Home Buying Tip: Watch out for the skanky cake

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Real Estate

You see it and you can’t believe it - there it is, the cutest house EVER. You are in love and make an offer. Inspections are done and the truth revealed. Truth is, the seller put a thick layer of frosting and some sprinkles all over that dire mess and tried to hide or band-aid issues to make it look delicious.  

I recently had an encounter with a seller who was showing me how he was going to disguise the rotten wallboard behind the tiles - by adding more tiles over the top of the existing tiles. Gross! I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing - and that wasn’t the worst of it. How could I represent a seller when I know they didn’t bake the cake with care and proper ingredients? To top it off, the seller wanted staging to distract from the obvious lack of proper repairs to the walls and floors. I refused. Why? I like to sleep at night and money isn’t the only reason I am in this profession. Things can go wrong after closing, and no one can see thru walls - but there is a difference between doing something right (or trying) versus putting frosting on it and putting it in the window hoping by the time the buyer actually eats the Skanky Cake Listing - they are long gone. 

This leads me to another subject that bears going over. I don’t stage a home - to me this means “fake”. I style spaces to create a memorable feeling for the buyer - and only in homes that the sellers have taken care to prepare thru our checkpoint systems and inspections. My frosting is not just fluffy, but is actually just a simple adornment to an already tasty “cake”. This is something to feel good about - after the sale is just as important to Steve and our team as the making or preparation for the sale.  We live here, after all. It is a compliment to our dedication to the career we choose when we meet the customers who bought a home we prepped and listed - and they are happy. Of course things can go wrong, as I said earlier, with any home after a sale - but it is nice to know that we cared enough to work with our sellers and encourage them to do things in ways they would like to have them done if they were to purchase this home. 

Let them buy and eat cake - just not Skanky Cake.


 On behalf of Steve Martin Homes Group,


Katrina Smith is owner/operator of Little Black Dress Home Staging in Sarasota County. She is also a licensed Florida Realtor with Steve Martin Homes Group and RE/MAX Platinum Realty. A home décor specialist from the Gross Point Michigan area, Katrina has been professionally preparing and staging homes in and around Sarasota County since 2007. Katrina has also held a full cosmetology license since 1997.