Al and Cal Homes and Community: Tips for Living With Your Home On The Market

Tips for Living With Your Home On The Market

Tips for Living With Your Home On The Market

Do you have your home on the market or are you thinking of it?    If so, it will come as no surprise to you that you will have you home exposed to the world in living color!   life in a fishbowl

It might be somewhat like living in a fishbowl.   Which is exactly what you want!  

Having your home exposed to as many potential buyers as possible will bring you the highest possible price in the shortest amount of time.  

Your job is to choose the Realtor who can and will expose your home correctly in as many places as possible.    Once you do, your home will be presented with not only text, but color views of each and every nook and cranny of your home.  It will likely include mapping and video.  Your agent might even suggest opening  your doors for a public open house or at least an agents preview.  

Don't be alarmed!   It is all a part of merchandising.   One can't make a decision on a home that they can't see.       

So I have heard it's a little like living in a fishbowl.  

How to Minimize the Discomfort?

There are a couple of things you can do to make this process easier.   

  • Stage it.    Again, think merchandising.    This might be a little inconvenient.  Remember, it is not a reflection on how you live or decorate, but meant to take the purchaser in the direction of moving themselves in.
  • Best foot forward.   Okay, it's showtime!   You want your home to look it's best as soon as it hits the market.   Don't wait for a later time for the photos.   Almost all buyers will see your home on line before they visit in person.  This is good news as it weeds out the looky loos.   At the same time you wouldn't want to miss that first time opportunity to capture the hearts of that potential buyer with an incomplete marketing opportunity.    It is, in my opinion a mistake to begin marketing halfway with the thoughts of catching up later.  Defer to your Realtors expertise on what is important to accomplish before hitting the market full force.
  • Strategy.   Defer and confer with your agent regarding the best strategy for your home.  Be cognizant of the norm in the area.  Do buyers attend open houses?   If so, it might be that your first showings start at an open house.   This is just an example, but there could be ways to get the first looks through with as little disruption to you as possible. 
  • Price it right.   If you do this, your home will sell in a reasonable amount of time, minimizing your time on the market.   You get the drift.   Different for different homes in different market places.  
  • Be Prepared.  I'm not talking here about the physical presentation.   People will ask all kinds of questions.  They may seem prying.  The may seem personal.   They may seem ridiculous.    Regardless.   Be prepared on your agents advice to answer.  We generally regard these questions, as "buying questions".   Meaning, that anyone who is not interested will not bother with questions.   So when that buyer asks what your heating bill was last year... we know it is subjective, but it is something they feel they need to have answered in order to move forward. 
  • Leave the House.  You do not want to be in the house while a potential buyer and their agent walk through.   For many reasons including they won't linger and poke around.  They need to do that in order to make a buying decision.  But from the Sellers point of view, that lingering and poking is very unsettling.    You don't need it.  Leave the showing to the professionals. 
  • Communication.   This is a two way thing here.  If you have any concerns after or before a showing, bring them to the attention of your agent!!   Do not let something fester.   Also,a good agent will communicate with you to let you know to the best of their ability how the showing went.  Most times, they will not know the buyers particulars.   Where they work, how old they are, etc, but they can let you know if there is possible interest, or any other thing pertinent to the showing.   
  • Breathe!   Try to relax.  We know that you have to live here too.   There is a balance between living "show ready" and having a life.   Try to minimize the stress by thinking before hand where you will stash things and what your routine will be for showings.  It is unlikely these days that someone will ask for a last minute showing.   You will have plenty of time to get your home ready and get out.
  • Realistic Expectations.   Sometimes people expect that the first person that walks through the door is the "one".   That is not usually the case, although that is the goal.    Expect that you might have several buyers through.   The more the better.   I kind of like to think of that old saying about kissing a lot of toads before you find the prince.  I hope you have heard that before!   

Please know, that your Realtor knows how hard it is to have your home on the market and how emotional it is to having people walk through it.     She / He will try as hard as possible to make it as comfortable for you as possible.  

