Spam prevention
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

I include in the Listing Agreement a paragraph that says 
"Marketing to begin upon clearing of house but in no event later than X date" 
and a mutual cancellation clause
If they don't do their part, I'm not going to do mine! 

Hopefully you can use this for the future, but if you can't communicate this to your sellers, let's hope you can sell it anyway to buyers who look past clutter (as agents are known to)

Aug 01, 2022 08:38 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

Why do you need a handout when you can just let them know the benefits of selling an uncluttered home. Look through some of Kathy Streib posts as she would have excellent  points you could share with your Sellers.

Aug 01, 2022 08:39 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

I recommend that they start packing given that they are going to move it is best to get a head start on that. It is a great time to donate what they will not be taking with them. Explain that buyers do not want to see their treasured possessions, they want to see the home ... and they cannot see the home when it is full of their treasures. 

You may suggest they hire help. 

Aug 01, 2022 08:09 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

If you are looking for handout, it sounds like you may not understand what you are asking of them either.  Type up what you want them to do in an organized checklist.  If you can't do that, you are probably giving scattered advice.  Go room by room and give them checklist items.  It will take you some time, but will be worth it.

Aug 01, 2022 09:43 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

"Elderly"... that can be a challenge.  Even if they do understand.


   I know a Broker  who worked with a senior citizen who was down-sizing and moving to assisted living.  She was a border-line hoarder, with stuff everywhere. 

    He got her a storage room, and  Two Men and a Truck to take some of the stuff away.   


    First problem was that she hovered over the movers while they loaded it.  "No, don't touch this and you can't move that!".  The Two Men were visibly annoyed. 

     Second problem was on day two of this adventure, she started making accusations that "some things are missing".   The Two Men and a Truck didn't come back on Day 3.


    After spending several days wrestling with that woman about her "stuff", that Broker (me) cancelled the listing.  No commission is worth that kind of trouble. 


    Does your "Elderly" buyer have family or close friends who can step in?  If so, use the clause in the Listing Agreement that Candice A. Donofrio gave in her answer on this page.


Aug 01, 2022 09:06 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Having a discussion with a set expectation helps to navigate through this type of situation. Look online for some helpful tips and do your own due diligence.

Aug 01, 2022 09:03 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Either get permission to take charge or call-in someone with more patience

Aug 01, 2022 08:56 AM
Peter Mohylsky, Beach Expert
PMI. Destin - Miramar Beach, FL
Call me at 850-517-7098

"Google" a prepping your home for sale checklist and there might be something to suit your needs.  I just found several that might suit your needs.  

Aug 01, 2022 08:24 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

They need an agent who will get it done for them.
Elderly. Hard time understanding. Time for you to stand up and do what needs to be done.
It is the 'right' thing to do.

Aug 01, 2022 12:43 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I think you and the sellers need more than a "handout".

Aug 01, 2022 11:05 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

It can be a challenge.  There are companies that specialize in senior moves and may be experienced at handling that. Sometimes you have to be very specific in what you would like done...make a list for each room if you can. 

Aug 01, 2022 10:52 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

a handout?  No you need to sit down with them and have a conversation.  

Aug 01, 2022 08:23 PM
Shayne Stone
HomeSmart - Fulshear, TX
"Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor" RETIRED

Sounds like you need to take a course in communication and staging!!!


Aug 01, 2022 02:44 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

I explain that they are going to have to donate, throw away or pack up everything in that house so, they may as well start NOW! Buyers don't want to see their 'stuff,' they want to see the house.


SO, I let them know that I have a service that will help them go through each and every room, the attic, the basement & the garage and they are incredibly affordable.


I don't really give them an option of waiting until they sell their home to do this - it is part of the 'planning/prep' period and I reference it like that with every conversation. I go through each room with them and list the items that should remain.

The best case scenario are the sellers who are ready to move on and do't have to sell to move. I have them move out first, then stage the home. 

Hope this helps!

Aug 02, 2022 07:45 PM
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Do you mean you need a checklist to keep them on track and to help them remember what you told them face to face?   I think you'd be the best one to create this for them. 

Aug 02, 2022 09:56 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

A quick search of AR for the word "Clutter" should yield a wealth of info on this.

Aug 01, 2022 11:53 PM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Just tell them or offer to find a cleaning service.

Aug 01, 2022 01:34 PM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

I'd urge them to get family members involved.  They may not know what to do with their stuff.  Chances are they can only take some it to the assisted living place.  So sad. 

Aug 01, 2022 12:04 PM
Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA
Lake Sinclair Specialist

No you need to write a specific list.  Some generic list isn't what they need.

Aug 02, 2022 10:13 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Time for a heart to heart discussion that should have taken place during the listing presentation.

Aug 02, 2022 04:16 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

explain what handout means to you? Money from me?

Aug 01, 2022 01:12 PM
Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farm & Commercial Land Broker-Auctioneer Serving Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm & Commercial Property For Sale 308-627-3700

I am surprised by some of the condescending answers posted here. Perhaps it is because it came in as anonymous?

I believe that some of the answers misinterpreted the question. 

He/She needs a simple "Honey-Do" List with a timetable of completing tasks. Whatever needs to be done needs to have guidance as to what should be done first, then second, etc.

Here is another example: I met with a potential client on Monday...8-1-22; who cannot be older than early 40's.  He has a rental that is next door to his home that is occupied by a local police officer who has not paid rent on time for 3 months...and never put natural gas in his name...and is supposed to be doing repairs.  After an hour long discussion of what needs to be done, I wrote out a list of things the owner needed to do and the order I recommended he do them in. Why? Because I know that people...regardless of age...forget...procrastinate...move not know whom to call...etc.   

So if Mr/Mrs Anonymous is reading me and I will send you my Mike McCann World Famous "Honey-DO" List that I have been using for years.   Regards, Mike

Aug 03, 2022 06:58 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA - Topsfield, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Ask them if they need assistance. Sometimes it is what it is. Maybe call a clutter expert 

Aug 02, 2022 07:52 AM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

You shouldn't " tell them to clean up their home". You ask them if there are any items that you're not taking with you? Ask them if they plan to put anything in storage? Ask them if they are giving anything to family members? Ask them if they have anything they want to donate to charities? Mark items, then ask them if you can line up some help to relocate or dispose of the identified items? Ask them if they have the extra money to pay for storage, hauling, etc ? Ask them if they have any family heirlooms, guns, or valuables that they want to remove from home? Then monitor, schedule, and manage the process.

Aug 03, 2022 08:33 AM
Robin Ragle-Davis
Gibson Sothebys International Realty - Cohasset, MA
Serving South Coast Massachusetts

It depends what you mean by elderly. If there are no actual cognition deficits I would recommend a professional organizer as they have expertise in dealing with both clutter and people who have a hard time letting go of things. If there are cognitive issues try to get a family member involved.

Aug 05, 2022 05:38 AM