If it hasn’t happened to you, it’s happened to someone you know.

The dinner out was filled with delicious food and delightful conversation. It was a great way to end a great day, but before you know it, something’s not quite right.

Bam, food poisoning.

You’re in agony, doubled over with your body rejecting something you ate. The miserable experience is something you’ll tell your friends and family about and perhaps never forget. And once you determine what it is that made you so sick, you’ll vow to never again let such food pass your lips – ever.

Aside from the comfort of a bedroom and a bathroom at such a time, what on earth does this have to do with real estate?

Let’s switch scenarios for just a minute.

You’ve been on a wonderful vacation for a week, returning refreshed and glad to be back in your home. You open the door and immediately know something is wrong.

There’s water on the floor, mold starting to grow on the walls, and the sound of running water coming from somewhere strange in the house.

You turn the corner, and realize immediately that the plumbing has sprung a leak and turned the house into a disaster zone. With all that you now have to endure to correct this scene and fix the problem, you vow to never let it happen again – ever.

This is what I call “real estate food poisoning,” and it has the potential to get your home struck off a buyer’s list.

Much like avoiding the specific food that once made you (or even someone you know) terribly sick, someone is just as likely to avoid the same kind of feature or aspect of some homes if they have any concern that it might go bad.

This can include a water heater installed in an attic, polybutylene plumbing, artificial stucco, termites – the list goes on, and it’s not always a legitimate or rational concern.

Perception is stronger than reality, and it can be very difficult to talk someone into consuming something, or investing in something, that they have previously had a bad experience with.

So if your home has a component that may be susceptible to “real estate food poisoning,” it’s worth discussing a proactive strategy with your agent before consumers refuse to take a “bite.”

Chip Collins is the Broker/Owner of Collins Group Realty chip@collinsgroup realty.com or www.collinsgrouprealty.com