I’ll be Happy to Remove my Shoes if You’ll, You Know, Clean Up

J Philip Faranda February 11, 2011

"Please remove shoes."

These are reasonable instructions, especially in New York, where we have folks of many cultures who don't wear street shoes in the house. My own home is a shoes off house by and large, as Ann is of Korean descent and the kids are heavily into the rug rat years. My kids' rolling around the floor doesn't mix with shoes that were just on a subway platform or in a mens room. Nasty. 

In most cases it isn't a big deal to remove one's shoes when touring a home. But if you are a home seller with this type of restriction, you should make an effort to meet buyers halfway on a few things. If you want the shoes off, consider the following:

  • Provide shoe coverings. That way, some folks who cannot easily remove their shoes (or don't have socks) can cover their shoes and not have to take them off. 
  • Turn the heat up. Westchester County has a huge percentage of older homes that are not insulated like a new build, so many people sort of cope by wearing a sweater. But when people walk through your home you want them comfortable, and ice cubes at the end of one's legs isn't a warm fuzzy. 
  • Consider area rugs. Same principle as heat. Hardwood and tile floors are cold. And uncomfortable for those not used to it or who don't have those nice house slippers you have. 
  • ABSOLUTELY get a cheap throw rug for your basement if it isn't finished. This is a pet peeve of mine. I'm OK in the house and then I get numbness in my extremities in the basement. Not cool. And it doesn't help sell. 
  • Clean up! Legos and Lincoln Logs hurt. And if the bottom of my socks change color because your floor is filthy then what was the point of removing my shoes? Clutter and dirt are a nuisance and deter people from buying. 
  • Conversely, if you mopped, dry the floor!!! Wet feet are bad enough but in this cold it is a killer! If all people remember about your house is that yours is the kitchen where their feet got wet, wave goodbye to any potential offer. 
It is the seller's house and the seller's rules. That is respected around here. But remember that you are trying to sell, and being a gracious host will help get the job done. Clean up and accommodate - good things will be more likely to happen. 


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