Pranks that Keep Your Realtor from Selling Your House

It’s happened: you tried to move, but then decided against it. Now you’ve got a creepy realtor prowling around your house with unwanted guests. Here’s how you set up a visit they’ll never forget, and a house they’ll never set foot in again. 

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Start in the attic. Position boxes in a cluttered haphazard position. Ask a neighbor to borrow some if you want. Create a teetering pyramid of  unused junk on either side of the stairs. They should be taller than the average man. Also, tack a heavy blanket to the ceiling of your attic and let it sag several feet, so it feels like a small cave. Release a bat.

In the bathroom, place several (SEVERAL) candy bars in the toilet and leave the lid wide open. Consider cutting an old shower curtain into shreds and hang it to look like a Psycho-style knife attack took place.

In the master bedroom, do not make the bed. Buy a wig from a dollar store and cut it with scissors all over the sheets and floor. Hang a kitschy poster over the bed that says “Pets are the best Soulmates” or something like that.

In any other bedrooms, you can have some fun. One tip: prop one end of the bed up on a skateboard and tie that to the doorknob. When the tour comes in, they will be surprised by a loud bang. Use fishing wire and tell them “In the 40s, when this house was first built, a young man with the Spanish flu disappeared from that bedroom.” Consider scratching phrases in Spanish on the other side of the door if they get that far.

In the kitchen, don’t go overboard – you still want to live here, after all. In fact, leave the kitchen alone. Polish everything and leave the windows open for plenty of natural light. Hang some charming drapes.

In the living room, again, play it safe. They’ll walk in that way. Give them a sense that this may not be the house for them by leaving an antique meat-grinder on the coffee table beside a bouquet and some books.

In the basement, unleash everything you’ve got. Set up a ping-pong table if you don’t have one (borrow from a neighbor or friend, relative, etc). Leave a glove positioned with its fingers around each ping pong racket. Do not explain.

If you have a porch, pile dead leaves on the furniture and say “Natural cushions!”

For the front yard, keep things well maintained. Try leaving a sprinkler running when the tour first shows up. They’ll think it very charming at first, but a child can run out while they’re distracted and move it so the front steps become slippery. Shatter some garden gnomes, dig a fresh hole, and bury them halfway next to the garage. With luck, the house will be yours!


Need some terrible advice? Check out 8 Tricks that will make Shopping Easier or Game Plan: Family Gathering.

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