By Valli Herman
Whether it’s an off-putting odor, kitschy decor or questionable artwork, a good real estate agent knows how to disappear such sale-killers for potential buyers without offending the home seller.
If professional staging isn’t an option, real estate agents are left to tell clients, delicately, how to literally and figuratively hide the dirty laundry — or the litter box, prurient artwork or even that collection of family keepsakes that can be a bit too personal.
“There is no more emotional product on the market. This is their nest egg, their inheritance,” said Sharona Alperin, of Sotheby’s International Realty in West Hollywood.
“I tell them I am here for one reason and that’s to maximize their return on the sale. And it’s a business at this point. They have to realize they have to turn it from a home into a house.”
The process begins with an overall deep cleaning and de-cluttering, but what agents have found in the process can be surprising.
Mike Deasy, chief executive of Deasy/Penner & Partners, has seen his share of oddities throughout his career.
“We have had, I think twice, collectors of insects, but they kept them in a glass case,” he said. “And there was one instance where there was a pathologist, and he had various specimens of things in jars. We told him to put those away.”
Home offices also offer the unexpected, particularly among medical professionals who may have diagrams and three-dimensional models of things you’d rather not think about.