In case you haven’t seen my posts on the topic before, Tina and I are looking for a new home. Cam’s getting to the age where he needs more space (and I would like an office that isn’t also a bedroom). So we’ve spent the better part of a year fixing the things that needed fixing… and making the house a curb-appeal rockstar.
Meanwhile, we’re sorta’ looking, too (no, we’re not dumb enough to want to try to have two mortgages – no thank you). But if we get an offer, we need to be prepared. So we’ve keep a running list of a few potential properties that we’d like to go see in the event things work out for us. A few days ago, things started to look like they would.
So we took 3 hours out of our realtor’s Fourth of July weekend to go house hunting yesterday. I have to say that I’m pretty disappointed overall… and I think it has to do with some central tenants/laws/rules about selling homes that really closely pair with rules for dating.
1. Set expectations properly. When you’re dating, especially online, the first thing most people show is their photo. As a guy, I can tell you that if you are looking through a screen of women and all you see is a head, the first question you have is about the body.
Homes are the same. If you show the inside, but no exterior shots – my first thought is that there’s something wrong with the outside. Additionally, when you DO show photos of the outside, don’t take a photo from a weird angle to use some form of forced perspective to make it no longer appear that you have a 200′ vertical elevation drop from the street to your garage. The minute I see that in real life, I’m not even going to look inside your home (which will become more important to you, the seller, in a minute).
Also – if you post a sign or have a request that I take of my shoes when entering, you’d better well have your place looking like a “no shoes” home. By that, I mean:
- you’d better not be a smoker and have cigarette butts outside or smoke smell inside
- your floors had better be immaculately clean (my white socks will tell me the story in a minute)
- you probably shouldn’t have a dog – especially one that requires food and water bowls in the kitchen AND in your master bathroom… and where you’ve picked up the slopped food around the bowls, too
4. Don’t waste my time. Actually, all of these rules come together to support this final rule. If you waste my time, you’re never going to get my interest. If I have to figure out the “real you” in dating or the “real deal” on the house, that’s wasting my time. And given the amount of technology at our disposal these days to find out a lot of the story early on in the “relationship”, don’t be surprised that if you try to fool me to get me close and when I am and see you for what you are … that I run.
Yesterday, we saw the 200′ vertical drop house in person. Photos made it look great, but there was no way that we would ever make it up and onto the street in a Raleigh winter with a little ice or freezing rain. So we didn’t bother to even look inside the house. There was no way to fix this issue.
Some people probably don’t care about things like that (heck, the house isn’t brand new, so theoretically, several people haven’t been bothered by it). But deceiving me enough to drive out to BFE to see it in person just pissed me off. So I cancelled my showing slot. Which, if you’re like me, meant that you had been forced out of your house during my slot and now have nothing to show for it.
On the flip side… don’t make a showing appointment with me and then cancel mid-way through the time. I’ve had to pack Cam into the car… maybe even wake him from a nap a little early. All told, a huge inconvenience. I’ve been completely honest in my listing and photos so there’s nothing unexpected about what you’ll see when you arrive. So don’t bail on me now. Because, as with dating, I can find out who you are (or who your House Pimp is)… and I can promise that if you call back later, I won’t be pleasant to deal with. 🙂