Nothing Left in The Game

Called Out

The MLS® picture called out to the buyer. Excited they phone to say we think we have found the right one.

Reviewing the listing information it is recognized as a classic 40 year old beauty that will have the standard layout of the day. It will be a split level with a ‘L’ shaped living room dining room, an eating area, sizable kitchen with three bedrooms up. Below will be the ‘rumpus’ room, possibly a fire place, another bedroom, a bath and laundry. This one should even be more commodious as it is on a 50 foot lot facing south and on a very quiet street. At $878,00 it was a must see.

Touch Down

The appointment to view the home was arranged and upon arrival the street view greeted us with a bright, tidy and clean looking house accented by a large purple smoke bush tree – well… I think that’s what it was.

Too Many Strikes

In baseball you are only allowed three strikes when at bat. It’s not much different when a house is for sale, there are only has so many strikes before the buyer decides to walk. That walk is never to first base!

Batter Up

From the moment we got out of the car to approach the house contrary to the wonderful MLS® picture, the first oddity assaulted our eyes. The red brick relief had been painted purple to match the color of the tree. This in itself was a surprise but what was more surprising was that all the brick had not been painted. The brick hidden by the front bushes was left untouched. Strike one!

First Pitch

Entering the home we were greeted with hard wood floors. The initial thought was oh good until you realized that the wood had been stained with that long ago trendy and very short lived designer inspired ghost-white-off-pink color. There is probably a name for this colour but suffice to say most people find it atrocious and impossible to maintain. Strike two!

Rough Field

Entering the living area the first thing noticed was that the carpets have stretched beyond practical use. Large rug ridges cris- crossed the room. Fair enough, it is after all, an older home and one should expect some wear but in addition was vinyl base cove missing large sections. The explanation for this according to the listing agent, was that the missing sections accommodated the sellers furniture allowing it to be placed snuggly against the wall. First, vinyl cove and carpet don’t mix second, it was a pattern that would continue in every room. Strike three!

In the Dug Out

The kitchen – oh the kitchen! At one point it had been refitted. Recognized is that taste in finishing is unique to each individual. The problem when selling a home rests in numbers. The point of the any finishing exercise is staying with a common denominator – make it appealing to the greatest number of people. With ghost-white-off-pink hardwood floors you are limited to shades of maroon or purple. Though the cabinets were in reasonable repair the maroon color was just too much for this buyer. Additionally, the counter top had a large section that was burned beyond use and measured about two and one half feet. It needed to be replaced. Strike four!


The kitchen and eating area floor presented an amazing sight. Acknowledged is that most kitchens are high traffic areas. Accordingly due to their purpose they are prone to having liquids spilled from time to time. Oak wood does not take kindly to being wet. When wetted repeatedly, the wood will ‘cup’ as it swells with the moisture. I presumed the seller considered himself a handy man as his solution was merely to hand sand the cupped swollen ridges but for heightened effect, he didn’t bother to rematch the stain. Left were strips of raw wood and pink stain. A big strike five!

Pinch Hitters

The house had some pinch hitters. These were not your average human variety. These have four legs, fur and little tail. The squatters were not tidy about their personal dealings. They just left droppings helter skelter around the kitchen floor and inside cabinets. The listing agent acted surprised at this finding. This one is strike six!

Bat Boy

The seller continued his handy work in the bathroom and other areas of the home. It seems he had a penchant for repairing plumbing leaks with silicone caulking. This was evidenced in the bathrooms both up and down as there were large deposits of silicone attempting to hold back water and effluent. Strike seven.

On Deck

The seller also seemed to believe that you can repair roofs with vinyl decking material. Vinyl deck covering is very sturdy and when applied properly you can expect years of service. In this case it was used to mask the greater problem of plywood decking that was rotten. This handy man’s solution was to cover it with vinyl. Problem, he forgot that when you entered the garage all the stained and rotted wood was plainly evident. What was conveniently forgotten was the need to first replace the rotted plywood and a number of garage roof joists. Strike eight. It was the last strike for this buyer. It was time to walk!

Foul Balls

Sometimes some sellers never hit the ball straight. They treat their homes like flip flop sandals. When all that is left of the home is the thong that held the sandal on your foot they decide to sell. As you can imagine it is very difficult if not impossible to re-sole flip flops.

Applying this idea to a home means there is little utility left and the cost to re-sole the home when possible, is not without cost that often places the home outside of it’s market value. In this case the price of a $878,000 left little room for new leather. It is certain that the seller doesn’t understand why he isn’t getting a home run. You would think that after 79 days on the market he might get tired of hitting foul balls.

About Larry Yatkowsky

Larry is a recognized real estate expert. A veteran professional, his experienced counsel leads Vancouverites in his west side community to place their trust in a man passionate about his work. Uncompromising ethics bring a balanced approach to realizing your real estate dreams.

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*Disclaimer: Statistics Courtesy REBGV. While believed to be accurate they are not guaranteed.
**Numbers provided may vary as they are dynamically posted by the REBGV.

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