So I have these clients who loved this one neighborhood. It is near highways and get you anywhere in the Grand Strand in minutes, but off a road that keeps you away from the traffic. A real kid friendly neighborhood-even has a basketball goal at the end of a cul-de-sac for people to use. It is a little too perfectly creepy for me. It is a new development and all the homes seem to be the same and there are no trees. But my clients loved everything about it. So we found them a house they loved. The pictures of the outside and inside were perfect. They just knew it was going to fit all their needs and could really see themselves having a family here and living here for a long time. So I set up a showing appointment and even call the listing agent the day before just to remind her we are coming. No problem she said, her clients knew all about it. Great I thought-this was going to be an easy sell. So off we go the next evening to see my clients’ dream home. Perfect on the outside, the wife is almost giddy with excitement. Then we walk in… The house was a disaster. Looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in weeks, dirty dishes in the sink, closets were a disaster and dirty clothes coming out of the hamper; clothes on the floor. The look on their faces went from excitement to disgust. So I calmly, since I am about to scream, try to do some damage control and suggest may be something happened and we can come back another time to look at the inside, but let’s go look at the backyard and see the rest of the outside. I know the inside can always be cleaned up, but I want them to like the rest of the house. Of course, I am not even buying what I am saying to them. But out to the deck we go. And in the backyard, straddling what has to be the property line is the largest wooden playhouse-fort-swing set I have ever seen. It goes into half of both houses’ backyards. My clients hate it. I am no idiot but this kind of monstrosity can kill a deal and a closing. And it is heavily anchored into the ground, so it will not be easy to just move. This showing was a nightmare. I knew of no way to recover from this. I just kept apologizing and saying I would call the listing agent and get to the bottom of this. They, not surprisingly, kept telling me not to bother. At this point I am ready to kill this listing agent. So they go tearing out of the driveway, and I get on the phone. Well, the agent is barely shocked over the state of the house and is asking me what the big deal is over the play set. Well she must have gone over to the house today, because she is now singing a different tune. She was very apologetic over the state of the house, and it seems that the play set had been moved from one backyard to both since she was last there a month ago. Last night she probably thought I was just with overly picky buyers and that I didn’t know a thing about property lines or encroachments and was just being a witch with a capital “B”. Glad she now knows I wasn’t lying or over-reacting and that yes this deal is blown. Do these sellers know that they are selling their house? I know they knew we were coming; did they really think leaving the house in such a fashion was going to get it sold? I would really like to know what they were thinking. I have done some open houses and known the house was never going to sell because there was too much personality in it and a buyer was never going to be able to overlook it all to be able to put themselves in the picture. Same problem here. With all the clutter and dirt, my clients could not look past it and see what they thought was their dream home. So my easy sell just went from easy to a hard to keep them as clients’ situation. They don’t blame me and of course there are other homes in the neighborhood for sale that I am going to show them, but this was their dream home and the image of what it looked like on the inside and in the backyard is never going to leave their minds. I am really going to have to find something 100x better to get them to buy any time soon. Notice to all listing agents-NEVER let this happen and staging a home does go a long way in getting a home sold. If that place had been great condition, staged and the monstrosity had not been in the backyard, instead of writing this post I could be writing a contract. A perfect and easy deal blown by nightmare sellers. But who is at fault here-the sellers or the listing agent? I may be new at this, but in my opinion-both.