Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"The Realtor Thing"

Years ago I looked for houses with a family relocating to Skaneateles. We went through a lovely new home, built high on a hill overlooking the lake. Well, not exactly "overlooking." Close, but the only view of the lake was from the second story bedroom window if you leaned down and squinted a lot.

I demonstrated, and they howled with laughter. "You're doing 'The Realtor Thing!'"

I did it spontaneously, not really thinking it out and laughed at myself. I've remembered ever after to introduce moments like that as "The Realtor Thing."

Fast forward to this week - different price point, same family. They are now downsizing so we have combed the area for homes under $300,000. There actually are quite a few - trust me on that! We have seen almost all, I think.

Three of them had The Realtor Thing in the written listing:

1 - 'Two car attached garage' - except that only one car could go through from the driveway and the garage was open in the rear.

2 - 'Ranch with over 2200 square feet' - except that 800 of that is in the basement which is described as "finished" (picture game room, family room, extra bedroom) and it's just open space.

3 - 'Four bedroom home' - except that the fourth bedroom was an 8x8 room with no closet on the first floor.

These listings are misleading, and result in disappointment. What is needed is under promise and over deliver translations, as well as a Realtor willing to do The Realtor Thing at the site.

Back to the three offenders:

1 - 'One car garage' - and huge storage space that can be enclosed for your vintage car or boat.

2 - 'Ranch with over 1400 square feet' - and over 800 finishable feet in the basement ready for your needs.

3 - 'Three bedroom home' - and den or office space, just off the living room next to the half bath.

My clients walked away from these laughing (for the most part.) They felt their time had been trifled with and even though the mis-statements brought them in to see the homes, they would have seen them anyway with me. It's just that the emotional impact would have been different, and emotions sell homes.

Word to the wise Realtor - always under promise and over deliver!