Just in case any of you sellers think this agent does not empathize with the trials and tribulations of selling a property occupied by people and pets, my first experience selling a property was from the seller’s perspective.
Let me introduce you to the cast of characters who played leading roles in my first real estate sale. One was a seven-month pregnant woman (me), and let’s not forget the two-year-old who never napped. Just to complete the picture, there was a dog who hated strangers and was still trying to master the art of relieving himself outdoors–thank heavens for hardwood floors and baby gates! To complicate matters the man of the house was never at the house since he was already working in Chicago.
The job of selling the house fell on my shoulders. My method of selecting an agent was extremely advanced and well-researched. I hate to confess this, but a friend told me the agent was “nice” and easy to work with, and that was the extent of my research. I placed the call to Mrs. Nice, and presto the sign was in the yard, and the first showing was the next day. Honestly, I don’t think we signed paperwork until the weekend.
I thought I was going to stay in my first house forever, so the previous three years I prepared my house for the sale I did not see coming. It was “show ready” except for the toys–both kid’s and dog’s. My family room resembled a Montessori preschool with toys and books lining the shelves and often covering the floor. As a former teacher, I was a big advocate of finger painting–primarily on paper but the occasional smudge and smear did appear on the wall in our painting zone. 😉
The sign in the front yard made me realize I needed some organizational help if there was any hope the house would show at its best on short notice. Even in my pre-real estate days I knew I did not want to miss a showing. I invested in several big baskets and made pick-up time a sorting lesson for my two-year-old. There were baskets for balls, blocks, toys with wheels and all my son’s beloved Fisher Price peeps! My son had fun picking up the toys and putting them in the appropriate basket. Sometimes we picked up all the red toys first and proceeded along the color wheel until the floor was clean. My son was good at this, the dog not so much.
Rest assured after 20 plus years as a corporate wife I’ve walked in your shoes many times. The path is not an easy one to tread, but there are ways to make it easier. My first house sold in less than two weeks. However, I will not tell you what I said to the man of the house when upon hearing the news we would be signing an offer to purchase our house when he arrived home for the weekend and exclaimed, “Wow, that was easy!”
Easy it is not, but with advanced preparation and a plan, those short notice showings can lead to a sale, and something as simple as a few big baskets can save the seller’s sanity in the process.
– Norma (310) 493-8333