In the spring of 2010 when home sales were abysmal, we put our house on the market with our realtor, Todd. We listed it for roughly $10k more than we bought it for, and began the emotionally agonizing process of trying to lure buyers.
We fluffed up the place and Todd took some pics with a wide angle lens. I removed a dead plant in one shot with Photoshop (oops!), and Melissa put together a flyer that I continually printed and fed to the dispenser at our for sale sign as curious neighbors continually depleted it.
We had nibbles. Every time we had a showing one of us would run home to smooth sheets, straighten picture frames, eradicate any indication that dogs lived there (almost as bad as cigarette smell by marketing standards) and run out of the house with the dogs in tow. Sometimes we could just walk the dogs around the neighborhood. A couple of times, we jumped in the car, run an errand and then waited. And a few times, our amazing next door neighbor , Donna, (a strong argument for NOT moving) was cool if we let ourselves in to her place with the dogs. Of course I would watch conspicuously through the windows as the potential buyer came and went.
To pick up the pace, we insisted on an open house. If you didn’t know, these are the bane of realtors. They don’t often move the product, and they consume a lot of time. But much to Todd’s delight we had a very busy open house, a couple follow-ups, and the nibbles momentarily increased in pace. (I posted an ad on Craigslist for the open house—I think it helped.)
The silliest part of showing your home is that the potential buyer can provide feedback, allowing you to gauge interest, or polish something that didn’t show well. I say silly, because most of the time the comments are about aspects of the house that can’t change (floor plan), or value (“it’s too much…” (and yet they knew what $ you were asking when they scheduled!!)). But the silliest part of all is that even after you figure out that these comments are totally useless to you, you still anxiously wait for the feedback after each showing.
(I get points for using double parentheses in that last paragraph. (It’s just how my thought process works.))
We endured meticulous cleanliness for about three months (the average time on the market according to our inside man) and our house finally sold! Discounting realtor fees, we broke even with the sale.
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