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Timely Tips


Over the years, I've discovered that many enjoy the experience of trying to sell their homes and really don't want it to end.  For those of you in this category, I'm providing some timely tips to make not selling your home a breeze.  These pointers will help you develop creative strategies and rare insights into real estate marketing, presentation, and negotiation.  For most of us, real estate is our least important asset.  This guide will ensure you handle it properly.


  • If you aren’t already, get involved in an acrimonious divorce.  Be sure there is marginal or no equity to be fighting over. You can easily accomplish this by prolonging the divorce and spending more on attorney’s fees.If you happen to have more equity than even this can eliminate, buy a boat…preferably a large one that is well past its prime.

  • You can easily increase the money you won’t be getting by overpricing your home. To spot the expert, always listen to the agent who gives you the biggest number. Especially if it’s far above the other agent’s estimates of value. He’s the one you want. Don’t settle for less.I’d want him never to sell my home too.

  • Just to be safe, try not selling it on your own first. These days it’s easy not to harness the power of the internet. You must have heard about the hoards of serious buyers surfing the world wide web in their pajamas trying to find a home. These are the folks you want to avoid.

    We live in a time when doing it yourself has never been easier. I know, whenever I’m going to need cataract surgery, I always experiment first with my own eyes. When facing murder charges, it always saves you money to represent yourself.Why let a skilled professional do what you can easily do yourself?


  • If you feel you must go with the wildly optimistic broker, be certain to keep it out of the Multiple Listing Service. Since most brokers find homes for their buyers this way, you want to avoid this trap. The last thing you want is to have other professional agents learning it’s for sale. They might accidentally mention it to one of their clients, which might lead to a showing.

    Also, be sure to offer as little commission as possible.T his way, Realtors will be unmotivated to take their hard-won buyers and show them your home. A side benefit is that your own agent will have no incentive to adequately advertise and market your home.


    Now that you’ve properly overpriced your home, it’s time to present it at its worst.  This is critical if you want to keep buyers away from your home.   Presentation is very important, as you will only get one chance to make a first impression.  It took years of real estate experience to learn the following tips. I'm sharing many for the first time.

    Lately, there’s been a lot of buzz about staging your home.  This is a key element you need to embrace.  You really want your home to say something, to give buyers a certain “gut” feeling when they come calling.  Seasoned pros agree that staging is the best way to accomplish this.


  • Broken windows, flaking lead paint, a lawn that resembles a rodent magnet and junk cars are tremendous assets. Don’t forget about the rotted trim boards and the front step that broke when Auntie Dotty left in a bit of a hurry.You should leave these things alone. Those dead bushes by the front entry should stay where you’ve been looking at them for the last three years.Hopefully, there’s a soiled mattress to accent the porch décor.

  • Leave the clutter.Don’t throw anything away…ever. Empty cat food cans, (with the lids half off) piles of old newspapers, fast food wrappers and at least one rusted riding mower should be clearly visible. Filling the home and garage with as much unnecessary stuff as possible is the goal. Think…Home Shopping Network. You can always use another set of Ginsu knives. If possible, just leave a small path from the kitchen to the bedroom and that’s it.Be sure to keep dirty dishes on all flat surfaces and don’t discard the empty liquor bottles.

  • Skip the repairs. A leaky faucet will not only help you waste water, it will help attract termites and other unwanted infestations. That sagging ceiling in the bath “is what it is.”

  • If you don’t have one, be sure to install a rusted chain link fence to enclose the back yard. They’re remarkably easy to find at landfills. Once the yard is fenced, fill it with mangy pitbulls. Recent retirees from dog fighting are perfect. Don’t feed them for a while (ask Michael Vick about the proper care) and be sure to aggravate them as much as possible.Let them roam free in the back yard.

  • Buyers are quick to respond to smells. With some planning, your home should have the noxious odor of decay and unhygienic pets wafting through the air. Years of cigarette smoke can not only add a delightful amber patina to the ceilings and walls, it can permeate carpets and furnishings, giving the home a wonderful smokey smell that will leave a lasting impression.


    Never allow your agent to contact you directly to set up showings.   Be sure to give her the cell number of your neighbor’s crackhead teenager.  If, by some bit of bad timing, you answer the door and there’s an agent with a buyer, explain that you need at least 24 hours notice to show the home.  Use the same approach to anyone who says they just “happened to be in the neighborhood” and wanted to take a quick peek.  If any of them are big, mean, or dangerous looking, you may have to let them in.  In that case, you will need the following tools to make the showing as memorable as possible.


  • Work on your game face. Try something that projects you unbalanced, scary, and psychotic nature. The unshowered look combined with a nervous tick and air of suspicion is ideal.

  • NEVER leave the prospects alone. Not for an instant.Follow them. You should be close enough behind them so they can smell what you drank for breakfast.If you’re a vodka lover, switch to any inexpensive whiskey or bourbon. DO NOT let them into the third bedroom that you’ve converted into a pot growing paradise.Padlocks on the doors are a nice visual touch but boxes stacked high can also work.Loud music, preferably rap or heavy metal, should fill the air.

  • It would help if you casually mentioned the mold problem that has created breathing difficulties for your nine young children…especially the twins. You might explain that it’s merely a sinkhole which has created the awkward tilt to your home. After all, they may not catch that if your pitbulls keep them from your back yard.


    If all else fails and the buyer insists on making an offer, you must have strategies in place to handle the situation.  This can be an especially stressful time for both sides and it’s important to do everything possible to prevent a successful outcome.

    Never negotiate.  In fact, explain to the buyers (through your unresponsive attorney) that you need to raise the price, “now that there has been some interest in the property.”  If that doesn’t discourage them, tell them you’ll only accept their offer contingent upon finding a home for you to move to.  This will allow you to waste inordinate amounts of their time until they give up.  If they still are willing to agree to your onerous terms, tell them you have a homeowner’s association and you’ll never see them again.

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