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This week for Tom's Take we explore the rather less inspiring ways that home owners choose to display their largest asset for sale.

1. Leave washing up everywhere – Literally dishes, plates, cups all piling up in the sink, around the worktops, in the lounge, in the dining room.  Even in the bedroom!  I would say half the time people leave it in the sink when you go round to take photos.  If it’s in a bowl, I’ll take it out and put it all on the floor.  If it’s not, I leave it in the photos and show them after.

2. Leave food and mess all over the kitchen worktops – It’s like they don’t even notice!  All sorts of food just left out.  Sometimes it’s leftovers, sometimes it’s like the worktops act as storage for their tins, veggies, fruits, crisps and all that.  When you walk into a house where there’s last night’s dinner laying around, it stinks and it’s vile.  I’d say this laziness loses people £3-5k on their property! Maybe more.

3. Leave dirty washing all over the bedroom – Sometimes, as their agent, you feel like you’ve got to clear it away when you’re taking photos.  There has been occasions where I’ve left it in the photos and shown them afterwards…  Sometimes they’re not bothered, sometimes they say “oh, should I move all those clothes??”  If the washing has been there a while it absolutely stinks too!!  In some instances, the owner has cleared up for photos but when people come around to view they don’t bother.  Other times they have it tidy and clean for the first couple of viewings and then they can’t be bothered.  But they still expect the top money for their house even though they can’t be arsed to present it in its best condition.  We hear excuses like “well viewers want it to look ‘lived in’” or “oh I haven’t been able to clear up from dinner last night” and so on… It amazes me that people want top dollar for the most expensive thing they’ll ever buy, own and sell but they will take more care in selling their car on auto-trader or a jumper on eBay!

4. Let their dogs jump up at viewers – they expect the buyers to love their dogs like they do.  They say “don’t worry, he won’t bite” …  We don’t want your stupid dog jumping all over us!!  You get hairs all over you, it stinks, it slobbers!!  Most dogs are lovely and friendly but it’s a house viewing not a dog show.  Take your dog out, put it in the garden… Whatever!