Wednesday, April 09, 2008
adventures in real estate land
The standard agreement when selling a house is to have twenty-four hours notice when someone wants to have a look. This is Taos, and times are tough, so when our agent called yesterday at 11:30 in the morning, and asked if some folks could come by at 2:00, I said, "Well sure! No problem!" I may have exaggerated a little bit...
I figured I'd zip through and tidy things up in a half hour, and still have time to make a few beads before Lucy and I had to be out of here. But while I was dusting and de-cluttering, I remembered some feng shui advice I'd been reading recently. That's when a quick tidy-up turned into a full blown scrubbing usually reserved for only the Most Important Visitors. After all, a prospective buyer is an important visitor, and we need to treat every one of them as someone who might actually envision themselves living here.
I now understand that the twenty-four hour thing is a very good idea. Even one short week of "no lookers" can let a house lapse into a comfortable level of lived-in messiness that takes a lot of work to sort out. The idea is to make it all look at un lived-in as possible. Nice and neutral, without a lot of personal stuff getting in the way of a buyer's ability to see their own personal selves living here. Remember that old song that went, "If I knew you were come I'd-a baked a cake..."? Well, if I knew these folks were coming, I sure would not have made hard boiled eggs in the morning. You know the smell. And it's not easy to cover up, especially with only two and a half hours notice. I tried boiling a bunch of cinnamon, but that didn't do much. So in the middle of all the cleaning, I baked cookies. Yes, I did. But I didn't say I made them, only baked them. Thank God for the Pillsbury Dough Boy, that's all I got to say.
The last step, with only a few minutes to spare, was to take out all the trash. We don't hoard it or anything, but we have waste baskets in the office and bathrooms, and of course the kitchen. It all had to go in order to create a good-feng-shui harmonious feeling in the house. As I reached the front door, which is an important first impression sort of place, I saw the most enormous black widow spider I've ever seen, sitting on the threshold like some kind of creepy welcoming committee. What might that say to someone before they even step foot in the door? No time to ponder. I whipped off my rubber shoe and squished it. Twice.
Just before 2:00, I loaded Lucy into the car, and off we went to the park, for a nice walk. She has never been properly socialized, so she doesn't like most people. Little kids are especially scary to her. So poor girl, I kept a muzzle on her the whole time, which in turn, scares the little kids. Next time I think we'll try going someplace else.
Back home a bit after 3:00, totally exhausted, and still needing to get some actual work done, I had a most heart warming moment. The generous plate of cookies I'd left out for the Lookers was nearly empty; only one left, and a Thank You note on the back of the agent's card. I ate the last cookie and wandered off to the studio...
No offers on the house as of this morning, but still, I think it was worth the effort.