Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Tale of Two Listings

Recently I had the pleasure of reviewing several homes for listing possibilities. I am combining appointments and responses so that the issues will seem more black and white, plus it will protect the confidentiality of the owners. In fact, let's just say these are un-real estate properties.

I was invited into one home that I had sold to the owners many years ago. I remember at the time when we drove around looking at houses that we had a discussion about clutter. I was in my getting rid of it all phase, when it bothered me that we had taken in three and a half (Alex) households under one roof - and probably only Bob was willing to part with anything.

The couple told me that their parents were like us, and now found themselves taking things to the dump that they hadn't looked at for years and now, with downsizing, they had to get through and be through with it all. They weren't going to be like them! No, sir! So they bought a big house and settled in nicely.

I saw it a few months later and was amazed. It was also filled and filled again with a lot of things. The basement held what wasn't being used, and every nook and cranny (I might exaggerate some) was full.

When I questoned them about our past conversation, they said they "brought it anyway!" Oh my!

Now they are moving. When I walked into the basement I cringed inside. Without my saying anything, they immediately assured me that everything was in the process of being packed up, thrown out, and stored. The basement would be clean and neat and ready for the listing that will happen some time. They asked about colors for painting, showed off the updates they had made to the house, had all the receipts for everything they had done. They want to move, and move quickly.

The "second" house also is filled with many, many years of enjoyed life. Some has been cleared out by people who have left the home, but enough remains to be problematic in my eyes. This is not the case for our imaginary homeowner, however. He/she thinks that the clutter does not matter, that the family will continue to live there so it will be shown that way. As a matter of fact, he/she does not want to be reminded that the house is on the market at all, so no sign will be allowed. Of course it needs to be priced high to allow time for it to sell and the owner to pack for his/her next home.

I always wonder in situations like the latter if the person truly does want to sell. It may not even be apparent to him/her, but generally when people are ready to move on they do everything in their power to make it happen in a timely fashion. It's like going shopping and not bringing any money or credit cards to make a purchase. All the right things are done - driving to the store, looking at items, deciding which one would work, but then not having the capability of following through. Sometimes the money is left at home by mistake. At other times it's done wilfully, to prevent decisive, irrevocable, action.

The joys of real estate!