JL's Columbia SC Real Estate Blog: How Not to Sell a House

How Not to Sell a House

 For any of you out there that are currently thinking listing your house, but you really do not want it to sell, here are some simple steps to follow. I'm sure that if you go along with this program you'll be able to avoid the sell of your house any time in the near future. These are tried and truth methods for decreasing your chances of receiving an offer, so be sure you bookmark this for future reference in order to ruin your chances of successfully marketing your home.

 1- Over price! Under no circumstance should you price your house for fair market value. This is the first and most crucial step in your pursuit of failure. And when I say over price, I mean shoot for the Moon. Make sure that you are the highest priced per square footage in the community. The rest of those suckers who priced their house according to the market will likely all sell. Remember, this is not your goal, so pay close attention to your competition and make sure that you are not competing with them. The last thing you want is a buyer who feels that your house is a nice place at a fair price. This might entice them to buy.

 I mean, remember when you were out looking at houses and you saw that one in the community that was so completely over priced that you didn't even want to take a look at it? This is the response that we are looking to evoke from prospective buyers. If they don't even want to look at the place, then this will be a tremendous help to our cause.

 2- Condition of the house- Be certain that the house is in the worst possible condition. Some people will come in out of curiosity even though we have over priced the house. This is dangerous, so the last thing we want is for them to see a nice place. We can not afford at this point to have someone fall in love with what they see on the inside and take the chance that they will over look all our hard work on over pricing the house for the neighborhood. Make sure that the last thing you do is clean the place up. Since a well cleaned house always shows well, we can't drop the ball on this one. If at all possible have as much clutter as possible and poorly arranged furniture. This will make the house look smaller than it actually is and can help aid as a turn off to potential buyers. Also if you get a chance, be sure that there is a much loud colored paint on the walls as possible. This one is a big help to our cause so don't skip it or you might run the risk of selling.

 Remember when you were touring homes for sale and you could hear the bright green living room walls from the front yard? Then when you made it inside to see the lovely Purples and bright Yellows that followed you though oh my God yes, finally someone has got it! So if you get a chance be sure you throw some paint on the walls that might spark an epileptic episode.

 3- Curb appeal- This is one that we certainly don't want to over look, as it is the first impression of the house. People will notice the curb appeal of a house for sale as they ride by and as the pull into the yard while touring with their Realtor. So, keeping all this in mind, create a first impression that will make perspective buyers cringe in fear of what they might see if they decide to actually go inside. Make sure that front door hasn't seen a fresh coat of paint since Reagan was in office and that the rest of the house follows suit. Let those hedges run wild and nearly cover the windows. This creates a very uninviting feeling to a buyer and ensures them that you have not taken care of the place. I would highly advise that you try not to cut the grass or rake leaves or pine straw. And what ever you do, make sure you do not edge the grass. Completing any of these tasks will result on a well manicured lawn that looks fantastic and causes buyers to want to enter the house. This is the last thing we want.

 Everyone has seen them out there, the home for sale with the jungle in the front yard that would take an expedition of experienced hikers two days to cut their way to the front door. A well manicured lawn makes it seem as if someone takes pride in their house. It catches a buyers eye and creates interest in the house. So, don't make this common mistake.

 These are just some of the helpful hints and tips that I can give sellers who do not want to sell. There are tons more, but I can assure you that the hints above are practical first step in your challenge to not sell your house. I am always available to give more advice on ruining your chances of getting an offer if for some strange reason you follow this advice and still generate interest in the house. We would just have to kick it up a notch to chase away the few and the brave that might want to take a look.

This message brought to you by www.jlboney.com.


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 13 commentsJL Boney, III • December 30 2008 12:37PM


Very true JL, if you want to sell you need to be realistic.  Othjerwise you really are not intersted in selling.


Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) almost 12 years ago

It always amazes me to deal with seller's that do not seem to actually want to sell their homes. I am representing a buyer in a transaction like that right now. The seller is about to loose the property due to failure to pay taxes. However, he just can't find the time to drive to the title company to sign closing documents. And he is having a hard time clearing the property of all his personal belongings (read: crap) that he needs to remove. Ahhhh... do you really REALLY want to sell this property?? Grrrrr!! ~A:)

Posted by Alisha Harrison, Allyn, Belfair and Hood Canal real estate expert! (John L. Scott, Belfair) almost 12 years ago

Bill- Realistic is a scary thought for many people.

Alisha- Sounds like you're going to have a lot of "fun" with this one. Hope everything works out for you and your buyer.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) almost 12 years ago
Wouldn't it be nice if it was that easy to explain to some sellers..it always amazes me how some people just don't get it.
Posted by Kathy Kooyman (Home Realty) almost 12 years ago


I think that curb appeal becomes more and more important as you look at more and more houses. The property has to really grab the potential buyer, and they always want to go back and see "that pretty house" one more time!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) almost 12 years ago

Kathy- It amazes me too, but some people never will.

Richard- It will certainly make a house stick out in people's minds.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) almost 12 years ago

In addition to the faded front door, I also like broken toys, bikes scattered around.  Gives it the lived in look!  Happy New Year JL!

Laura G

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) almost 12 years ago

Well, the deaf, dumb and blind just think someone will "make us an offer!" They never get it, ever!  We cannot afford to take these listings that only provide headaches and drain our ad dollars!

Posted by Caren Wallace, Portland Caren Real Estate (Premier Property Group LLC) almost 12 years ago

Laura- Those are nice additions. Happy New Year to you as well.

Caren- I have turned down more listings than I have taken. It never really makes me happy to do so, but like you say, if there is no hope that it will sell then I just lose money by marketing it.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) almost 12 years ago

Very nice approach to see who is the serious sellers. Everyone has seen the list of things to do to get the house sold.

Posted by Cameron Wilson, The Short Guy - Murrieta,Temecula,Menifee Californ (Labrum Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Cameron- Yes, I don't think there is anyone out there that hasn't seen what they should do.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) almost 12 years ago

I've had one or two like that they are always fun!

Posted by JT Toupin (Russel and Jeffcoat Realtors) almost 12 years ago

JT- They are indeed.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) almost 12 years ago