6 Things To Keep Out Of Your Bathroom

The Savvy Synopsis

When selling your home, there are six things in a bathroom that are sure to keep potential buyers away. We'll share those items and discuss the latest news surrounding home equity.

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Featured Foundations:

Six Things You Shouldn’t Have In Your Bathroom When You Sell 

  • 1:15 - Weird art. Be careful of naked art, especially in the bathroom. No one wants to see that! 
  • 2:15 - Word art. Sayings or stencils of words and phrases like “happiness” give an odd connotation in the bathroom.
  • 2:50 - Extra food storage space. Refrigerators, pantries, or food items are not welcome in the restroom. Store your toothpaste in your bathroom, but definitely no canned goods.
  • 3:49 - Cigarette butts. Smoking in your home is one of the toughest things to overcome when trying to sell your home. Smoking eliminates about 80-90 percent of buyers that would otherwise consider buying it. 
  • 4:46 - Smart toilets. Things like light up or singing toilets can freak people out.
  • 5:54 - Missed "details" on the toilet. Scrub that toilet, and make sure your pets haven’t left any messes behind either.
  • 7:10 In The News: Home equity from the fourth quarter of 2018 increased by 8.1% across the country, an average of a $9,700 increase.
  • 9:06 - Overall, people in the Triangle are taking advantage of their equity--it’s an amazing time to sell. You have to be careful about waiting for the top of the market because no one knows when we'll reach the top. 
  • 12:23 - What if your home doesn't sell fast? Our team offers a 29-day sale guarantee. While the average number of days on the market in the Triangle is 23 days, we consistently sell homes within 11 days. But if we can’t sell it within that time frame, then our team sells it for free. 

Neighborhood Spotlight.

  • 14:34 - This week, we travel to Carolina Arbors, developed by Del Webb.
  • This is an active adult neighborhood for ages 55+. It offers different activities and amenities every day to keep you engaged in your neighborhood.
  • It’s maintenance-free, and it features single-family homes.
  • Carolina Arbors is located right behind Brier Creek. It has a Durham address, so it’s very close to all kinds of restaurants and shopping.
  • Size: Between 1,200 to 3,800 square feet, Homes typically include a two-car garage.
  • Price range: $200,000s up to $700,000.


  • 18:21 - Barb in Wake Forest is trying to buy a larger home that was recently listed as 3,250 square feet on Zillo. she then saw it listed at 3,400 square feet on the agent’s flyer during the home tour. They went under contract, but the appraisal came back at 2,800 square feet. They had to back out of the deal because the cost per square foot went up so much. How does this happen?
  • First of all, Zillow can be completely inaccurate at times. Make sure the appraiser didn’t make a mistake. Go back to the listing agent, who has an obligation to measure the homes. Find out how they came up with these different numbers. If the home is truly 2,800 square feet then I would have asked for a price reduction instead of just walking away from the home completely. 

Get In Touch:


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The Host:

Angie Cole - Contact - Call: 919-538-6477

Show Transcription:


It's time for The Savvy Realtor podcast. I'm Walter Storholt alongside Angie Cole the owner and broker in charge of A Cole Realty serving you throughout the Triangle teaching you about the ins and outs when it comes to buying or selling a home. You can find the team online by going to A Cole Realty dot com. That's a C-O-L-E Realty dot com or by calling 9 1 9 5 7 8 3 1 2 8. That's 9 1 9 5 7 8 3 1 2 8. And now it's time for one of the top realtors in the Triangle. Angie Cole and The Savvy Realtor podcast. Angie did you see this headline. It was it wasn't in like a national you know it wasn't a prominent headline but I just thought it was kind of funny.

It was an article that talked about six things you shouldn't have in your bathroom when you go to sell your home because it freaks out potential buyers to this this pop across your screen at all.

You know it didn't until you brought it to light and then I had to go check it out so.

So there was basically a list of stories of different weird things that people had in you in their homes in their bathrooms and it said try to avoid you know putting these things in your home or using your bathroom in these ways. So this was pretty funny. First thing that they had on the list was weird art. So people just had like you know people are very interesting sometimes with the art that they choose but they just there certain types of art that could be very odd if you put them up in the bathroom I suppose.

So be careful of naked art in the bathrooms. Be careful. Naked art in general in your home when you're looking to sell. We all have different taste but yeah I've gone into a couple of listing presentations and there was naked art some being the actual owners which I mean risk day like that. I mean you run with it but when it comes to selling your home let's let's take down the the naked art.

