Have I mentioned that I have a love/hate relationship about looking at houses? I think it is the worst thing ever. My husband are total opposites when it comes to a house. My favorite style is Victorian and his is ‘modern box’. I could live in a shack if it had an awesome yard, deck and privacy, and he likes to entertain and have plenty of space. Add to that a desire for a solid easy to maintain house to his financially conservative accountant mind and it is probably enough to send all but the strongest real estate agent running for the hills.
I wrote down some of the stupid things that people have said to us when we’ve looked at houses and pet peeves.
Things not to say to the person looking at your house…
“Since I built that box for the garbage cans, I haven’t seen any rats.”
“There is a farm up the road but we hardly ever smell it.”
“Those black sharpie lines are to monitor the water level. The new sump pump is working really good now.”
“I build this entire addition from stuff I salvaged from the XYZ job site.”
“I have an extra brand new part here. You’ll need it if this one goes out because they don’t make those any more and it will cost a fortune to install a brand new system”.
“Tide really does work great on roofs. You wouldn’t believe all the moss that was on there last week”.
“I’m sure it has stopped settling since the blasting last year.”
Don’t ask for a pre-qual letter. I’m not going to hand you a letter telling how much the bank has approved. If you knew my husband, you’d know that we aren’t going to hit the cap in this lifetime. If someone can’t afford it they are just going to lie to you anyway.
The question isn’t ‘can I afford it’, the question is ‘do I want to afford it’.
Things to remember to do:
- Change the kitty litter
- Put down the toilet seats and for the love of all that is holy, remember to flush.
- Take out the garbage.
- If you have a dog that barks, take it with you.
- Vacuum and straighten up. The house doesn’t have to be spotless but it shouldn’t be so bad that we have ‘deferred maintenance’ dancing through our heads.
- Remove all ‘clutter’ and unnecessary things, furniture, knick knacks, just stuff. It makes spaces look smaller. I should be thinking my furniture will look perfect here, not I’m going to have to sell my furniture and buy new smaller stuff.
- Make sure it smells nice, but don’t ever use chemicals or perfumes to make. You’ll lose anyone with allergies. A diffuser with Purify or Lemon works nicely. If you don’t have one, a little vanilla in a dish in the oven for a few minutes before the showing can help.
- If it is illegal or controversial make sure I can’t see it.
Things not to do:
- Don’t set up an appointment and then afterwards call and cancel. It snuffs out excitement and makes you wonder if it is a sign that it isn’t the house for you after all. Not to mention being annoyed after changing 3 people’s schedules and finding a sitter. Especially if it was like pulling teeth to get aforementioned husband to look at it in the first place.
- Don’t hover.
- Don’t talk non-stop. If we look like we are ‘sold’ definitely stop talking. We can get talked out of sold pretty easily (refer back to rat comment).
- Don’t get emotionally attached to your house and have unreasonable expectations. It doesn’t matter if you love it and think it is irreplaceable. If I can build a brand new one for less I will. You might have loved that purple accent wall, gold cabinet fixtures and be proud of that .39 a tile flooring, but don’t expect me to gush over it. In fact, please don’t be at the showing at all if an agent is there. No one is going to steal anything. We have to work up the nerve to open a cabinet to check the quality and hinges and see if a drawer opens smoothly. An agent isn’t going to waste their time if we can’t afford it unless he wants to see it and then he’ll probably sell it to someone else anyway.
- Listen to what your agent suggests as a starting price. I mean really listen. Instead of coming up with a number before you mean, have them give you a range. Then think on it. If you suggest a number and they try and ease you down and talk comps then they may list it for what you want; but they are doing it because they don’t want to lose the listing. You don’t want to be chasing the market down because when you start doing that, the people that looked in the first place will be gone. Don’t believe me? I looked at two houses last year that I considered offering on. Both were way over priced and I decided not to offer on them because I didn’t want to offend anyone (small town and all). Both have dropped their prices at least $200,000. One is close to where I would have offered for it and the other is $85,000 less than I would have offered.
- Don’t hold out for a better offer. Often the first one received is the best after negotiation. If your agent has comps or good reasoning why to take it pay attention. If you call me after six months to see if I’m still interested you can bet I’m not coming in at the same price. After all I’ve had a lot of time to look at house plans.
But wait… isn’t this blog about essential oils and such? Yes it is. I’m dosing myself in frankincense, wild orange and bergamot as I type and am feeling much calmer. For oils you can use to help with selling your home visit: