15 things I hate to see when I show real estate listings

I have 15 things that I hate to see when I show real estate to my clients here in Naples. They’re all easily avoidable so please don’t let these spoil a good buyer showing!

Real Estate Advice / Chris


15 things I hate to see when I show real estate listings

Cluttered kitchen counters

Right or wrong, this shows the buyer that there isn’t enough storage space for all of those little items like coffee pots, tea pots, toasters and that sort of thing. The seller should declutter and find a great place to store those items while the home is being shown. Plus, decluttered counters simply make the kitchen look bigger!

Lights off or lights that don’t turn on

The term “light and bright” gets thrown around a lot by customers and for good reason. Buyers don’t want to buy a dark home so all lights should be on for showings.

Blinds not opened for natural light

Naples is a city in the Sunshine State, right? It’s so nice to walk into a home that’s full of natural light. Unfortunately, I often walk into homes where all of the blinds are closed and it feels like a cave. Buyers will always comment on the light when in this situation so don’t give them something to complain about. Get those blinds open and let that sunlight shine in!

Music playing

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. If music is playing when we walk into your home, our first thought is going to be, “What are they hiding?” Typically, this is a red flag that there is a lot of road noise so I always turn the music off for my buyers to let them discover what the seller is likely hiding.

The sellers

The sellers should never be at a showing appointment. Sellers that want to be home will often say, “We’ll just stay out on the lanai out of their way.” No. Find something to do for 30 minutes and let the buyers experience the home without the awkwardness or the feeling of being rushed.

The listing agent

Many listings are listing office accompany meaning the listing agent will be there for showings. In unique or high-priced homes, this is rather common. However, we don’t need you there to see most listings. It really makes the buyers uncomfortable and the buyers will usually stay completely quiet. This hurts the showing because the buyers can’t point out features to each other. Put the home on a lockbox and let me do the showing.

The fridge used as a bulletin board

On my kitchen fridge at the time of writing, I have my son’s artwork, a calendar, a list of things we need at the grocery store and about 5 other papers that are up there for no good reason. Everything is stuck to the fridge with magnets. But, my house isn’t for sale! You can bet that when I do decide to sell my home, all of that will be gone and the fridge will sit unencumbered.

Bad paint colors

You picked out some outlandish colors to paint your accent walls and it is absolutely beautiful in your eyes. Sorry, but it just became a major chore for my buyers that have to repaint. I know it isn’t fun but repaint those accent walls in a neutral color so they do not distract the buyers or make them dread the upcoming chore of repainting.

Bad rollers on sliding glass doors

Ever struggle to figure out how to get the locks unlocked on a sliding door only to then find it barely rolls along the track? If we have to drag your sliding glass door open to get to the lanai, you’re sending an unambiguous signal to the buyers that routine maintenance has not been done. Call a handyman and get these rollers going smoothly again!

Unkept landscaping

When we step out of the car, your landscaping is making the first impression. It it isn’t take care of, my buyers are subconsciously wondering what else isn’t taken care of on this property. Hire a gardener and make your landscaping a selling point and not a detraction.

Business cards on the counter

It is customary for REALTORS® to leave their business card on the counter when they show the home. It’s the duty of the listing agent or the seller to remove those cards as they’re left behind. I absolutely hate seeing a pile of 15 to 20 business cards there. All that does is show the buyers that this property has been shown that many times yet it is still on the market. What’s wrong with the property? Why aren’t others buying it? If they don’t want it, we probably don’t either.

Too much or big furniture

You know the best way to make your living room and bedrooms look tiny? Stuff them chock full of oversized (or too much) furniture! If you have to, rent a storage unit while your home is on the market and keep just those pieces of furniture that are needed.

Cleaning rags, towels on the floor, etc.

Laundry belongs in the hamper. I really hate walking into a bathroom (usually a kid’s bath) and seeing a towel on the floor. I also see wet rags next to kitchen faucets or in the sink a lot too. Throw them in the hamper before your showing!

Dishes in the sink

Come on, seriously? Before heading off for your showing, get those dishes in the dishwasher! It’s a small chore that pays big dividends.

Kid’s rooms that haven’t been decluttered

I’m a father of two boys so I know the problem of kid’s room clutter all too well. Toys, books, clothes and who knows what else are all over the floor. Definitely declutter those rooms and use that storage space that you rented to put the biggest toys or furniture in until your home sells.


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