Monday, May 05, 2014

Curmudgeons Live Here

I'm finally starting to feel a little bit better. That virus really knocked me down and dragged me around for two weeks. But on Monday I was able to do some domestic chores, those simple pleasures of washing, drying and folding laundry. I even made some yummy Indian food Sunday night. I'm beginning to feel like my old self again. Although, those few chores did tire me out considerably. I'm on my way to health and curmudgeon land.

Why curmudgeon? Well, have you ever had your house on the market while you are still living in it? We listed our house last week. The sign outside says, SHOWN BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.  The listing says sellers want 24 hour notice. It's been on the market for five days, and three agents have called and asked if they can come RIGHT NOW to show their clients. The curmudgeons who live here, we the sellers, say NO.

Some might interpret our NO as an announcement that we are not motivated sellers. But that's not what we are announcing at all. We are screaming that curmudgeons live here and want buyers to just respect the boundaries that they have drawn. Is that really too much to ask? We like our space. We like our privacy. We like the house to be shown at its very best. We live here. It's not antiseptically pristine 24/7. We actually cook and make a mess. Oil spatters on the stove. Toast crumbs are left on the cutting board. The dish drain is full. Why would we want someone to come at a moment's notice? It makes no sense.

When we do have prospective buyers come in to look at the house, I always put out photos of the yard in different seasons. I think it's interesting that people only get to see a house once or twice before they decide if they want it. I want them to see the spring yard full of daffodils, the summer garden with corn ten feet tall, the fall maples with their mind-blowing orange leaves, the winter deck covered in snow and the sun rising low in the trees.  I guess that's not very curmudgeonly of me at all. It probably wouldn't interest them to see this video, but it's one of the sights I watched from bed last week when I was sick. I grabbed the camera and tried to capture the amazing colors. It's the morning light making rainbows in the strands of spider webs crossing the yard. I think it's a major selling point, but that's just me. LOL!


  1. Unfortunately, buyers and realtors want what they want when they want it. If you don't oblige them, they may find some other house first. I understand your position, but I think you are doing yourselves a disservice. Ask for 30-60 minutes notice.

  2. Glad that virus has gone away. There's no fun in buying or selling houses, is there? Or moving house either. Me, I'm staying put.

  3. Some realtors... deep sigh. We have been where you guys are now and we always held our ground. Privacy should be respected, even by realtors.

  4. Glad you are better and good luck on the sale. It does sound like a very special property.

  5. Like you I absolutely refused showings at the last minute. I found realtors will show anything. One couple who looked at our suburban Cape Cod with a high maintenance expansive yard "loved the house" but were looking for a condo downtown. Why on earth would anyone show our house to someone wanting a condo?

  6. Phil-- We're thinking that we'd like to head back to Humboldt County on the north coast of California. Probably Arcata, it's a nice little college town.

    Kenju-- We thought about it and have decided that we don't want a high-maintenance buyer, someone who can't even give us the courtesy of a 24-hour notice. We are motivated, but not to the point of driving ourselves crazy. How can someone not wait one day to see a home?

    Dave-- Thanks so much!

    John-- Thank you for your kind words. We're hoping this next move will be it for a long while. We're tired.

    Annie-- We think so too.

    Rain-- Thank you. I am glad to be on the mend. I do get fatigued, but I am heading in the right direction. We think this is a pretty special place, especially for the right buyer who knows how to take a good long look around!

    NCmountainwoman-- Some people like to just go look at properties as a leisurely afternoon pleasure. I think they're called looky loos.

  7. Glad you're feeling better!

    I assume you have photos of the house with the listing -- anyone with a real interest can schedule 24 hours in advance. (Probably the agents are just calling to see if you can fit them in, despite the 24 hour notice thing.)

    Love the idea of putting out 4 season photos!

  8. kathy a-- I'm feeling better, not completely well, but definitely better. Oh yes, there are 29 photos with the listing. I'm a little taken aback by some agents' disregard for our request. I understand that they have clients who may want to see things NOW. They get to make the call. We get to say NO. The seasonal photos are really lovely. I'm happy to put them out.

  9. I hope you are back to normal very soon. I know it isn't fun...
    I totally understand about wanting advance notice before anyone comes to look at your house. When we sold our last house we had the same restrictions in place. I forget which holiday it was, but we had about 20 people over for a BBQ. Not only did we not get a phone call, we got a knock on the door. A real estate agent and the people the agent wanted to see the house. As if that wasn't enough, with the couple was their two children and both sets of grandparents. That's right, EIGHT people crowding the door.

