Regardless of how much a seller does to prepare a home for sale it is often impossible to "sanitize" it to the point of being just a house.
If a house is occupied you are likely seeing things a person never shares with complete strangers.
If you are a home buyer consider the privacy of occupants.
Here are a few suggestions for those looking at homes. Many are common sense and are included in advice provided by their real estate agent. Still, sometimes the message never quite makes it.
- Show up. Selling a home is disruptive to daily routines and lives. Show up and be punctual. Sellers very often leave but don't keep them "in the yard" with the dogs for an excessive time - especially in the hot Florida weather!
- Hands off. Don't touch personal belongings of the seller. There is no reason to pick up anything. Don't open open drawers in bedrooms, bathrooms, desks, etc. Don't open cabinets.
- Don't expect perfection. Most properties are not perfect. There will likely be flaws - especially if a home has been lived in for any time. The paint colors, flooring and the gawd awful wallpaper (yes, it is out there) will likely not be your preference.
- Honor Requests. Sellers sometimes make requests such as remove shoes upon entering or don't let the cat out. These are not major inconveniences and should be honored. It is a good idea for sellers to provide "booties covers" to make compliance easier.
- Limit trips. Once a house is under contract there will be reasons to come back. There will be inspections. There will be a final walk through before closing. In the interim, limit trips to measure, take pictures, etc. especially if the property is not vacant.
In the words of Realtor Thomas Craig