Carol Solfanelli | Compass | DRE License # 01347033 | 415-297-7031 |
2022 Real Trends America’s Best Real Estate Professional
Top 1.5% of 1.6 Million Agents Nationwide

How to Solve the Most Common Obstacles to the Sale of A Home!

Believe it or not, no property is perfect, but some are closer than others! There can be a number of obstacles when selling a less-than-perfect property, however there are ways I can help you eliminate or lessen them. Things that come to mind are lack of light, many steps up to a home or unit, being on a busy street, an annoying HOA member, a difficult tenant – and the list goes on! While these can be obstacles to some sales and could potentially affect price, as a listing agent representing the seller I want to do whatever I can to eliminate or reduce these impediments.

Some fixes are easier than others. I have had a number of condos that were on lower floors which did not have the best light. One in particular – a sweet first floor Edwardian condo – was a bit dark in the living room. The seller agreed to stage the unit and once it had been staged, I inspected the unit before showings and requested that the stager add some more lighting in strategic areas. It showed much better and the lack of natural light in that room became less of an issue.

When there are many steps up to a home or unit, this is the kind of thing you can’t change. This may just not be the right place for everyone. So, what needs to change is your marketing communication. Advertising aimed at a younger, or an older athletic demographic who may not mind the steps is the way to go.

Being on a busy street with potential noise inside the unit or home can be a relatively easy fix if the seller is willing to replace front windows to make sure they are at a minimum double-paned. The cost is worth it since in the end, you will be removing an obstacle to the sale – the noise from a busy street.

An annoying HOA member can be more of a challenge and my decades of experience in real estate and the law come in handy here. I once had an HOA member who argued that my client’s parking space was “common” and not “deeded” to his unit. If she were correct, which my client argued she was not, it would have had an impact on the price of his condo. If the space were “common,” anyone who belonged to the HOA could use it. If it were “deeded,” meaning identified as a parking space belonging to him on the title of his property, only he could use it. The way I solved this was to get the title insurance company to insure title that it was in fact “deeded” and set some money the seller deposited aside in case a claim was brought. The title company agreed to defend any potential quiet title action. Of course, this was all disclosed to the buyer who moved forward on the sale and paid a nice price for the condo.

Tenant issues crop up, too, when selling a unit that is occupied. I once sold a property with a tenant who the seller found challenging to deal with; in fact the tenant raised a question about whether or not we would be allowed to have Sunday open houses and Tuesday Broker Tours, which could affect the sale. I introduced myself to the tenant and explained that I would make the situation as convenient for the her as I could. I also explained to the tenant what showings my client was allowed to have under the law and assured her that she would be given at least 24 hours notice, but often more notice than that. I also had anyone entering her unit wear blue booties to prevent bringing dirt from their shoes into her home since that is what she requested and I gladly complied. The showing process went relatively smoothly, much differently than what I have heard from colleagues who have had tenants limit their showings, even one tenant who reduced the number of showings and the amount of time to 15 minutes. Other cities, like New York, share some similar obstacles.

One thing sellers often say is they wish they had made some of these improvements sooner since they would have loved to have enjoyed them! In fact I always help my buyers see the hidden value in potential homes, too, so that they can get the most out of their new place. And when I work with you as a seller or a buyer, as far as I am concerned you are my client for life so you can always feel free to contact me with questions about your property.

If you are ready to list your home but it is not perfect and has a few things that may negatively affect the sale, please give me a call. I’d be glad to help!


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