We should really stop this segment right there.

I know. Yeah. We're gonna get called on by H.R. right now.

H.r. or this or the FCC. One of the two. Yeah it's going to be upset not to be keeping kosher. That's something I can't imagine doing putting a naked artist myself up around the. BLOCK. COME ON WALTER WHY NOT. Like I said we should end the conversation right here but we'll press on. All right.

Item number two you know word art word are is very popular. You know that different. I don't know do you have any word art in your home.

And you know I don't but I know what you mean is kind of like that cut out stencil and a bit more like sayings. Happy New Year sir. Over the Rainbow. Yeah. You know those kinds of things.

But what type of art word are we seeing in the bathroom where they're just saying you should probably avoid it because there's too much innuendo and way too many poop jokes to be made.

Yeah. Now that's jail. That's true. Yeah. No word art in your in your bathroom please.

That's right. We're all hurting for extra storage space. But the bathroom is probably not the best place to utilize for that. They pointed out in the article situations where people had put refrigerators an extra refrigerator in the bathroom or you know turn it into a pantry and that's usually not a great idea.

That kind of truck. I mean if you're one of those people don't hate me but that's just disgusting. I mean it's OK to store your your toothpaste in your bathroom of course. But when we have you know dry goods and a fridge in your bathroom. Now guys let's not do that please.

I could go for a mini fridge in the bathroom.

I mean I could actually see that being kind of like have a beer a beer fridge. There you go. Yeah. You come in from the guy mowing the lawn.

You want to take a shower and you get a shower and you know and say I have to go down to the refrigerator downstairs so that you can just go ahead and have your drink there.

I'd be okay with a mini fridge. You know I get that right. That's a get that.

All right. So avoid the food storage though as it as a general rule perhaps. Right. Cigarette butts just lying on the ground. I don't know that that just sounds.

I mean just you know I you know everyone has their things that they do. But you know smoking in your home is one of the toughest things that we have to overcome when it comes time to sell a home because that eliminates probably about 80 90 percent of the buyers who would even consider your home and getting rid of the smell in your home. I mean I've been in a home before where they took off the pictures off the wall and there was it was like a yellow square right or everything else was yellow and those white square behind the picture because the nicotine I guess on the wall I mean it was so bad and you just really you can't get that smell out of a home unless you are tearing up the carpets. You know like you had to completely repaint I mean redo everything. So yeah first of all let's be clean and tidy when it comes to sell in our home. But especially don't leave around your cigarette butts in the bathroom but be careful about smoking in your home as well. Yeah. Just think about the future.

The tough on smart toilets was also on the list because they can freak some people out when you're when you're you know they have some toys that like light up when you walk by them or some that even can like play songs or say hello and do all sorts of random.

Great story. Long time ago had a friend who got a little bit sick OK and we were out at a restaurant and this restaurant had a smart toilet OK. And when you I don't I think she just kind of like pushed a button like she was got sick and then pushed the button trying to see what happened and it sprayed her in her face was like Oh yeah.

So it must've been like was it OK. Yeah. And I think in the moment she didn't realize what she was doing. Once again this is a long time ago guys and I completely sprayed herself in the face got so good by the day.

So yeah I mean the last thing you want when you're all right in a spray of water right in the face so nasty so nasty. Oh my God that's funny. That's pretty funny. Yeah I could see tomatoes still being a selling feature for people who like to take a lot of people have some cool smart toilets. I mean I don't know if that's a you know I wouldn't know it's not for you and you asked. It's just more of a novelty kind of thing I guess. Exactly. And then last but not least someone missed the toilet and that would be something you want to avoid when you're selling your home and that'll definitely freak some buyers out so

It's really clean around. You know the toilet all the things to clean. Yeah. Let's scrub that much if you have little ones I mean them little boys that they mess I'd shoot my my daughter was little at once and she the miss somehow. All right. How did you how did you pee all over the toilet. You're a girl so you clean it up.

Going above and beyond bathrooms also make sure your pets haven't made any mistakes throughout your home right. I can't tell you how many times I have walked through a home and there was a big thing of poop just sitting there on the floor. Oh my God. Been there for a while too which was a bad part. But nothing will turn away a buyer like a poop on the floor right.

Well we took the level of conversation down by now first grade level probably completely disgusted by us right now.

