House Selling Sucks.

No matter how good or bad the real estate market is, selling your home sucks. For many people, uprooting your life and transporting it to another location is stressful; the idea of reestablishing your home base in new surroundings clashes against comfort of the familiar, confronts uncertainty and disrupts the daily routine is upsetting to the psyche — and that’s before you put your home up for sale. But it gets worse. Oh, it gets so much worse.

The ideal home buyer

For me, my home is my sanctuary, my place to camp out from the pressures of work and social settings. Selling a home is opening said sanctuary to the public. And said public consists of socially and emotionally inept monsters. These are the same people that inspired DiGiorno to combine pizza and cookies, look forward to Nickelback concerts and make Two and a Half Men appointment television. I don’t like the public.

And yet the public makes up the home-buying population. Those worries about uprooting life are multiplied by the constant stream of Nickelback-loving, pizza-and-cookie eating strangers pawing over one’s possessions, opening every door, exploring every nook and cranny, and stomping dirt all over the floor. Basically, all those lessons about manners learned in kindergarten are thrown out the window.

The realistic home buyer

This broad generalization of home buyers doesn’t have to be you, however. I have some tips to avoid being the typical home buyer that sellers like myself want to die in a fire. The common thread connecting these pieces is consideration.

They even have books on the subject! There is no excuse!
  • Leave things the way they were when you found them.
This is a simple exercise in observation. When you walk into a new place, note how the furniture, draperies, doors and fixtures are laid — especially the ones you will interact with. Sure, you can use them, but remember how they were when you first arrived and return them to their original state. I know that it will take a few extra seconds of consideration and effort, but you won’t be imaginably shanked by thousands of switchblades afterward.
  • Shoes OFF
Would you walk in the mud and then run into a church? NO?!? Then why would you track in mud into a stranger’s home?
This is a nit-picky one, but anyone that has cleaned shoe and/or boot prints off of a floor understands. Again, this brings consideration into play. The outside world is dirty; dirt does most of its traveling along the ground.  And if you know that you will be walking in dirt, you wouldn’t want that on your floors. So why would you do that to someone you don’t know? How rude!
No. NO. NO!
  • Call the shots.
This seems like it conflicts with the last two tips, but it doesn’t.
As a home buyer, you are in control of the homes you see. You determine what experiences you will have when you step foot onto someone’s property. And these decisions are tied into how you work with your real estate agent. If your agent is incompetent, inconsiderate and/or indecisive of your wants, needs and desires of you and/or the seller, exercise your power.
A good example: a realtor that shall remain nameless called me to ask about showing my home at a certain time. To my surprise, said realtor showed up 30 minutes early with no warning. This has all the makings for trouble.
As the buyer, you could tell the agent to cool it for a half hour or encourage a phone call to the seller. As the seller, you can dissuade the agent and potential buyers from entering (not conducive to get a sale) or stall the agent and lookers while you get dressed and leave — and get your own agent to deliver a verbal slap after the fact.
So take charge of things. And you won’t be stepping into literal and emotional shit.
To summarize:
  • Leave things the way they were when you found them. 
  • Shoes OFF
  • Call the shots
Be considerate of others and yourself — you know, like what your parents should have taught you. You’ll find that you will have a more positive house-hunting experience, and you won’t be the bane of the house seller’s existence. Especially mine.
Happy shopping!

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