Top Ten Obstacles to Selling a Home

WRITTEN BY ARDELL DELLALOGGIATop Ten Obstacles to Selling a Home

In David Letterman style, let’s list the top ten things that make a buyer say, “Let’s get out of here!!” when I am showing a house.


That being said, I have to admit that not only have I sold properties with dead bugs lying around, but I have also bought them myself. Often people will exterminate a home after moving furniture out and then put in new light carpet and put it on the market vacant. After exterminating a home, dead bugs can appear for weeks afterward, and with no one living in the house, you find the dead spiders lying on the brand new light carpet. “I said light, bright and airy NOT light, bright and buggy!”


You know, those things that make you just a tad nauseous. Like when you open the shower curtain, and there’s black gunk in the corners of the tub and along the caulk line, or in the grout spaces. Or that thick, dense layer of soap scum on the shower door.


I once had a buyer who loved to stand on these and rock back and forth like he was playing the accordion. If I were in another part of the house talking with his wife, he would rock back and forth until it annoyed us so much we had to acknowledge where the noise was coming from. These are usually fixable. If it is squeaking under a rug, there are screws to put in right through the rug to resecure the subfloor to the joist. The screw has a “break off” head that is removed once the base of it is screwed in.


Good luck with that one. I have found no cures for a neighbor’s dog who barks incessantly. The neighbor with eight junk cars parked on his front lawn. The neighbor who has eight buddies drinking beers out front and lining up the empty bottles on the shared fence. It’s not a good sign when I’m showing a house, and the neighbor is whistling and saying “Hey Baby, whatcha doin’?”


I saw an odd one recently. The house was empty until I got upstairs into one of the bedrooms. One of the main features on the flyer was “remodeled master bath.” When I got up to the master bathroom, the new Jacuzzi tub was filled with dirty clothes, as was the floor of that bathroom and the closet and the bedroom. Big piles of dirty clothes and towels. Pretty weird for a vacant house. Dirty clothes lying on chairs, on beds, on floors …once someone’s seen your dirty underwear, they don’t seem to be interested in buying your house.


You ring the bell, and no one answers except the dog. He’s barking and growling on the other side of the door as if he’s saying “Do you feel lucky today?”


Huge piles of pine needles all over the roof or big mounds of moss growing on the roof and into the gutters. Gutters jam full of pine needles. If you live in one of those great places like Bridle Trails Bellevue with big tall pine trees everywhere, get out the blower and round up those pine needles!


I know it’s been winter in Seattle and you haven’t been out in the yard for a while. In fact, it was raining so much you just opened the back door to let Fido do his business, instead of taking him out for a walk. And you haven’t wanted to go out in the rain to clean up after him. But nothing says, “I’m not buying this house!” like the would-be buyer stepping in mounds of dog poop in the yard. Especially when you made him take his shoes off at the front door so he wouldn’t dirty your carpet, and now he’s got dog poop all over his socks and can’t put his shoes back on.


Pictures, Pictures everywhere! I know it looked great in that Pottery Barn catalog when they took a whole wall and covered it with all different sized pictures in black frames. Long ones, tall ones, short ones, and wide ones. Do you know what people see when they look at these pictures? The holes that will be left in the wall when you take them all with you when you move.


In my experience, this applies to all smells, both good and bad. If you open the door and there is a strong smell of ANY kind, it is a problem. That doesn’t just apply to pet odors and smoke or mustiness, but also bleach, pine cleaners, rose and floral scents, carpet fresheners or wall plug-in room fresheners. I can only think of one time in 16 years where I had sold the house when I had to walk outside to get a gulp of fresh air after viewing each room. If I feel like I am going to pass out before I make it up the stairs to the second floor, the buyers and I are usually out of there before making it through the entire house. Often these homes are vacant, and the owners or listing agents haven’t been inside the house, since they installed “plug-ins” in every single room outlet, to mask some other foul odors.



Single Family Home Activity in the Antelope Valley

In the last 24 hours

New Listings …  21
Sold …  04
Pending …  18
Expd/Wthd/Cancld …  04
Price Increases …  01
Price Reductions …  04
Number of listings* …  1351
Average Days on Market …  100
Short sale/pay listings …  12
Equity listings …  1217
Bank owned listings …  19
HUD, Corp, Probate and Auction listings …  56
Days of inventory (at the average rate**) …  33.49
Days of inventory (at yesterdays rate**) …  42.22
Actual Number of days of inventory***  …  ∞

View the last 8+ years of data HERE!


* Count includes all ACTIVE and CONTINGENT MLS listings
** Assuming no future growth or reduction
*** At yesterdays depletion rate (∞ indicates negative depletion,
inventory would not be depleted at this sales rate)

Home Upgrades That Can Save You Money

WRITTEN BY Home Upgrades That Can Save You Money

With the constant evolution of modern technology, looking for new ways to upgrade your home can be daunting. From “how long do solar panels last?” to “how far can an electric car drive?”, there are a lot of questions to ask. Smart housing upgrades have become very popular, but how do you tell what’s flashy and what’s going to help you in the long run? Sure, fancy gizmos and gadgets are fun at first, but what happens when they lose their appeal?

Adding Smart Lighting

Did you know the lighting in your home can increase or decrease the overall value? It’s one of the easiest and least expensive upgrades you can make. You may be wondering “How does adding new lighting save me more money?” Most lighting inside homes comes from incandescent light bulbs, which are filled with mercury and argon. These are very toxic chemicals to humans and can cause serious health problems if they shatter.

To prevent this from happening, consider switching to CFL or LED because not only is it safer, it’s going to save you a lot of money. In addition, if you have a bad habit of leaving the light on while you’re gone, you can turn off the light with your phone.

Install Remote Outlets

While on the subject of remote control, your lights aren’t the only thing that can be controlled from afar. You can install a wifi enabled socket that allows you to switch off your electrical appliances when you are out. Some people scratch their heads and wonder how this is significant. However, have you ever had that feeling as you’re out shopping and you start wondering if the coffee pot was left on? The fear that soon overtakes you probably forces you to drive back home, only to find that you did indeed turn the coffee pot off.

With a smart outlet, you’ll be able to shut off the power in a mere instant. Not only will you end up saving money, but you’ll also alleviate a lot of unnecessary stress. You’ll be able to enjoy your time outside without having to worry about leaving the oven on!

Beat The Cold by Having Smart Heating

In most homes, there are usually two kinds of people. The first is someone who sets their to thermostat to the specific temperature and will rarely touch it afterward. The second type of homeowner is someone who constantly adjusts the thermostat, trying to get that perfect setting. Regardless of which type of person you are, you may be losing money.

Should you be the person who sets it once, you should still consider adjusting the thermostat at least once every season change. The Department of Energy recommends all homeowners to set their thermostat to 68 to 73 degrees during the holiday season. It’s worth noting that if you’re the type of person that constantly adjusts the thermostat, you’re more likely to cause damage and waste money on repairs.

Without working your HVAC into overdrive and running up your bill, consider installing a smart thermostat. You can set up a program where the smart thermostat will adjust the temperature throughout the day that maximizes savings.

With these tips in mind, you’re ready to start getting more bang for your buck with these upgrades! If you’re looking for more ways to upgrade your home, conduct a more thorough research to find an abundance of home upgrades.