Posted by: DD | October 26, 2006

no. 303 – My Realtor Sucks

Our realtor is really starting to grate on my nerves. Anyone who is in a constant state of First Ladyness (smiling, nodding and daintily shaking hands) is asking for a slap to the back of the head from someone like me who finds 24 hour cheer not only annoying but a real threat to the natural bitch in me.

After getting feedback on the house, which in most cases included something about "cats" and "smell", I knew we were going to have to do something about it. After two carpet cleanings and keeping the Fe.breeze company in business, we replaced all of the carpet in the basement to the tune of $2400. Considering that it covers nearly 1,000 sq ft, we got a remarkable deal and I hope the carpet immediately disintegrates into dust as soon as a purchase agreement is signed.

So guess what piffling excuse our realtor is now giving us to why there have been no serious lookers at our house? They don’t like the color in the living room (too dark) or the wallpaper in the entryway (too busy).

Excuse me? But if you have ever went house hunting did you seriously write off a potential house because of the friggin colors on the wall?! If you have, for shame! Because here’s $20 and a weekend. Now go paint it the color of your dreams and stop your bitchin.

Here’s the kicker: because we do have "designer" colors in the living room (read: NOT white/cream/beige/eggshell) we have a $500 allowance in the purchase price of the house. I refuse to dump a weekend into painting the room and stripping paper when the buyers will more than likely repaint it again anyway…even if it’s with a different shade of beige. It’s typically the first thing any does when they move into a house, isn’t it?

The reason I’m bitching about the realtor is not because she’s the one who told us to paint the rooms that way 9 years ago. It’s because she’s failing to direct the clients to what’s great about the house. Hey, Mr. Client. Sure I understand you think the hallway is busy. It sure is a good thing it’s small because you can have that changed in a weekend. And while you’re doing that, you can look out the front door, past this beautiful patio and onto the lake! And look, if the living room appears dark, open the blinds on these huge windows that looks out from this hillside onto the golf course!


Someone please tell me that these people are just lacking the balls to say they just don’t like the house overall and that you never considered color a a buying point. Because if she keeps this up, I’m firing her skinny ass. And as I shake her limp, squishy hand that one last time I’ll make sure to prime it first with a stinkpalm.



  1. I have never considered interior or exterior color as a potential deal breaker. And your descriptions sound like you have a fantastic place. I hope the right buyer comes along, and soon.

  2. Stinkpalm! Very very funny.

    When we bought our house many, many years ago, the colors were atrocious. Bad. Beyond ugly. And the realtor? Awesome. She said, “I know the colors are awful, but just look at the potential of this house…blah, blah, blah.” She took what was bad and turned our attention to the positive. When we put the house back on the market, I think I’ll see if she is still in the business. Good luck.

  3. It’s a buyers market and you are only hurting yourself by not making your house more appealing to a larger number of buyers, which means using neutral colors. My husband and I have bought and sold a decent number of properties and I can tell you that interior and exterior colors do make a difference, as does new flooring. In your post, you said that you don’t want to spend a weekend repainting and scraping wallpaper. Well, neither do buyers. What that means is that they move on to a different house and buy that one and you get more and more frustrated that no one wants to buy your house. Spending the time to do it yourself or even spending a few hundred dollars to have someone else do it will usually net you a few thousand dollars more in your sales price.

  4. On a related note, we got our first 1100 sq. ft. condo for about $15K less than the owner could have sold it for if she had simply spent $3K to replace the carpet and repaint. Because it looked so unappealing, it sat on the market for a month when other condos in the same complex sold within hours of going on the market.

  5. I totally agree with you! The-Husband and I watch those house selling TV shoes when nothing else is on. I want to throttle people that say they don’t like a house because of the colors or wallpaper.

    Not enough bedrooms or bathrooms is a valid reason for not liking a house but paint is not.

    That said, I just read Peeved Michelle comment and it totally makes sense. Actually I had never thought about it that way.

    Lots of help I am…

  6. We bought our home a year ago and there was mint green and lilac purple paint spongepainted EVERYWHERE. In addition to flowered wall paper borders and 1/2 walls in most of the rooms. It was horrible.

    And now it’s the home of my dreams. Funny what a little paint can do!

  7. I’ve sold and bought four homes in the last five years . . . color was never a deal breaker for me. But then again — I make my husband do all the work.

  8. When I moved here several years ago, I had to steam off four rooms of wallpaper, then I painted the funky colors I wanted. It was the biggest pain and it took me weeks. Further, I paid the highest price anyone in this neighborhood had ever paid. It was a seller’s market. I bought it the hour it came on the market and won over the other bids because I had the earliest closing date, one before her next payment was due, so netting her an extra bonus.

    Don’t be stubborn. If you paid someone to do your dirty work, you would sell quicker and recoop it. We went through that with a house we sold. It was long distance and I had no idea that the paint guy left such a mess or stopped up the kitchen sink. Our house took months longer to sell just because it wasn’t tidy and the stupid realtor could have said we had some cleaning to do. After I cleaned, she said, “I wish I’d had this house to sell.” Bitch.

    Stinkpalm, indeed.

  9. Both sides of the debate are “right” . . . people are crazy to judge a house on paint, but the fact is they do and you’ll profit from having someone paint the whole dame thing eggshell. I think it’s very true about the math: if you spend a few hundred having someone paint, you’ll gain a few thousand in asking price.