    I liked the video a lot. Fell better!

  10. Such a lovely little video! Good you're mending.

  11. As with a lover, I suspect the right buyer would overlook the everyday flaws of the lived-in house.

  12. Stick to your guns. If the prospective buyers are not just "lookie loos" then they won't mind the wait. Wishing you a quick but easy sale.Smart to list the 4 season photos.
    Sure glad you are feeling better. I caught a much lesser version of what you went through. Ugh. Be totally well soon.

  13. I sold my house in Alabama myself, so I expected drop-ins. Since it was just me, I could keep the place neat and clean. It was the first time I ever made up my bed every day. One potential buyer actually commented on how clean the house was. Leah does not believe me when I tell her that.

  14. I tried self-selling our first house, and looking back that was totally insane. Totally. House had to be perfect at all times; no third party there for lookie-loos.

    Also, it didn't sell, so I sold at a loss to someone I knew, and he defaulted on the mortgage he assumed without bothering to tell us, and so my credit had a significant problem until he got that cleared up. (Thankfully, he confessed and was cooperative once I found out about my credit being wrecked.) All that convinced me that real estate agents and regular transactions are a necessary evil.

  15. So glad to see you're on the mend! I was getting pretty worried.
    As for folks wanting to see the house last-minute, screw 'em. The person who is right for that house will be someone who isn't an "ME! NOW!" person. If they can't wait, they aren't going to buy it anyway.

  16. Pat-- It's pretty outrageous to show up unannounced. I don't understand why anyone would think that is acceptable. Glad you like the rainbow spider webs!

    Isabelita-- I'm glad you liked the video too. Thank you for that.

    paullamb-- That's an interesting romantic notion. Unfortunately, it's not like a date, it's like a crazy parade of strangers walking through your house.

    Arkansas Patti-- We're sticking to our rules. We've been on both ends as sellers and buyers. We know it's okay to ask buyers to wait before they can see the house. If they can't, well then they're a little bit nutty.

    Mark-- I think it might be easier if we weren't home all the time. But now that we are retired, this is where we hang out. So, it's a little hard to just jump up and make ourselves disappear. We always make our bed, but when we're showing the house we make it with a special bedspread. It's like dress-up!

    kathy a-- We tried selling our house in Port Townsend ourselves. It was too crazy. My sister has been a real estate agent in southern California for more than 20 years. She is utterly professional, and the knowledge she brings to transactions is absolutely invaluable. We would never buy or sell a house without a smart and attentive agent.

    CCorax-- I was getting a little worried myself. I'm glad to be feeling mostly better. I still get winded, but I'm able to go out for a good walk for the first time in over two weeks. Yay! I agree with you about impatient "ME! NOW!" buyers, they're not really right for this very important transaction.

  17. OMG! Apologies for terrible wording, I didn't mean to imply that your sister is evil -- she's great! The whole house-selling flashback made me momentarily nuts.

    And some realtors, like the ones who don't listen to your rules, are not like your sister.

  18. kathy a-- No apologies necessary. I knew what you meant. You are utterly kind-hearted. Please don't ever worry!

  19. I was thinking about this. I can understand someone driving by, seeing the sign, and being clueless and rude enough to just knock on your door. What I don't understand is why a realtor would bypass the protocol of contacting the listing agent, getting the fact sheet and arranging the time and day for the showing. They are obviously bypassing the listing agent. Are they allowed to do that?

  20. standard protocol, people not adhering to the rules set forth. hopefully word will get around with the realtors that you mean what you say, and will stop trying to bypass the limits. How very nice of you to put photos out of the yard in all seasons....
    Glad you are feeling better. Yes, those first few days of renewed energy can trick you into doing too much, so take it easy!

  21. I'd rather be a curmudgeon (and I am) than rude and unaware of other's boundaries. What is wrong with people?

  22. Hey friends, I'm going to be doing a post about what happened when we did break our own rules and let an agent bring clients in on short notice. It's a wonderful story.

    1. The plot thickens! I have a feeling there's a surprise twist to your story... : )

  23. Selling a house seems like so much work. You have to clean everything, make sure it looks nice, and pack up your stuff. I have never sold a house, but I can image all the work that goes into it. What if it doesn't sell? It is such a big investment you really have to make it look good for people who are in the market for a home.