Please Don't Take Offense
One of the hardest things about a listing appointment is trying to delicately tell our potential clients that they really need to do certain things before the house goes on the market. It is really quite easy to insult someone's taste without meaning to do so.
A few years ago, before Staging was all the rage, I had a listing appointment with a delightful couple to whom I had been highly recommended. We walked through their meticulously cared for home and had a very good discussion. Their home had been on the market with another agent for a year without any offers while they watched their friends' home (listed with me) sell quickly.
I had to ask them to do two big things with their house. One was to expose the hardwood which I knew would be just as pristine as their red carpet, and the other was to please remove the wallpaper in all eight rooms. They really were ready to move on to the Carolinas, so they appreciated my honesty.
Five weeks later they called to let me know the house was ready. They also told me they now understood why buyers would walk in the house for an open house, take one look and say "too much work" and leave. They discovered just how much work it was.
I made the mistake of saying, "Doesn't it feel great?" They said "Well, no. We really liked our red carpet and all the wallpaper, but we know it had to go."
So the next time you are confronted with this type of situation, think before you speak, and try to be sensitive.