Tales from the Crypt

| Sunday, October 24th, 2010 | 2 Comments »

Don’t be fooled by the title of this post. It’s not technically a post about scary stories and the photo of my boys in their Halloween costumes really doesn’t have much to do with the post either but it’s that time of year and I’m trying to get into the spirit. I’m also feeling bad about calling Halloween a “piddly” holiday in my earlier post titled Orderly Conduct. And more importantly, I figured that “tales from the crypt” sounded more intriguing than “funny stories from my clients.” If you’ve had your home on the market these stories may sound familiar to you and if you haven’t then I hope you at least consider this a good read.

My neighbor thinks I could get more for my house. Oh yes, the ever-knowledgeable neighbor who tells you your house is priced way too low. First off, chances are your neighbor hasn’t been keeping an eye on the activity in the area and doesn’t know the prices of the last 6 homes that have sold within a half-mile radius or how long those homes sat on the market before actually selling. In all fairness to your neighbors, they are probably just HOPING your house sells for more because that increases the value of their home. Unless your home sells in the first day or 2 on the market, chances are its not priced too low.

It’s really hard to keep the house clean all the time. Yep, very true. When your home is on the market it’s important to keep it immaculate at all times. This becomes very challenging when you have pets, kids or both. It’s usually easy to do in the beginning but once your home has been on the market awhile and the showings become fewer and farther between, you start to slip. One client coined the term “real estate roulette” which refers to the gamble you are taking when you leave your house a mess knowing the chances are greater that an agent will call asking to show your home that day.

I lit candles to make the house smell good. This is a very good idea until it backfires. I had one client who had candles lit when a prospective buyer came through the house. When I talked to that buyer’s agent later to get feedback he said they thought my clients were trying to cover up odors by lighting candles. He also said they thought they detected a slight animal smell. Perhaps he was smelling the neighbor’s cats because there haven’t been animals in that home for 7 years.

I’ve been struck by the phantom agent. The phantom agent refers to the agent that says they are going to come but never does. It goes something like this: agent calls to show the house. You frantically clean up the 1,773,652 Lego pieces all over your kitchen floor, scrub the pots in the sink, take out the trash, light candles, make beds and run the vacuum only to find that agent never shows up. In their defense, most times its not the agents fault by the buyer’s. Either they flaked or got caught up viewing other homes and ran out of time. Either way, at least your house is clean.

Feel free to submit your home selling story under “comments” below.

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  1. Sheila says:

    Oh goodness — so hysterical and so true.

    As a gal with a house on the market, I relate to ALL of the above. Except that we have 2,773,652 lego pieces.

    Really love that “real estate roulette” term — so funny…

    p.s. tell your boys they look awesomely creepy.

  2. Ginger says:

    I was struck by the phantom agent yesterday. No FUN at all…But, sure made me get things looking spiffy quickly.

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