Designed to Sell.

Not the TV show, but just in general…if your house is on the market, have you designed it to sell?

On the HGTV shows, Sabrina Soto or Sophie Whatever-her-last-name-is do these 30-minute shows where they take a home from unsellable to sellable. Usually for around $1,000-$2,000, which I guess isn’t a ton of money, but it might be if you’re already losing money by selling your home. Right?

Daniel and I search the local real estate listings DAILY. We probably know more about the current houses on the market than the realtors do. That’s rather sad, but I think it makes us a bit more educated about pricing, areas, and which houses have been sitting on the market for 2 years.

Today I am using pictures solely from Beeville area houses that are on the market. I’ll give picture credits to the following Beeville realty companies: Park-Breidenbach, The MGM Team & Rabe Real Estate.

We’ll start with the kitchen, because let’s face it, more often than not the kitchen will sell the home. Food is a major part of family get togethers, holidays, etc. so the kitchen is king.

Here’s an example of a kitchen that is in a home that is on the market:


First of all, if you’re going to take pictures of a kitchen in a home that you’re selling, perhaps you should clear off the counters. All I can focus on is the red Stripes mug by the sink, the big jug of water on the island, the random thing hanging from the ceiling, the jars on top of the cabinets and the family photos on the very-nice-but-lost-in-the-mix french door refrigerator.

I realize these people are living here, but for the 10 minutes it takes to snap photos, throw all your crap in a box and make it look like the kitchen has never been used. Buyers do not care that you like the color red, drink water, and have a family album on your fridge- they care about finding a house. Their perfect house. You’re selling emotions first, function next. If I am not feeling the kitchen, I surely will not see myself functioning/using/cooking in it.

Here’s an example of a nice, clean looking kitchen:


See the difference? I am not even comparing cabinets or finishes because one is obviously more high end than the other, but just look at cleanliness/orderliness of the 2nd picture. I’d feel comfy walking right in there and starting to make cookies. Before I even put in an offer…that’s just how I roll.

Next, the living room.


Does the bear creep you out? Me too.


This living room has high ceilings that could be gorgeous, but I am so fixated on the baby poop green color on the walls, the toys in the corner, and the random stuff hanging on the glass doors. Oh, and the 4.51% interest.

TURN THE TV OFF! Buyers would much rather see a black screen than the EARN 4.51% INTEREST. Because now I am wondering what the 4.51% interest is on. And I have ZERO interest in the paint color and the toys. Move them out of the room. Those shelves in the corners are a prime spot to stage to make it look nice and useful, but all I can see are lots of picture frames and clutter. Not good.

Another sin (yes, sin) I see in Beeville is…well, you tell me what these next series of pictures have in common:






Oh deer.

There was even a house on the market about 2 years ago that had the deer in the NURSERY. Yeah, seriously. Awful.

I can totally understand that people who hunt like to display their deer on the wall. However, there are people like me who are not too fond of killing animals for home decor (I realize people eat the meat though) and I simply do not want to see it on the walls. I do think storing deer busts would be difficult, but why not keep them confined to the man cave area of the house like this picture:


Now let’s look at examples of nice, inviting living room spaces with no dead animals:


^ That is a picture of the house we put an offer on and were rejected. Tears.





Nice. Spacious. Clean.

Now, I want you all to know I am picking homes from a HUGE range of prices so that I am not only featuring expensive homes as the “nice” pictures. In fact, most of the “bad” examples are from the most expensive homes.

That have not sold.

Just sayin’.

Now, the bathroom. I am SUPER picky about bathrooms. I do not care if it has a double vanity, a whirlpool tub, marble countertops, tile floors. I truly don’t. What do I care about?

Would I walk into the bathroom/tub/shower without flip flops?


Wow. Simply wow. Not only is there carpet in the bathroom, but it’s green. With light pink.


I think there are many dated bathrooms in Beeville, and dated can be fine, as shown here:


The tub looks clean, it’s a very nice, soothing color palette. Two thumbs up!

Some more good examples:





Clean, clutter free.

Tomorrow I am going to touch on bedrooms, backyards, and angles.

What are some crazy things you’ve seen either when looking at houses online or in person?



  1. Anonymous
    July 17, 2010 / 4:00 pm

    I want the living room with the zebra rug!the deer head thing made me laugh and wow that was a hideous pink and green bathroom.

  2. Delena
    July 21, 2010 / 1:23 pm

    LMBO…wasn't that Barney's friend side kick the dinosaur wearing pink, sad I know this. I wish I wish I had done this to show people all the houses we found on houston inside the loop in our price range…one house had ceilings for hobbits, my husband is 5'10" avg height and he looked like Gulliver or Alice about to grow more and bust out of the house..this was entertaining. I like Blogs like friend does one yeah its boring she has no oomph in her posts, just oh we ate dinner the end.

  3. lvankuiken
    July 24, 2010 / 1:30 pm

    I'm visiting from SITS on facebook – and this post made me giggle! Especially because our house is currently on the market (waterfront in Florida, if you're interested!)Love this!

  4. Haley
    July 24, 2010 / 1:44 pm

    haha! I am visiting from SITS on Facebook. I loved this post. My husband and I were in the market for a house last year, and you are EXACTLY right!! I don't care how nice the house is, if there's dead animals all over the walls, I am turning around! hahaha Don't their realtors help them out any?? Someone needs to tell them. :)