The Art of Telling Your Clients that Their Perfect Home Ain’t So Perfect

By Myra Nourmand

One person’s junk is another’s treasure. After doing your preliminary walk through, you realize that your client’s home needs help.

On the one hand, you want to say, “Toss those magazines in the recycle bin, and while you’re at it get rid of that purple paisley sofa.”

On the other hand, you don’t want to offend. So how do you get your point across in a kind, professional way?

Successful Selling Requires Being Aware of Your Audience

Imagine that your client, Steve, is a hunter. His home showcases his greatest conquests—it’s a proud display of his surf and turf treasures. A married couple tours Steve’s home. Their horrified expressions reveal their animal rights lifestyle. No sooner than you can say “PETA” — the deal is off.

To avoid this, first, compliment Steve on his pursuit. Then share that for the sake of selling the home at the highest possible price it’s in his best interest to put his trophies away.

How to Clear Closets of Clutter

As you guide your clients, maintain the attitude that you’re helping them sell their home and you’re preparing them to move out of it as well.

Let’s say that there’s a glut of closet clutter. Consider suggesting that your clients sort through their home’s storage spaces. Then encourage them to box what they don’t need right away. (I’ve heard a statistic stating that most of us only wear 20 percent of our clothes anyway.)

Next, let them know that clearing clutter will make rooms look more spacious, result in an easier move, and—most important of all—generate better offers.

Receiving great offers requires preparation. Your clients are counting on you to be their consultant. Thus, you’re responsible for making suggestions that will lead to the sale. By having them begin the moving process early, you’re improving the listing’s appearance and helping them plan ahead.


Myra Nourmand is a top-producing real estate professional in Beverly Hills and author of the book, “From Homemaker to Breadwinner”. For 25 years, Nourmand has been a REALTOR® for Nourmand & Associates. For more information about her and her book, visit:

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This post was contributed exclusively for REALTOR® Magazine.

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  1. Anne Meczywor

    The most positive way I can put this is that sellers must be prepared to move in short order if the right offer comes in. I suggest they prepare for that possibility by ”pre-packing”, starting with all those remarkable, personal treasures, their treasured family photos, and out of season clothing and equipment. Once they start, many just keep right on sorting, tossing, and organizing until everything is beautifully show ready. Be sure to compliment them on “how much bigger and brighter the room/closet looks!” They will feel good about what they have accomplished, buyers will be more impressed with the property, AND the seller will have an easier move! Win, win, WIN!

  2. Food for thought Myra!! Perhaps sell your house quick isnt all that a cakewalk!!

  3. In an assertive way, we make them realize that the things needed to prepare.