jeans, Real Estate Web Solution, Real Estate Trainer and Coach (WebTech Dezine, Gabrielle Jeans Real Estate Coach) over 8 years ago

You're baaaaaaaaaaaack!  And with your usual wit and charm.  Glad to see you!

Posted by Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR, Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS (Desert Gold Realty - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale) over 8 years ago

Couldn't agree more with #9!

Any room that is not a child's bedroom should NEVER be a primary color if you are selling your house.  Crayola yellow, blue or purple in shared family area rooms are not bold fashion statements!  And lately I don't know why, but I've seen several pink (pink!!) living rooms and dining rooms in MLS photos. Talk about personal & unique taste!



Posted by Amy Hunter (Hearth & Home Videos) over 8 years ago

There will always be agents willing to violate their fiduciary obligations.

I'm not one of them.

Good post, thanks for sharing it.

Posted by Anthony Daniels, SF Bay Area REO Specialist (Coldwell Banker) over 8 years ago

Thanks for a good laugh for the day, JL! Glad to see you and your wit back again!


Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) over 8 years ago

Oh but it is the Holidays, and maybe the Buyer won't notice because of all the decorations! 

Posted by Jerry Morse, BBA,GRI (The Morse Company) over 8 years ago

Nice to see you back, man.  Thought you may have went the way of Crazy Shark Dude.

Posted by Jason Sardi, Your Agent for Life (Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina) over 8 years ago

This is blunt but probably the best way to say it.  I like it and probably will reblog later.

Posted by Chuck Carstensen, Minnesota Real Estate Expert (RE/MAX Results) over 8 years ago

JL, you certainly did the world of real estate a great justice with this blog post!  Loved it!  Thanks for saying exactly what needs to be said!

Posted by Lisa Dunham, Associate Broker, Alexandria Virginia Real Estate over 8 years ago

Frankly those are all things a good agent really needs to tell people before they even go on the market. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) over 8 years ago

Here, here JL.  It's amazing how often a seller is blinded to the issues with his home.  A good agent will try to explain, but in a pinch, we'll just hand out your blog.  8-)

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 8 years ago

Great post JL...although we really like those chicken figurines.

Posted by Howard and Susan Meyers (The Hudson Company Winnetka and North Shore) over 8 years ago

Some good points here.  "Buyers don't care about you"...a key one here.

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) over 8 years ago

JL, it's amazing how many chickens we see in houses. Chicken cookie jars, wall borders, magnets, etc. I never understood it!

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) over 8 years ago


Great post. I am going to print is out, hand it to sellers and say this guy requires this of hois selllers and sells every home in 3 days. 

Oh NO!  I am a buyer's agent....

Posted by Marge Piwowarski, Phoenix AZ Horse Property, LLC (Phoenix AZ Horse Property) over 8 years ago

Accepting that you no longer live there is probably the most difficult for my sellers...particularly families. I get all kinds of excuses of why everything is not "sparkling" and "show perfect". It's a tough market. 

Posted by Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group) over 8 years ago

yeah, man..... he's back!

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Jameson Sotheby's International Realty) over 8 years ago

Many agents have read this post, smiled and said, “Right on!”

Posted by John Juarez, ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN (The Medford Real Estate Team) over 8 years ago

The chicken figurines have got to go?  Dude, you're tough.  Couldn't they just put a note on the door saying epileptics enter at their own risk?  This is a good and funny post.

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) over 8 years ago

Fantastic post. Smiled the whole way thru. May have the guts to print and share with some of my sellers!

Posted by Shari Evans, Moments Like These (Better Properties Washington) over 8 years ago

What is wrong with chickens???  I resemble that remark.


Posted by Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR, Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS (Desert Gold Realty - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale) over 8 years ago
Really good blog post. Looks like a reblog for my turf! Thanks!
Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) over 8 years ago

I was in a couple of houses this week where the seller and their agent may have missed the "do not" part of your blog as they were cluttered, smelled and one was a maze to get down the sidewalk, over the lawn, by the landmines and under some branches to get to.

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) over 8 years ago

It's amazing how those beloved chicken figurines stick around! I always put them away in the kitchen cupboard, but they seem to pop up again next time I check on the listing.



Posted by Robin Rogers, CRS, TRC, MRP - Real Estate Investment Adviser (Robin Rogers, Silverbridge Realty, San Antonio, Texas) over 8 years ago

You pop back and get featured right out of the box!  Woo hoo!  I've miss you!

Posted by Susan Mangigian, Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) over 8 years ago

Navy Seal real  estate training. Sounds like grow up or ring out.

Posted by Kevan Carter over 8 years ago