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How to Tackle the “Elephant in the Room” in Your Listings

It’s time to address the “elephant in the room” within your listings or potential listings. And it doesn’t have to be an elephant. It could be a deer, a lion, or any other animal, really. The point is this: If one of your listings has a unique, off-putting feature, you need to address it. 

There are two ways you can do so. 

The first option, which I call “Option A”, is to sell the home as-is. However, “as-is” doesn’t literally mean the home should hit the market without any preparation. It just means that if the seller doesn’t want to invest much time or money into preparing their property, a few simple touches will do. Just like if someone were selling a car, they would get more money if they fixed it up first. However, if they aren’t interested in that, they should at least still clean it up. And the same goes for selling a home. Minimal improvements may not be ideal, but they’re still better than the alternative: doing nothing. 

The second option, “Option B”, is to actually resolve whatever the “elephant in the room” might be for a given listing. If a listing has bright orange walls, for example, this is probably something the seller should take care of before letting buyers through the doors. After all, you only get one chance to make a first impression. And with something as significant as a home sale on the line, that first impression had better be a good one. 

“You only get one chance to make a first impression, and with something as significant as a home sale on the line, that first impression had better be a good one.”

The elephant in the room may not be “in” the home at all, however. Our team is currently marketing a historic home in Oak Park, Illinois that has a clearly vintage aesthetic. Because this doesn’t appeal to everyone, we have plans for updating the property so as to reach a wider pool of buyers. Currently, we’ve simply created a digital rendering of what the home could look like with a few upgrades. This is something you can easily do, yourself, as long as you disclose that the image does not reflect the property’s current state, but rather its potential. 

Speaking of the elephant in the room, sometimes this proverbial unpleasantry is the result of a literal animal. While many of us love our pets, buyers won’t love the odors and damage they can leave behind. In many cases, therefore, addressing the elephant (or animal) in the room means removing evidence of the literal animals who have occupied a listing. Other times, the animal in the room might not be a living one, but a taxidermied specimen, instead. As you’ll see in the video above at 5:30, our team is currently selling a property decorated with a taxidermied lion and a water buffalo. This kind of decor can be off-putting to certain buyers, so physically (or digitally) removing them for marketing photos may be best.

There’s a lot more that could be said on this subject, so if you’d like to learn more, please reach out to me.

As always, if you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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