We've probably lost some listeners here over the last couple of minutes sorry. If you've stuck with us. Thank you. We're going to transition away from that but it's just I just had to bring it up I thought it was just mostly for the food storage conversation that I think that's a good debate there. Bogus cigarettes. Oh goodness. Too funny. All right well let's let's raise the intelligence level of the conversation back then. So this one is actually has to do with like a you know a good study and looking at data. So we're gonna get smarter once again here. So there was this headline that I saw that just came out that they just are now getting data from the tail end of 2018 on some of these you know national statistics and stuff like that. But we can still kind of learn from these things even though we're already solidly into 20 19 here. And it showed that homeowners got richer in 2018 and I think you know anybody following the market kind of knew that prices were going up and up and that was going to be a good thing for homeowners and sellers. But home equity for the fourth quarter. So from the tail end of 2017 to the tail end of 2018. So over the course of that year increased by eight point one percent. And that's an average across the country of about ninety seven hundred dollars. North Carolina was just slightly below that national average but still very solid eight thousand dollar average increase for home owners. So I'm just curious. Obviously even looking at North Carolina stats that's not necessarily representative of the triangle have you seen similar gains locally or would you estimate them to be even higher than that.

Yeah. I mean we've seen a great a you know gain I would say on average probably about 5 percent or so which can be you know a good amount. You know different areas of course. More like I know you mentioned the eight point one so it really depends on the area and we service so many areas. It's really tough to just throw out a percentage there but yeah I mean the market definitely was on the ups. Now we did see a shift that took place around probably going into September of 2008 18. Some areas still are appreciating. But we did see some other locations kind of take a halt and stay stagnant. Some actually started to taper off a teeny bit you know. But the thing is is just the prices were increasing too fast and too quickly. You know that at some point it had to stop. But you know I am seeing that you know people are taking advantage of their equity meaning they realize that you know what now is an amazing time to sell. You know you have to be careful on pushing the limits a little bit too much and waiting for the very tip top of the market because none of us know when that's going to happen right.

And then tomorrow all the sudden things could just go downhill. I don't foresee a huge crash but eventually we do max out in some areas that we serve as I've already seen that. And so I M.S. and a lot of homeowners take advantage of their equity go ahead and sell now maybe they're reinvesting you know maybe there. I've seen a lot of investors to take advantage of this is take the equity out of one reinvest into another maybe do a 10 31 exchange. Also you know actual homeowners doing that as well. You know as far as you know renovations I wouldn't see that I'm seeing a lot of people take out maybe the home equity line against their home because they know that they have value to do major renovations. You know unless you stay and are planning on staying put. Otherwise we wouldn't advise to do that. Right. But a lot of people are thinking about selling now because you're at the top in the market take advantage of it run with it run with that equity and you know go buy something else.

Yeah pretty cool to be able to see that amount go up over the past year and yeah what are people doing with that equity and. Do you see folks who are. Would you say folks are more motivated to sell or more motivated to stay and do those renovations what's winning outright now.

Yeah I would say most are more motivated to sell. OK. It's you know let me let me take that cash that you know I've received the equity in the home. Let me take it and let me move it elsewhere. Now it's a great opportunity that I can now go buy another home because I have enough equity in my current home. So yes it has caused a huge motivation for people to sell. Year to date our team and I don't quote me on the numbers but I want to say we've already been on a good 40 45 listing appointments if not more maybe. Yeah probably even more so. I mean all of the sudden we are getting bombarded with people that are looking to sell the they know that they are at the top of the market and they probably have a decent amount of equity build up.

Yeah I mean that's pretty much what we did you know took advantage of the you know increase to we made that move last year. So we kind of fell into that group perfectly to borrow. I don't know if this is a millennial term or maybe it's even the generation behind behind us Sanjay but what we're levelling up on our homes these days due to the increase in inequity right.

Sure yeah. You know I don't know if it's also the term of kind of keep it up with the Joneses right. We always want the best of the best. And so yeah I do tend to see a lot of people that they are leveling up per say versus the downsizing I think the downsizing is more of you know the baby boomers you know that have too much harm and now they are the smart ones with their money right. And but is definitely the millennials that are looking to level up so they make some money off their home was hey let's move on up and let's put that money into a larger home.

I think you're right. That's just a fancy or way of saying keeping up with the Joneses.

So a new way. Yeah it's too funny right. Exactly.