Life In The Fishbowl.....

The whole thing might feel a bit disconcerting.   

But, if you are feeling that way, I would venture to say that your Realtor is doing a great job!


Are you thinking of putting your home on the market?   Put my 25 years of real estate experience to work for you.   

I can be reached at 508-494-9061 or email at

Carol-Ann Palmieri

Al and Cal Realty Group

Remax Executive Realty




Comment balloon 32 commentsCarol-Ann Palmieri • October 17 2012 06:02AM


Great post!  Having your home listed is not fun, but totally worth it.  Suggested.                                                      

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) over 6 years ago

Love this post Carol Ann and had to suggest.  This all terrific information that sellers need to know. 

Posted by Brenda Mullen, Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!! (RE/MAX Access) over 6 years ago

Hi Carol, Great advice for  sellers who have their homes on the market.

Posted by Joan Congilose, Helping Sellers & Buyers (New Jersey Properties) over 6 years ago

If you are a slob like me, clean it up nice and then eat off paper plates til it sells. NO dirty dishes left around.

Posted by Rob D. Shepherd, Principal Broker GRI, SRES (Windermere/lane county) over 6 years ago

Hi Carol Ann

I have the hardest time convincing seller's w/small kids that it is alright to live their lives, just control the showings the best we can.....I do not like the little ones to have their lives disrupted too much.

Posted by Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR, SRES, e-PRO,ABR,GREEN,CSP (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License #RS-225179-L / Delaware License #RS-0025038) over 6 years ago

Carol Ann, the biggest issue is when you have young kids and all their trinkets everywhere...this is a great list!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 6 years ago


Excellent list for sellers to follow. I personally thgink sellers many times have no idea that selling a home means they have to work! It is not easy being a seller unless you have already moved out and even then theer are issues to deal with.

Posted by Robert Bob Gilbert, Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties) over 6 years ago

Just swimming around here. Wish we knew about this in 2006 I could have handled it a little better  and I am glad we know now. It is always good to be re-aquainted with information. Great article!

Posted by vince over 6 years ago

Carol Ann: This is excellent information and advice.  The more potential buyers that come through the better chance that one of them will love the home and want to make an offer.  Suggested.

Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055) over 6 years ago

Nice post, we also suggest (especially to our clutter-bugs) that they invest is a "PODS" container to store the first big round of decluttering.  PODS = Portable On Demand Storage - (or something similar). 

Posted by Gary Kent, 33 Years Experience & 5,000+ Homes Sold (Gary Kent Team - Keller Williams Realty) over 6 years ago

Excellent post, with great points.

Posted by Chuck Mixon, Cutler Bay Specialist, GRI, CDPE, BPOR (The Keyes Company) over 6 years ago

Great article!  As a stager, that is what we try to emphasize.  The potential buyer needs to feel like they are at home when they walk throught that door.  The point of staging a house is to make that buyer say "I can see myself living here".  The comfortable home is what you make it after you move in.  "Inconvenience" means selling faster.

Posted by Wendy Veenkamp (Cornerstone Home Staging) over 6 years ago

"I kind of like to think of that old saying about kissing a lot of toads before you find the prince."

   Great line, Carol-Ann!  

Posted by Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Carol Ann, selling a house has so many different stresses and having to leave and allow strangers to walk and snoop is not easy. A well deserved feature

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 6 years ago

Hi Christiansen Team.   Thank you and after going through it myself, I agree.   :) 


Thank you Brenda girl! 


Hi Joan.  Thank you.


Hi Rob.  I wouldn't be surprised if many do just that.   Thanks.


Hi Dan.   That is kind and I think the way most of us feel.   Thanks.


Hi Ginny.  Kids do come with a lot of stuff!   LOL.  Thanks.


Hi Bob.   Yes, and we all including Realtor sellers think our homes will go immediately to the first buyer in even though, we really know better.  Thank you.


