Q: Have you ever had to clean up a home before a showing?

Steve McAleer

Realtor Associate, The Agency in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

This was a condominium in downtown Fort Lauderdale: two-bedroom, two-bath, priced at $499,000. It was nicely renovated with an open floor plan.

The property could show really well so long as it was cleaned up. I knew the client. He was a little bit of a pack rat. Before we listed it, I went through every room with him and made suggestions about what to clean up, what to put in storage.

When he called me and said everything was pretty much done, I set up an appointment with a photographer to shoot the condo.

I got there half an hour before the photographer and my mouth dropped. There were papers everywhere and workout equipment all over the dining room. His bike was sitting there in the hallway.

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The owner and his roommate had just been to the store and the kitchen counter was full. There were probably three bags of groceries, all out of their bags.

I said, “OK, we have 30 minutes to get things ready for the photographer.” We started in the living room. We cleaned off all the tables, and took out the extra furniture that wasn’t supposed to be there and the bike. We brought it all to one