Well if anybody is thinking about selling their home here in the near future Angeleno one of the cool things that you offer especially as things start to get more competitive for sellers you know more competition probably entering the market here as we enter into the springtime. So then we've talked about here on the show before we may not see homes you know going off the shelves quite as quick as in the past and that's causes angst for a lot of people when they think OK well what if I don't sell quickly what if it takes a long time. Is that going to be a very stressful equation. I really need to get out of my home quickly I can't have this thing to drag on for a long period of time and that's why you and your team have started to implement the 29 day home sold guarantee. Tell us a little bit about that.

Yeah. Yes those exactly what you just stated Walter. So what's a twenty nine day sale guarantee. If we cannot get your home sold in 29 days we will then sell your home for free. And we feel confident in backing that guarantee just because of our success with selling homes for example in 2018. The average days on the market for the triangle were at 23 days. And our team we were consistent at eleven. So we know that we have the tools we have the marketing you know to get your home sold in a timely manner. And so once again if you're in a position where you need to get your home sold quickly you know there's so many situations that could arise that could force you to sell or you know the motivation is there because maybe you have another home that's being built and closing soon so you need to then sell your current home quickly. And so if you're thinking about selling your home and you know maybe time is not on your side. We do have our twenty nine day sale guarantee. If we do not get your home sold in 29 days then our team at a cool reality we will sell it for free.

That's pretty cool. So if you want to take advantage of that home sold guarantee. Find out more about it from Angie cold.

Pick up the phone give a call or text Angie at 9 1 9 5 3 8 64 77 that's 9 1 9 5 3 8 64 77 your home sold in 29 days or less guaranteed or they'll sell it for free. 9 1 9 5 3 8 64 77 call or text Angie 9 1 9 5 3 8 64 77. More around the corner here on the savvy real estate

Let's shine a little light on some of the Triangle's best areas right here on the neighborhood spotlight.

The neighborhood spotlight one of our favorite parts of the show where we explore different nooks and crannies around the Triangle introduce you maybe to new neighborhoods that you haven't driven through or explored yet.

Maybe you'll find out about a spot in the triangle that you'd be interested in moving to Angie where you taken us this week on the neighborhood spotlight.

Yes. So I thought that we would tie together our listing of the week along with our neighborhood spotlight. So I thought we would focus on Carolina Arbus which Carolina harbors is developed by Del Webb which is very well known throughout the states and is an active adult neighborhood which typically means you need to be a certain age to live in there. But actually they're a little bit lenient but is definitely geared more towards active adults because of the type of activities they offer the amenities. You know there's always something going on daily just to keep everyone up and going meet their neighbors out and about. So you don't become a recluse right in your home so it's a very very neat well maintained neighborhood adult.

And you abide by age definition but I think I need that I need somebody to get me out meeting people and saying hello I know I now also it's maintenance free.

So you know although we have single family homes it's maintenance free. So you can worry about the interior of your home and you have someone that's taking care of the exterior which is wonderful. So Carolina Arbus is located right behind Briar Creek. It is a Durham address but it is right off of T.W. Alexander right behind Briar Creek. So right down the street from all the shopping and everything you need as far as restaurants you know grocery stores and whatnot. They range in square footage from twelve hundred square feet up to thirty eight hundred square feet. So all different styles and sizes up homes typically they all do have a two car garage which is great. They started construction in 2013. They are still currently building but they have sold like crazy. So they are you know running out a lot. So if you want to get in there definitely move fast and there's also now resale happening in the neighborhood too. They range from anywhere about the to hundreds of mid to hundreds up to 700 thousand so once again we have a home for everyone no matter you know price you're looking at or the style and square footage there's something for everyone here in Carolina barbers. And we also personally we just listed a home there as a resale that was built in 2014 located at 11 0 5 Lincoln mill drive. So once again our neighborhood spotlight is Carolina barbers. If you would like some more information maybe you're thinking about buying or you're thinking about selling in your already live in that neighborhood. Please reach out to me. I would love to give you some guidance and assist you. My cell phone number is 9 1 9 5 7 8 3 1 2 8. Once again you can call me at 9 1 9 5 7 8 3 1 2 8.

That'll put you in touch with Angie Cole the owner a broker in charge of a Cole realty serving you all throughout the Triangle. An expert when it comes to some of these great neighborhoods that we have in this community and that's what we like to take the time each week to spotlight some of these really cool areas. If you're thinking of buying or selling here in the Triangle in the near future and you want to work with a fantastic agent in this community pick up the phone and give Angie a call that number that you can again reach Angie at is 9 1 9 5 3 8 64 77.

