Three Surefire Ways to Keep Your House for Sale

It’s been an interesting week already and it’s only Wednesday.  Real life home sellers wanting to do these things before listing their homes on the market:

  1. Drain your pool on lakefront property and then market the property to sell.
  2. Stage a house for sale by adding only a pool table in a wonky space.
  3. Place an ironing board in front of a closet.

Let’s address these one at a time:

Draining a Swimming Pool

First of all, if you’re listing your house for sale and you have a swimming pool, never drain it.  It is a very big selling feature of your home.  This is Florida:  It’s hot six months out of the year. One way to get reprieve is to jump into the water.  You want to show off that beautiful blue sparking pool and cool inviting water. Secondly, if you’re on lakefront property, the water table in Florida is 1 to 3 feet below the surface of your swimming pool.  This translates to your entire pool being below ground level and the water table. If it is not emptied by a professional – let me reiterate – a professional, you will blow out your pool and it will float like a giant shipwreck.  Here’s a little news story about the Brandon Family’s Pool Pops Out Of Ground After Cleaning. Trying to save a couple bucks on pool maintenance while your house is listed will cost many more thousands of dollars in repairs if the water is not drained properly.

draining a swimming pool

This link is a how-to for Opening the Well Point on Concrete Pools.


Another consideration for emptying a swimming pool is the chemicals that have been added.  How are you going to handle the chlorine or salt that has been added?  The Department of Environmental Protection has created an entire section on the emptying of swimming pool water.  Remember the water we drink and bathe in comes from the ground. Page 3 of this document is dedicated to emptying the water from a swimming pool.

Home Staging for a Wonky Space

A potential client this week had been advised by his real estate agent that buyers could not envision how to use a particular space in the home that was listed. The whole purpose of staging is to “showcase” the home for sale.  This is done, at a minimum, by placing furniture, artwork and accessories throughout the home in key rooms.  The key rooms are:  kitchen, living or family room (whichever room is first seen when you open the front door), dining room, master bedroom, and bathrooms.  If you elect to demonstrate the purpose of one room only, to buyers it simply looks like the absent-minded owner left one piece of furniture behind. Making the investment in key room staging saves month-to-month carrying costs (mortgage, utilities, insurance, etc.) as well as reducing the number of days on the market.  If you’re not willing to make the investment, it’s better to just leave the entire house vacant.

Obstructions in Front of Closet

You’ve run out of time, and your real estate agent has shown up to take photos for presentation on the internet to list your property.  You ran from room to room and decided the best place to put all the clutter was into a closet.  You then put the ironing board in front of the closet door to deter potential buyers from taking a peek.  Guess what – buyers want to see every nook and cranny of their “new space”.  This includes closets.

final ironing board

If you’re going to sell your home, a little planning goes a long way.  If you’re short of time, hire a professional organizer to help you declutter and sort your wonderful goodies into keep, donate, discard or sell stacks.  After all, clutter eats equity.  You want your house to be in pristine condition to sell it on the market.  Besides, an ironing board in front of a closet is just going to make potential buyers wonder what else is hidden and looming in the house to surprise them.  Do a good job from the beginning!  You only have one chance to make a first impression. That is generally going to be on the internet where 95% of home buyers begin their search.  Help them put your address on the “must see” list.

I don’t make these things up.  These are real life situations that have occurred this week alone. Ask detailed questions of your listing agent or your local home stager.  These professionals are a wonderful source of information.  After all, it’s not every day you list your house for sale.  You certainly have a need to know and to understand the process.

Thanks for dropping by and reading Three Surefire Ways to Keep Your House for Sale. As your Orlando North and Daytona Beach home stager, I’d love to know your comments or questions.  We have a handy contact form, or feel free to leave a comment below.