Dear Home Buyers: Are You All Smoking Crack?

So we had another showing of the Grey Cottage this week, and once again, I’m a little baffled at the “feedback.”

“They didn’t like the dog smell and they didn’t like the layout.”


The only difference in this showing and all the previous ones (where no one noticed or mentioned any smell) was that I didn’t spray Febreze that morning. So I’m pretty sure that once the dog and our upholstered furniture leaves, the smell will leave, too.  Unless they were planning on never cleaning after we leave?

It doesn’t seem like an insurmountable problem, frankly. But I know some people are weird about dogs in the house. They’re convinced that once a dog has lived in a house, it becomes hopelessly contaminated with dog cooties, and even a professional hazmat team that could clean up a former meth lab will be unable to remove the dog cooties from the home.

Also, the Grey Cottage is a standard 70’s ranch house. If you look at ANY of the photos of it on MLS, it’s pretty clear: it’s a standard 70’s ranch house.  I’m guessing that although almost none of you reading this blog have ever been in my house, you could probably describe the layout with complete accuracy: living room in front, eat-in kitchen in back, hallway off to one side with bedrooms and bath. That’s pretty much the layout you get with a 70’s ranch.

Unless I missed some grand epoch of architectural creativity within the 70’s ranch style house movement. I’m kind of wondering what layout you were expecting after looking at the listing.

  • An invisible upper floor?
  • A secret tunnel with multiple automated doors leading to CONTROL headquarters?
  • Stripper pole in the master bedroom?

The last showing, the buyers complained about the flooring. I installed it myself with a box knife and straight edge. So, no, it’s not the most professional flooring installation ever. It replaced 20 year old, stained carpet and yellowed peel-and-stick tile.  Since the mortgage payment on our house is less than rent for a 2 bedroom apartment, I’m wondering if they were expecting Travertine tile or hardwood floors?

It reminds me a little of when we were selling our first home, asking $45,000 for a 3 bedroom house, and someone called asking “how much acreage comes with that?”  I wanted to respond “Not enough to grow the amount of marijuana you’ve clearly been smoking.”

I know it sounds like I’m whining, and maybe that’s true. But if I do have a point, it’s probably that when you’re selling a house “as-is,” what’s really the point of “feedback”? It’s not like I’m going to sell my dog, have new flooring professionally installed in a house just before I move out, and rearrange the walls (?!!) in order to sell it for basically what I paid for it 10 years ago.

And the feedback is so random, and different each time. It’s not like I’m getting a consistent picture of The One Thing That’s Keeping My House From Selling. Mainly, the impression I’m getting is that people looking for a home under $100,000 around here really desperately need a reality check.  And to stop watching HGTV.


  1. ·

    I think it is because there are so many houses available right now people are being a little picky. If they want to wait on the bank for a short sale or pick something up at the courthouse sale then they are in luck. Unfortunately, I think the feel like they can get the same “deal” with regular homes on the market. At least that is what I have been hearing around the office YMMV.


  2. ·

    We’re on the opposite end of the spectrum. We have a 1950’s ranch in downtown Charleston, SC, on one of fourteen waterfront lots. The house next door sold for twelve times what my partner paid in 1982, so we’re preparing to sell the house and move to Mexico. In order get the price we want we have to remodel the 1950’s bathrooms. Now it’s a balancing act of what we like versus what is neutral enough to attract buyers while still having character that fits the house.

  3. Kat French

    Molly, You’re probably right about the foreclosure thing distorting everyone’s attitude. Yech.

    Charles, Wow. That’s great news about Mexico. And I know what you mean on the remodel. Our house is as close to neutral as I am emotionally capable of doing. Which is not that close to neutral, unfortunately. Although since it’s a 70s ranch, it HAS no character to fit with. 😉


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