    Have you ever watched that show where they eavesdrop on buyers’ comments? It’s a bit hokey but it’s crazy what people say. My favorite is when the woman buyer hates a house because the bedspread is tacky! The bedspread for F’s sake! They’re taking the damn bedspread with them and you have your own right? What has that got to do with buying a house?

    I think it all comes down to human nature (laziness) and lack of imagination. a) they don’t want to paint either, not right away anyway and b) they don’t have the imagination to visualize their own paint colors, furniture, etc., in the house.

    But the Realtor ought to be promoting the pluses of your house and if she’s not, there is an abundance of Realtors out there who will.

    Good Luck with that!

  10. As a buyer I don’t care what the colours are but Peeved Michelle is right. I’m thinking about flipping this house I moved into in August because it’s simply not big enough and I only want to paint and lay laminate before I hope to get another 7-10 thousand more than I paid. I will also replace the water pump but buyers won’t see that.
    I hate to say it but you might as well sink the time into painting and curse us all while you’re doing it.

  11. People have no creativity, if it isn’t exactly what they like, it is not good.
    Gosh, I hate realtors!

    Don’t even get my started on a limp handshake, I have written about that before.

  12. When house hunting, I am the first one to be snarky (oh that color is horrible or look at that wallpaper) but it would never be the reason I didn’t purchase a house. If that is the reason she is giving you, I am betting she isn’t listening. (Wallpaper might deter me slightly if the whole house was wall papered because that stuff is a pain in the ass to strip but not an entry way.)

    I like to see some color and personality in a home – and I always repaint when I buy anyway so I wouldn’t repaint either. Our house is rather colorful and there is no way I am repainting if we have to sell this thing.

  13. Our living room is red, a deep and rich red. It took us 6 coats to get it even. We have two realtor friends, both of whom have said “What a great color! It’s going to be a bitch to repaint it when you’re ready to sell…”

    I hate to say it, but I think that the weekend of painting on your end will probably net you a better deal than waiting for someone who’s willing to do it. That said, we did repaint P’s bedroom when we moved in, and the colors in there didn’t turn us off enough to scrap the plan of buying the house.

  14. My house was built in 1978. The wallpaper had not been replaced since that time. It was brown, and covered in ducks. Not small, beige, silhouettes of ducks but large ducks with green heads and blue tails. I once saw the same wallpaper at Truck Stop restaurant.

    And despite the hideous wallpaper, the funky odor of baby puke in the kitchen, the mustard yellow vanity in the bedroom, the metallic olive green and gold wallpaper in both bathrooms, and the particle board cabinetry that was falling apart I KNEW it was home the moment I saw it. The oak tree in the front yard made me fall in love. The layout of the house sold me. All the rest was stuff I could trash or fix.

    Fire your agent. She’s worthless.

  15. Some people are just STUPID, I’m afraid. Personally, I never consider colour, but if you have seen House Doctor (don’t know if you get it over there – is it the one beagle is referring to?) then loads of the daft people who look round houses say things like “ooh, didn’t like the living room, that sofa was awful”.

    You may well sell the house as it is, and if you are selling to sensible people they will prefer you not to decorate. But not everyone is that sensible…

  16. Dear DD, I laughed reading this post. Human nature is so… odd. People have the stupidest reasons for making the decisions they make. And this real-estate agent sounds like she’s not, er, living up to her potential.

  17. I was all set to buy a house that the people used every color of the rainbow when they painted the rooms. I think that people these days can’t look beyond the obvious, oh I don’t like that shade of freaking beige, kind of thing. They should be looking at the potential the house has and how they can make it THEIR house. I get so angry when I watch those shows on TLC or HGTV and the stupid ass comments that people make when they are looking at houses. My favorite, “Oh I don’t like the furniture, therefore I am not buying this house.” I just yell at the TV, “You stupid asses, you are buying the house not the damn furniture!”. Maybe you need to get new furniture? 😉 Good luck. Wish I could buy it from you but then you would have to be my new best friend, I would have to put that in my offer too, as I wouldn’t know anyone else in that state. 😉

  18. Hmmm…This is a toughy. Personally, I prefer a house that has some work to do, like painting and such. BUt I have learned that DH and I are unique that way. We are peticular and want to choose our own colors. When we bought our home we actually sought out a “granny house” so we could get it for a better price and make it ours. Now my SIL recently bought a home that she wanted little to do and I actually think she bought it for the colors on the wall. Some people get to distracted and can’t visualize. Basically, most people are boring, uninspired, and lazy – so netural is your best bet. With that said, if I put my house on the market anytime soon I am not painting a damn thing and my living room is marigold, dining room salmon stream, kitchen is olive, bathroom 2 shades of purple, and so on. Really, I don’t know how to advise but if you are sick of your realtor drop her, or at least get a 2nd opinion. On another note, becasue of you “medical conditions” you shouldn’t be doing all that physical work around chemicals anyway 🙂

  19. When we bought our home I had to tear down two rooms of wallpaper and we repainted almost the entire house. I little work and paint didn’t stop us from loving the house and making it our own. Sounds like she’s making up excuses.

  20. The bigger question would be, why do you have to wallpaper? And most buyers like neutral beige colors. Also if you don’t want to spend your weekend paining, neither do they. Bam!

    • Wow. Insightful. Thanks for your input on an issue that was resolved 9 years ago.

      Oh, and Bam, right back attcha.

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