Rejection Letter from a Real Estate Agent - Jan Edwards


Dear Mr. Maybeck,

I received your recent query letter, but I cannot recall the conversation to which you refer. Please understand I meet countless people at open houses. However I did enjoy the chance to look at the photos and floor plan of 616 Bellevue Ave. I can tell you have worked hard on this project. Your skill and attention to detail is obvious.

As much as I admire your effort, unfortunately I must pass. Our agency is quite busy and in order to take on a new client I have to really LOVE the house. I also need to be certain I can sell it. One major problem is that your home is under our guidelines. 2,200 sq. ft. is considered a cottage these days. Calling it an "impeccably restored vintage craftsman bungalow" does not alter the fact that to market it effectively as a full house, you should to add an additional 1000 sq. ft. and at least three more baths.

But first you need to find your hook. Was there a murder in the house? Was it once a meth lab, or owned by a rock star? For a hot bidding war the house needs to grab buyers fast and not let go.

And although your home is handsome and solidly constructed, it feels dated and cliché. The craftsman style has been vastly overbuilt. I can point to a dozen similar houses in the neighborhood. The marketplace is glutted with this rehashed Arts and Crafts aesthetic. Show me something new.

Here are a few suggestions: The house is cluttered with trim. Paint over the oak wainscoting or better yet, rip it out along with the window seat. It interrupts the flow of the room and the leaded panes distort the view. I recommend you stick with a simple black and white interior. Wood tones and subtle shades only confuse the buyer.

This market will not tolerate a long winding driveway. The modern customer won't take the time to climb steps to a front porch. Today you need to move the house right to the curb. I suggest you replace the front door with a glass slider and have it open directly into a master bedroom suite, preferably one with ceiling mirrors. And you have far too much backyard: no one cares about mature fruit trees, slate patios or rustic Koi ponds. These days, what use is a pergola?

But most importantly, get rid of that mother-in-law in the basement. I suggest a pleasure dungeon staged with leather furnishings and a risqué collection of toys. That or a media room.

Remember mine is only one opinion. Taste in houses is personal and subjective. I recommend you query this one more widely.

However, if you do decide to do a complete remodel incorporating my above suggestions, I will be happy to take another look.

Best of luck,
Gloria McManson, Realtor at Century 22

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