Top 10 Open House Horror Stories

Both shoppers and homeowners experience feelings of anxiety before an open house. A highly anticipated property showing can go horribly wrong in seconds due to strange personal details, children and pets. Hosting an open house can make or break a sale. Here are a few horror stories that owners should avoid while showing their home.

1. Do Not Disturb

This home had great potential. It was well maintained, staged to sell and had the curb appeal to match. The buyers loved what they were seeing, and were hopeful that this was the one. The real estate agent led them up the steps towards the master bedroom, promised to be a real show stopper — but not in the way they received. The door was opened, the light flipped on, and the sleeping homeowner was startled from his afternoon rest. This awkward moment lost what was sure to be a great sale.

2. Dirty Daycare

Keeping a home in great condition for the market with small children can be a difficult task. Shoppers touring a family home in a good neighborhood were immediately turned away by the dirt and unclean appearance of the space. The final straw came when the small child, who had hijacked the open house, proceeded to show shoppers “daddy’s beer fridge” — conveniently located in an upstairs hallway.

3. The Hunter’s House

Potential home buyers arrived at a large house in a rural area that sat beautifully among trees and perfectly manicured greenery. Their excitement peaked as they were welcomed inside, to find the private taxidermy collection of the homeowners hanging from every wall in the house. From panthers and bears to deer and ducks, these shoppers felt more like they were touring a museum than attending an open house.

4. Racy Maternity Gallery

Shoppers got more than they bargained for while viewing a home in their desired neighborhood. The homeowners had left nude photos of the pregnant wife hanging on the walls. Clearly, depersonalizing was not included in the staging process.

5. The Mysterious Family

An excited young couple looking to purchase their first house were greeted by a middle aged woman with a strange, uninviting demeanor as they entered a home for an open house. The suit of armor standing in the entrance was a unique touch, but the continuous smell of urine coupled with the fact that “grandpa’s room was locked” had them running out the door.

6. Purple and Porcelain

Homeowners with unique tastes have a hard time selling when they cannot bring themselves to remove their personal touches. One buyer was shocked to find that an owner had coated their living room in a flamboyant shade of purple. Throw in the matching porcelain leopards and this showing was beyond salvageable.

7. RIP Buddy

Losing a family pet is a hard life event, but leaving their stuffed remains in view for a home showing is probably not the best idea. Shoppers were very creeped out to find the long departed dog of the hosts of the open house they were attending showcased by the fireplace.

8. Unwanted Security

One homeowner thought his open house would be a great time to show off his collection of firearms. Potential buyers were unnerved to find loaded weapons casually staged throughout the home. This house sold, but not before the buyer was politely asked to remove the unwanted extra security.

9. The Manhattan Apartment

When entering a small apartment for sale in Manhattan, New York, potential buyers were immediately met with the horrid smell of a decaying animal. They were disgusted to find a long-gone rat in the middle of the kitchen floor. The real estate agent simply shrugged off the sight, stating that they better get used to rats if they wanted to live in the area.

10. The Arguing Elderly Couple

Home shoppers attending the open house of an elderly couple knew something out of the ordinary was going on when the real estate agent confined the couple to the kitchen. A full blown domestic dispute was soon underway. Pots were flying, there was cursing and hollering — all the while, the agent nonchalantly continued the showing.

Open houses can make or break a sale for a homeowner. These horror stories are great examples of situations that should be avoided when showing a home.