Thank you all for checking out and weighing in on this blog.   Your comments are appreciated!!



Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Selling a home is like pulling off a Band Aid ... the quicker you do it the less it hurts.  I'm sure nobody likes the feeling of living in a property that is for sale at the same time.  But, hopefully, the more positive steps taken from the start will make the process easier and the faster it will sell.

Posted by Carie Shapiro (North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Carol Ann....There are so many Sellers out there that should have taken this advice before they put their house on the market!

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - over 6 years ago

Carol Ann, congratulation on well deserved feature post.

You have described it very nicely - how it feels when you put your home on market. I am likely to cut-n-paste part of your post for my new listing...

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) over 6 years ago

Hi Vince.   After going through it once you've got it covered.   Good luck with the sale!


Hi Anita.   Thank you for reading and hitting the S.  


Hi Gary.  That is a good one for the list and getting rid of clutter will help with stress too. 


Thanks Chuck.


Hi Wendy.  That last line has me laughing.   True.


Thanks Fred.   Not like I know from experience or anything like that!  :)


Hi Ed.  I know, and for some so much harder than others.   Thank you.


Thank  you all for taking the time to read and weigh in.   Appreciate your thoughts. 

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Hi Carie.   Your comment brings me back to having my mother rip those band aids off so fast your head would spin.  Thanks for the trip down memory lane!  


Hi Christine.   As a buyers agent, I am sure you have seen it all!   


Hi Praful.    I know the process is very stressful.  There are so many moving parts.   


Thanks guys for taking a look and taking the time to weigh in.    I appreciate your thoughts and comments.  

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Carol Ann:

This is such a good post, I am going to print it for my clients who are selling their home.  Although I have given them the same information, having another source provide the information will help them adjust to the reality of selling their home.

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) over 6 years ago

Love It! Thanks for passing on those Tips for Living With Your Home On The Market.

Posted by Michelle Carr-Crowe Just Call 408-252-8900 Top 1%!, Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years (Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty) over 6 years ago

Great list for anyone that selling their home!

Posted by Jon Karlen, Louisville & Shelbyville Kentucky real estate (Finish Line Realty - Shelbyville & Louisville Ky Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Carol Ann, great list of tips for homeowners when they are selling. It really does become a fish bowl.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 6 years ago

This is a very informative post, and one that I would love to re-blog.  I especially like the point about open houses.

Posted by Athina Boukas, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) (Virginia Capital Realty) over 6 years ago

Excellent post! Giving this list to the sellers at the listing presentation and watching their reaction may definitely help the agent to define if the sellers are motivated or not. Will re-blog it with pleasure.

Posted by Svetlana Stolyarova, Local-n-Global Realty, Broker 216-548-4663 (Local-n-Global Realty, Cleveland and International Real Estate Solution) over 6 years ago

You are so right that it's hard to live in a home while it's for sale. Good tips here for handling it. It's tough to keep a home perfectly staged while you're living there, especially if you have kids, but it's so worth it in the long run.


Posted by Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate, Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs (Kelly Right Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Carol Ann thank you for this ‘tips list’. Some Sellers get some of these points and not the others. It is not so easy, with young kids in the house.

Posted by Rosalind Nicholas, Toronto Condo Real Estate Agent, Toronto ON (RE/MAX Condos Plus Corporation, Brokerage) over 6 years ago

These are great things that I have not really given much thought, thanks for all the tips and info on this.

Posted by Shane Barker (Amerifirst Financial, INC.) over 6 years ago
This is great way to explain the things that a potential seller may be feeling when they decide to put their home on the market. Great post!
Posted by Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group) over 6 years ago

Hi Carol Ann.... when I listed my house, I made everyone take off their shoes, even at the open house.... there were over 40 couples through that house the first day on the market and the pile of shoes was incredible.... there was a carpet on the hardwood next to the front door just for was full...

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) over 6 years ago

If the house shows well and the sellers follow your tips, their house should sooner, rather than later!

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) over 6 years ago