Friday, May 6, 2016

Feeling Violated

Selling a house is really not fun. First, there's the process of getting it ready to sell. For a family the size of ours, it's no easy task. First, there was the initial purge. Get rid of clutter. Clean up the house. Next came doing some repairs and fixing up some things. Painting a few rooms. Cleaning the carpets. Scrubbing the pool area. Patching the holes Sunny has kicked in the walls in her fits of rage. We listed the house and had a flood of showings the first two weeks. Feedback came in.

Violation #1: "Your house doesn't show well." "Nice house, but priced too high for the condition of the yard." "You need new furniture." "Too much clutter to really see the house." People coming in and criticizing your home is not fun, people.

Second purge. Get rid of more stuff. Pack up everything out of the closets and store it in the garage. Paint a couple more rooms. Lay sod in the side yard. Plant some fresh plants in the lanai. Take out the older furniture and donate it to Goodwill. Show the house some more.

Violation #2: Come home from a showing and discover the people used your bathroom...which is fine...but left pee on the seat and bathroom floor, and a pube on the seat...which is not okay in any way, shape, or form. Not okay at all.

Work your behind off every single day to keep the house in apple pie order, a monumental task with six kids around making messes behind you.

Violation #3: Strangers and strangers and strangers coming through your house at all hours of the day. And getting no offers on your beautiful home. Great feedback, but no offers.

Have a stager come in to look at the house so you can maybe figure out why you're getting no offers.

Thus, Violation #4: "Oh this color is so outdated. I know you like it, but it makes people want to leave your house. You need to paint. Your table decor is too small. It looks dwarfed. You need more sophisticated art. You want a family to buy your home, but a house this big needs to attract a family with money, and your house looks too lived-in."

Paint over your beloved red dining room. Hang sophisticated art and put fake orchids in the bathrooms. Put a slipcover on the comfy couch. Put giant glass bowls on the tables.

Violation #5: Figuring out the stager was right...your beautiful red dining room was a problem. You know this to be true because the next person to see your home makes an offer.

Violation #6: Knowing what your put into your house in the last 18 months...not just money, but time, energy, love, blood, sweat, tears, heart, and soul...and then getting an offer that doesn't reflect the value of your home.

Countering the offer. Countering again. Finally standing up and saying, "Don't try to get a bargain on this home. Offer us what it's worth or walk away. We're not paying your $14,000 of closing costs, and we're not taking another $13,000 off our list price.

Violation #7: The Inspection. Some dude going through every corner of your house with a fine tooth comb, looking for what's wrong with it. Your beloved home that you worked so hard to maintain and care for properly.

Violation #8: The buyers hanging out at the house for 2 hours after the inspection is done. Y'all, it isn't your house yet! Go away already so we can come home.

I know I'm probably being overdramatic here. But y'all, it's how I feel. This isn't the first home I've sold, so this isn't new to me. But I have hated it both times. I'll tell you what, though...I do have some tips for potential home buyers.

1. Don't ask to see a house if you are a casual shopper. When you ask to view a house, the homeowner spends hours cleaning and preparing, and then has to leave when you come. It's highly inconvenient to the seller.

2. Predetermine what size range you want, and then only look at houses within your range. If you don't want a home larger than 2800 sq ft, then you have no business looking at homes that are 3600 sq ft. I kid you not...24 of the 35 showings of our house said it as way too big for them.

3. If the cost of the home plus the closing costs are outside of your price range, don't look at the home! Definitely don't make an offer on it and expect the seller to pay all your closing costs. Chances are, if they are selling one home, they are also buying another home, and paying your closing costs takes their money away from them.

4. If you use someone's bathroom, clean up any mess you make.

5. Turn off the lights before you leave. You don't know when the seller is coming back, and there's no reason your carelessness should cause an increase in their power bill.

6. Don't let your kids go into the fenced pool area. Definitely don't let them get into the pool, even if it is just on the steps. And absolutely don't let them walk back into the house with wet/dirty feet.

7. When you leave feedback, don't insult a person's furniture. It's not part of the house and has nothing to do with you.

8. Remember that you are looking at someone else's home. Treat the home with the same respect you would wish to have your home treated with.

There. Rant over.

Oh...also...paint is paint. It cost us $42 to put a cream paint over the red dining room walls. Don't tell a seller they have bad paint colors. If you don't like their choice of colors, you can easily have the walls painted when you move in. If there are bold colors in several rooms, ask for a paint allowance when you make an offer. Chances are, the sellers are too worn out from the stress of selling a home to want to paint, and they won't mind giving you $500-$1000 to offset the cost of painting when you move in.

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