Selling the Houseby Cheryl Newcomb
The old familiar sight of "For Sale" signs are popping up all over the neighborhood showing increased activity on the housing market, a good thing after a long and depressed market for years. The rises and declines of home sales will often the timing for those who are motivated to make this change for any reason, steering the seller through the pending chapter change. First, the staging must take place to get that sale, however long it might take.
Hearing the chatter of friends and family sharing their experiences with their own process of "showing" the house has my attentions as I remember my own efforts in this arena, many years ago. Some things we just do not forget! The frustrations, fears, and tireless efforts to entice a buyer so they can move on with their own life's plans can quickly become drudgery in routine. Re-sweeping an almost clean floor, polishing a doorknob as you quickly exit - late for work again! I remind those who share these experiences with me, using those magic words in response, the same words that pulled me through the same process so many years ago - It Only Takes One Buyer! Once that happens, the whole process is behind you and your new adventures wait.
To look back at this intense but fleeting moment (depending on how often you sell and buy homes in your lifetime) can bring a perspective of defining moments to life's circumstances. It is much like the year you graduated from High School, a reference point - Just like your graduating year, you will recite the year you moved from one house to another. You find yourself using the address of where you lived to define the era. Selling a house for any reason is one of the big page-turners, a means big change!
Digging through old folders of paperwork produced the email that I sent to my family once the offer was accepted on my last house. While "methods" of fresh baking bread and vases of flowers are widely used techniques for enticing a buyer for sale of a house, it was a magic moment for me to think back on the events that surrounded the sale of the house where my children had grown up.
Our house was on the market for 60 days. We would get about one showing per week, which is typical of our area. Showing a house with three teenagers and the busy schedules that go along with that is a pain to lay the least! The kids were real good about it, picking up every morning, making beds, etc....
We got a call on Saturday night that there would be a showing on Sunday at 4:00PM. The kids had a picnic to go to that day and I had to go to town to get groceries because my car was going into the shop the next day. I came home with a car loaded with groceries and a "feeling" about this particular showing. Barely was there time to put the groceries away and spit shine everything to make the proper impressions. I packed the fridge, got out the dust rag and mop and hurried through the tiresome routine, but had forgotten to put away the flat of freshly picked strawberries that I had bought at the fruit stand.
They were as big as red apples, and the reddest I had ever seen! As I checked the clock, I realized there was no time to pare up the berries and no room in the fridge to slip the whole flat in so I got out a huge white bowl and just dumped them in and placed it on the kitchen table nest to a crystal vase and a basket of napkins... The sun was streaming in the kitchen windows and the strawberries sparkled! It gave the perfect "Country" effect.
The call came in at about 10:00PM that night. We had an offer! Cassie heard me on the phone and was having one of her typical restless nights so she came in to ask me about the offer, she knew I was excited! She lay down beside me in my bed and after a while she whispered, "Mom, I know what sold the house." "It was the strawberries!" I told her that I thought she was right and sent her to bed.
A week later I was becoming anxious about the motor home not being sold through I had been aggressively advertising and showing the RV to potential buyers for months. With inflated gas prices as front-page news, the chances of a reasonable sale were dwindling and I feared not being able to get out of the loan. I was waiting on a possible offer of the only interested party I had lined up so far. Cassie suggested a bowl of strawberries might do the trick. So I shrugged as I took out the bowl of fruit and the offer come in the very next day!
It looks like the page turning is finally taking place! We are packed and ready to move into our new home and you bet I will put a big bowl of fresh strawberries on the kitchen table!