Friday, April 10, 2009

Completely Unrelated

When we first put the house on the market 11 months ago, the thought crossed my mind to blog about the adventures of buying and selling in this awful real estate market in SE Michigan. It was a fleeting thought that I never followed through with. Today, I wish I had started that blog. For the most part, we've had nothing but positive feedback from the realtors who have shown our home. The house "shows well," is "priced right," and is "tastefully decorated."

Yet, strange things have happened to us over the course of the last 11 months, and I wish I had written about them so that someday, when this whole mess is over, we can sit back and laugh about the process. Everyone who has come through our house has "loved it, but... ." For one family, presumably Muslims, they absolutely "loved" the house, but "the room that they'd use as a their 'prayer room' wasn't big enough and didn't face the right way." Okay....

There have been other similarly unusual "excuses," but unfortunately, I can't think of them at the moment. We've also had more "traditional" excuses. The most often sited one is "they'd like a bigger yard with more privacy." I understand the "more privacy" issue, but we live in a normal subdivision, and I don't think we have any less privacy than anyone else in the neighborhood, so if privacy is what these people are looking for, then they shouldn't really be looking in a subdivision like ours in the first place. As for the "bigger yard," I don't get that one. I don't have our lot dimensions handy, but just by looking at our yard compared with most of our neighbors, we have one of the biggest lots. Mainly, this is an optical illusion. There are quite a few ranches and split level homes in this area where the homes' "footprints" are larger. Our house is a traditional colonial, so our house takes up less of a "footprint" which makes our yard appear twice as big as most of our neighbors' yards.

The other thing that has annoyed me about the process of selling in this market is the agents who show up early. Usually it's only 5 or 10 minutes or so, and that's not a big deal. I once had someone show up 35 minutes early. I thought that was bad, until today.

Today, the agent and his client showed up an hour early!! I spotted the agent and his client walking around the house and went out to greet them. I said that my agency told me the appointment was for 11-11:30. He acknowledged that they "might be running a little early" as he glanced at his appointment sheet. I apologized (why I apologized to him for his being early, I'm not sure, it's just my nature) and said that my kids were just finishing up breakfast, and I had to get them dressed. My little one usually gets up around 6:45, but today, she decided to sleep in until 9:45... of all days. So I scrambled around, threw dishes in the dishwasher, got the kids dressed, fixed the little one's bed, and ran out the door as fast as I could... seven minutes, flat. Thankfully I was mostly prepared for the showing. I had just finished vacuuming the rug under the kitchen table, everything else was in good order. It was still early enough in the morning that the kids hadn't pulled out half of their toys, yet.

I don't know why the agents are showing up early. I think many homes that they go into are empty, so they don't think anything of it. The conspiracy theorist in me thinks that some do it on purpose, to see if they can catch a homeowner off-guard and unprepared for a showing.

I really hope these people come back for a second look. I've gotten into the habit of baking cookies for people who come back for a second look. I like to bake them shortly before they are scheduled to arrive so that the smell of fresh baked goods still lingers in the air. If these particular people schedule a second showing, I might have to bake the cookies the night before.

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