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Does a neglected house sell quickly? Let’s find out now!
Dick and Jane del Valle – Springfield called me to check out their house for sale. They needed help in getting the house priced right because they already have moved to another country. Their 20-year old son is living in the house now with his wife.
Unfortunately, Dick and Jane’s house is 32 years old; it’s very neglected and needs a lot of work. Their home is a super-duper fixer-upper.
It’s not a home; it’s a project.
Few buyers are looking for projects like this, even if offered way under market price. However, Dick and Jane expect their property to sell quickly and at a great price.
Unfortunately, some sellers are sometimes just amazing and do not understand that selling a house is not only about advertising it online. They hire a real estate agent to sell their house in Costa Rica but do nothing to keep it presentable at all times. Neglected homes always decrease in value. But why would they even listen to their real estate agent’s advice?
I have compiled some motivated sellers’ responses/excuses (they say they are motivated!) for trying to sell a neglected house. Some sellers are hilarious, and you’d sit some others in a corner and start screaming! I’m sure you’ll enjoy them.
1. The kitchen remodel
Agent: Dick, the kitchen cabinetry is seriously going to hurt the sales price of your house for sale. That kitchen has long stopped being a real kitchen; it’s falling apart.
Seller: Oh, come on, Ivo, any buyer of this house would either tear it all down or remodel the kitchen anyway.
2. The hole in the roof
Agent: Jane, the hole in the roof in the living room needs fixing; the buyers are already calling it the “waterfall house.” You should come and look for yourself during a rainstorm.
Seller: I’m in New Jersey right now, Ivo, and ready to get on a flight to Vietnam. Can’t you patch it up a bit until I get back in 6 months?
3. The kitchen floor
Agent: Dick, the kitchen floor is moving like crazy when you walk on it; the beams must be rotten right through. Look at all the cracked tiles because of it.
Seller: Ivo, why do you worry so much about little things like that? Any buyer wants to change those tiles anyway. You’re way too pessimistic about minor issues.
4. The cobwebs
Agent: Jane, I know it isn’t easy to get to clean those high ceilings of your house for sale. But you really need to get rid of those cobwebs. It looks like the house has been abandoned for years.
Seller: What do you want me to do Ivo, I can’t get up there, and I can’t find anybody to clean it for me. Can’t you take care of it? You want to earn the commission as the selling real estate agent, don’t you?
5. The jungle house
Agent: Dick, you need to cut the grass of your house for sale. I can’t find your front door without using a machete; it looks like a jungle. Do you really think your neglected house is ever going to sell the way it shows? Proper landscaping will give your house great curb appeal.
Seller: Ivo, don’t you know how difficult it is to find a gardener in Escazu. They charge an arm and a leg. I was thinking of burning it when it’s dry enough.
6. The dirty laundry
Agent: Jane, could you please have your son or daughter-in-law make the beds and get rid of the dirty laundry in the bathroom before we show your house for sale? That’s why we call them a day ahead of time to tell you about the showing. Last time there was even dirty underwear all over the bedroom.
Seller: I always try to Ivo, but sometimes they just don’t have the time, and they hate getting up early.
7. The backyard trash
Agent: Dick, could you please get rid of all that trash in your backyard? The place looks like a dump.
Seller: Come on, Ivo, I’ve already reduced it to half of what it was. I used to take some of it in the back of my car and drop it off at a strip mall or throw it on some empty lot along the way. But now I’m out of the country, and my son doesn’t have a car. It just takes a while to get rid of it all. If I’d have to pay someone to take it away, it’s going to run up a huge bill.
8. The overstuffed closets
Seller: Ivo, could you stop people from looking in my closets, please? I just don’t like anyone to see that they are so stuffed; I have a hard time closing them again.
Agent: Come on, Jane, buyers want to see how large the closets are. You really have to get rid of all that extra stuff you don’t need. It would help if you had already taken it with you when you left. Once you sell the house, you’re not going to take most of it anyway since you’re downsizing. I’m so tired of showing your neglected house over and over, and you’re scaring buyers off with it.
9. The nightly visit
Seller: God, Ivo, is it vital for those people to come back to see the valley view at night? My son always goes to bed early.
Agent: Dick, why don’t you tell him to take his wife to the movies and I’ll take care of the clients. I will send them a text message when we have finished.
10. The sleeping kids
Agent: Jane, could you please tell your kid to wake up in time in the morning so I can show their room to our clients? I hate always to show them a dark room and tell them to be quiet. And it’s the master bedroom, the most important one in the house.
Seller: Poor kids, Ivo, they study so hard all night. It’s much easier not to show their room.
11. The last and the best one
Agent: Jane, the price you want to list your property at is totally impossible. You need to reduce it like 50% seriously. And you need to stop sending me text messages after 9 pm; please call me during office hours.
I didn’t get an answer, so I sent them an email saying that I was sorry, but I’m tired of trying to sell their house for too much money. I wanted to help them because they had already left the country. But they don’t want to hurt their son’s feelings, so there is nothing I could do.
Then Jane published a comment on one of my Tico Times articles: WE and two other gringos have had a terrible experience with you, Ivo. You have put limits on us that were listing with you. So we went elsewhere with a good agent who is FAIR.
I didn’t feel like I had to respond to that comment, who would understand all that had happened? Suffice to say that quite a few years later, the property has not sold.
All these comments about a house for sale in Costa Rica are pretty standard in the life of a real estate agent. Do you plan to put your home on the market? Then you know I want the house to show well. Would you buy a neglected house? Probably not for the asking price…