Having survived multiple corporate relocations, I have looked at hundreds of houses and consider myself an expert house hunter. Common sense (or failing that, HGTV) should tell you that when you’re trying to sell your house, it should be clean, clutter free and in reasonably good repair. When prospective buyers are coming, by all means flush the toilets and refrain from cooking anything too pungent.
Regrettably, some home sellers are devoid of common sense, do not watch HGTV, and are therefore oblivious to conditions which are making prospective buyers flee from their homes in terror. Here are some of the most memorable houses that fall into that category.
It’s a fact of life — lots of houses have funky smells. The worst smelling house I’ve been in was home to a lifelong cigar smoker. It stunk so badly that my daughter waited outside in the freezing rain while the rest of us held our breath and did a quick walk-through. The second-worst smelling house was home to many cats, several of which were lounging on the stairway with no intention of moving as we tried to navigate our way upstairs. This home also had well-trafficked litter boxes in the kitchen, master bathroom, and several other locations. Ick. Honorable mention in the stink category goes to a vacant house that reeked of large wet dogs.
If you have an unusual hobby, your house may fall into the creepy category. One example is a home that had a whole room devoted to the owner’s porcelain doll collection. Trust me, nobody is going to have a warm cozy feeling when they walk into a room to find hundreds of glass eyes staring at them. Even creepier, however, was the historic home that showcased the owner’s taxidermy hobby. It had a grand staircase with a large landing inhabited by no fewer than 20 dead stuffed creatures. Again, not so warm and inviting.
The weirdest award goes to a home that had an old phone booth in the foyer. Perhaps Clark Kent might be interested in that one, but I had to pass on it. A final word of caution: if you happen to be letting your grandson live in the house while it’s on the market, be sure to remind him not to leave his marijuana out on the table when prospective buyers are coming. It’s just not polite.