The sign in the driveway went up yesterday around 4 p.m. A couple of hours later, Cate was in a foul mood, so I decided that we should head outside and go for a walk. We were just heading out the driveway to go see the horse across the street when one of the neighbors came by to snag a flyer from the “for sale” sign. Gee, that was fast!
It was kind of awkward because I’m sure he didn’t mean to run into me. But he said, “Mind if I take one of these?” And I told him that it was no problem, but jokingly asked if he was going to buy the place. He said that he was going to pass it on to some friends of his who’ve been talking about moving to this area. Hmm. That’d be pretty cool, if it’s true. But I’m pretty sure he was b.s.ing me, and he just wanted to see what we’re asking for the house and what the inside looks like (there are a few interior photos on the flyer). I know that in my parents’ neighborhood, anytime a house goes on the market, my dad snags a flyer because he’s just a nosy type like that.
But anyway, we had a very nice chat, and it turns out that he owns the farmhouse across the street where Cate’s favorite horse lives. (I told him that his horse was how she learned the word “horsey”. He was mighty impressed.)
Then this morning, Cate and I were sitting on the couch watching cartoons while she drank her milk, and I saw a silver Mercedes station wagon pull up in front of our house. The guy got out, took a flyer, and looked around at our property for a good minute or two. I have no idea if he was an agent or a prospective buyer, but he definitely doesn’t live around here, because I would’ve remembered that car. (It was way too shiny to live in this neck of the woods with all of the loose gravel roads and driveways.)
So, here’s a question. I have this fear that no matter how often I scoop the litter boxes, our house smells like cats. Renee has warned against using air fresheners or plug-ins because she says that it smells like you’re trying to cover something up. (Plus, the fragrance probably isn’t good for Cate’s asthma.) So I stocked up on slice ‘n’ bake cookies, because they can be ready in 15 minutes, and they’ll make the house smell all homey. And then to keep us from eating all of them, I thought I might leave the plate out with a note that says “Thanks for coming, please help yourself.” Renee said that was a good idea, because if people are eating, they’re more inclined to stay in the house longer, and they might be comfortable enough to sit on the couch and try to imagine themselves in the house. What say you? Good idea, or does it scream, “we’re desperate and trying too hard”?
Oh, and while I was typing this, we got a phone call that we’re having our first showing tonight at 6:30. Yay!
I think the cookie idea is a good one. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the house sells quickly!
Wow! A showing right away. That is terrific. I think the cookie idea is great. Don’t worry about it seeming to be trying too hard. To be frank, you are trying to sell your house in a downward moving economy so you kind of already know what you are in for, right? If you didn’t go the extra mile, well, the prospective buyers might sense that as well. Good luck!
Yay–we just listed this week! My mother-in-law told me about the cookie thing so I’m going to try it when we get our first showing which should be within the next 3 days.
Our realtor said that buyers have HGTV syndrome and they think every house should be absolutely perfect or they should be able to buy it for $30k so going above and beyond is what’s going to keep people in your house longer than 90 seconds (which I understand is the amt of time a person needs to decide if she/he likes a house or not). Sending you wishes for a quick sale!
Every five minutes or so, we have to do another story about housing prices and the real estate market.
Which means I wind up at an Open House to take pictures which freaks out all the prospective buyers (you’d be surprised how many people I’ve met who go to Open Houses without their spouse’s knowledge) but makes the agents salivate at the sight of my camera and the “buzz” that they think our article will generate. Awkward, much?
But even more awkward is the blatant desperation on the agents’ behalf: balloons with their own names on them, free pens, giant bowls of hard candy, and lacquered women with terrifyingly long finger nails asking prospective buyers to “sign the guestbook! Would you like to sign the guestbook??” Translation: I want to mail you crap. Lots and lots of crap.” It’s like trick-or-treating at used car sale lot/trade show/funeral home.
Also, cat pee is undeniable. A house either smells like cat pee or it doesn’t. If your house really smelled like pee, your agent would probably be recommending all kinds of specialty cleaning services.
Bottom line: I think you’re just fine with fresh-baked cookies. 🙂
I’d come for the cookies.
Me too. Cookies = good karma.
Buyers want to feel like you’re eager to sell, because then they feel like they can make you an offer that you’ll negotiate on. If they think you won’t negotiate, they just won’t make an offer.