You can also text that number and go back and forth with Angie there as well. 9 1 9 5 3 8. Sixty four seventy seven. Much more coming up on today's show. That's the neighborhood spotlight. And we've got lots around the corner so stay tuned to the savvy real joy

It's time for the mailbag. We want to hear from you

Barb and at Wake Forest and it's a bit of a long question so bear with me here for a moment.

Barb says if we were buying a larger home recently the square footage was listed at 30 to 50 on Zillow. When we toured the home the agent handed us a flyer that showed the home as thirty four hundred square feet. We went under contract because we didn't think that difference was that big of a deal. Then the appraisal came back. Well guess what. They had the house at only twenty eight hundred square feet. So they dropped essentially 600 square feet from that previous estimate. We had to back out of the deal because gosh the cost per square foot went up so much from the appraisal that we just felt we were now overpaying for the home. How does this happen is the appraisal the truest form of the measurements and could they have messed up or maybe missed a room or two when they were measuring.

I feel like there's a lot of moving parts to this barb. First of all remember Zillow Zillow can be completely inaccurate. You know someone can personally input their home into Zillow so don't go off a Zillow as far as square footage goes OK. But it seems like the bigger issue here is the disclosure of the flyer which I'm assuming was matching MLS that stays the home is 30 400 square feet but then the appraiser came back and measured twenty eight hundred square feet. Huge discrepancy there right. Seems like it's too late now that you've lost money. But I would have went through and I would have questioned that a lot more. So first of all make sure that the appraiser didn't mess up. We all make errors right. All make mistakes. Did he somehow just completely leave a room off because 600 square foot. That's a lot. Right. So make sure that he or she whoever measured did it make a mistake there and then it's going back to the listing agent. So as a listing specialist we have the obligation and the duty to make sure that we are either personally measure in our homes or we're paying for a licensed professional to do that you know because if we put a certain number into MLS and we're off by a certain amount there's huge ramifications that come along with that.

And so of course at that point whenever you found out the home was truly 20 800 square feet I see why you feel like you were overpaying. So what I would have advised at that point is to go through and ask these questions pass make sure the homes measure correctly by the appraiser. Ask the listing agent how do they come up with their measurements that we have some you know variance here and then if indeed the home was truly twenty eight hundred square feet I would be asking for a price reduction. Right. Because the home is only worth you know what it's truly worth as far as what the comparables show. And we need to be focusing on comparables that are in line with the 20 800 square foot. So if you are a buyer I wouldn't have let you just terminate the deal and walk away from your money because I'm assuming you invested due diligence money your appraisal money maybe you started with inspections already and so you put a lot on the line where that wasn't a mistake that you made. That was a mistake that the listing agent made or maybe it was an error by the appraiser. But we should have dug a lot deeper. I hope that makes sense. I know that was kind of long winded there.

Well it's a great point though Angie and it's just it sounds like everything just sort of happened in the process just shut down when there should have been a lot more investigating going into that tail end of the process.

Yeah and maybe there was I don't now but yeah it just seems like you are very quick to say oh I lost money well did no one try to dig deeper and try to save you from losing money you know and really get to the bottom of where the issue arise because it could have been just a simple little era that could have been facts instead of you guys needing to lose out probably on the home that you loved lose money and yeah it just was a ripple effect which is a bummer and it is a bummer but it does highlight sort of the importance and sorry that this happened to your bar but I'm not saying that you know Barb maybe didn't understand the process or have you know some of the you know I understand all the nuances when it comes to the home buying process Angie but it does just underscore that importance of knowing kind of the proper way for these things to unfold.

I mean every transaction ends up being different. I've certainly learned that over the years of you know hosting this show with you and going through you know home purchases on my own as well. Everything is different every time there's going to be some little things that are that change. But for the most part there's a standard process that real estate transactions should follow. And it is really helpful as a buyer to kind of understand that process.

Yeah. And I mean it's important that for example if I was not in this industry you know going in to it I'd be blindsided as well.

So you need to make sure that you have someone looking out for you and your best interest whenever it comes to purchasing a home. You've been listening to the savvy real tour podcast. I'm Walter store Holt alongside Angie Cole. She's the owner and broker in charge of ACO realty here in the Triangle and if you have questions for Angie we invite you to go online to a cold realty dot com. Listen to past podcast episodes on the Web site read the blog and all the great information including the option to find a home right there on the website. That's a cold reality dot com and you can also call Angie with her questions 9 1 9 5 7 8 31 28.

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