The worst thing I have ever witnessed during a showing was seeing a full body bag on the floor of the master bedroom closet. I had a couple and their young daughter viewing a home and when the wife opened the master bedroom closet she saw the full body bag and screamed and it was quite embarrassing. She pushed her daughter out of the way and escorted her out of the master bedroom. Upon further inspection by myself and the husband, the body bag was clearly packed with clothing for storage purposes, but it was extremely creepy. Needless to say, they did not purchase that home. Now I jokingly warn sellers to put away the body bags before the house goes on the market.
Seriously, if you are trying to sell your house you want to entice the buyer to purchase the home, not distract them from the decision. A very common showing mistake that I see many homeowners make is that they leave their dog in a crate in the laundry room during showings. They justify leaving the dogs in the house because they are in a crate. This can go two ways for buyers. Either it makes buyers upset because the dog barks the entire time they are viewing the home or they feel sorry for the dog and want to spend time with it. Either way, they are distracted from viewing the home. I have even experienced buyers being upset because they couldn’t view the entire home because they were afraid of the dog crated in the laundry room. Some dogs act and look like they can escape from the crate if they are angry enough by the intrusion into the home. In either situation, buyers are extremely distracted from the house and making decisions about purchasing the house. It is in the seller’s best interest to remove pets, especially dogs, from the property when it is showing. Also remove any animals that scare people. For example, remove snakes. Some people find out there’s been a reptile in the house and fear one has gotten loose previously and then they have a distaste for the house no matter what a great fit that house may be for their family. If you are a seller, please understand that no on loves your pet like you do! The purpose of the showing is to sell the house. Make the buyers want to buy it and do not distract them when they are trying to make a huge life changing decision!