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Wash, Rinse, Repeat

September 12th, 2012

House showings, they’re kinda weird. Both houses we have purchased have been for sale by owner. So we met with the owners of the homes and they showed us around. Definitely my preferred method of purchasing a house. This house, we listed with a realtor for a variety of reasons, mainly our gated community rules. It’s really weird for us to leave for an hour while strangers come and look around our house and someone who hasn’t’ lived here tells them about it.

The worst part of it, is stopping everything we’re doing, mopping the floors, and leaving for an hour. So far, we’ve had four showings and it feels like all I’m doing is vacuuming and mopping the floors and sitting in my car waiting. Let’s hope we either move or someone makes an offer soon!

What do you think is the best way to purchase a home, through a realtor or for sale by owner?

13 Comments to “Wash, Rinse, Repeat”
  1. Michelle Marie on September 12, 2012 at 6:02 am

    My fingers are crossed for you. I would probably create a treat for myself for the waiting part… but that would likely involve ice cream… so too many showings could really start showing! :-)

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  2. Bettina on September 12, 2012 at 6:15 am

    I wish you good luck and a quick sale.

    However, this having to leave for a showing is somethign I find rather strange.

    In Germany (where I am from) and in the UK, where I have actually sold the apartment I owned, no owner would think about leaving when a real estate agent comes around to show the property. The owner stays to answer any questions the prospective client has and that the realtor doesn’t know about.

    Leaving your house for a showing – no way!

    If the client wants to say something about the house that isn’t complimentary, they will do that after it when they are alone with the estage agent.

    Reply to Bettina's comment

  3. daisy on September 12, 2012 at 6:23 am

    I never heard of someone who is selling by owner leaving the property. Unfortunately, these days, I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that. The perfect buyer will find you-I just know it!

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    • Susy on September 12, 2012 at 7:29 am

      We’re not doing For Sale By Owner. Because of our gated community rules, we listed with a local realtor who has a corner on the market. We would have loved to do for sale by owner, but it really wasn’t feasible for us.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. Sherri on September 12, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Oh, I FEEL your pain! Been there done that 3 times with 5 kids in tow! It was super hard to keep the house show ready at all times. We would get calls to show the house in an hour, so I’d have to perform the “white tornado” (fast super clean and tidy) on the spot. Leaving the house for an hour or two (or three if the people were late as they often were) was a huge pain (especially at meal times or in the evenings when people were out house hunting after work. I am SO glad that’s over with and hope that your experience will be over soon, too.

    What helped was to keep a cooler and a bag in the car full of heathy foods… we usually needed to eat at some point when out, so that eliminated the need for fast food. We’d head to the park and the kids could play and snack while I took a much needed park bench break after warp speed cleaning. Perhaps you could keep a book in your car? A laptop would go with you if you have one and need to keep working while out of the house…

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    • Susy on September 12, 2012 at 8:23 am

      It does always happen to be right at meal time. Yesterday we ate supper at 4:30 so we could be done, clean up the kitchen, and be out by 6:30.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. goatpod2 on September 12, 2012 at 8:19 am

    We always went with a realtor.


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  6. Christine on September 12, 2012 at 8:44 am

    When we sold our last home, we lived with family until the house was sold. We never had to worry about making messes, and people that wanted to see that house could drop by whenever. It sold ridiculously quickly as well— we were under contract in less than a month.

    Reply to Christine's comment

  7. whit on September 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Hi Susy,

    I am sorry you have to go this route to sell you home! I know if i were interested in purchasing your home, i would want to talk with you about every plant!

    I don’t know what has happened to house hunting in the States. It seems to me that potential buyers are either ridiculously picky, unkind, and lacking the creativity to look beyond anything other than “magazine perfect” and envision their own in the space, or the realtors have created this marketing scheme where the only “work” they can do is sell a “magazine perfect” house that has been cleaned and decluttered by you, their employer, whom they treat like deep, open wallets and house keepers.

    When we moved, we had a realtor actually request that we put in $5,000 worth of landscaping (beauty barking around trees–a no-no in PNW, filling the raised beds and rockeries with mums and pansies in January??!?) Our old neighbourhood was took heavies in the downturn, and is now a lower income area (where you’re lucky if people can afford the gas for their lawn mowers.) The realtor also requested that my husband contact a person at the city to come a “straighten” a street sign, warning drivers of an upcoming curve, that happens be in the parking strip in front of our home. He thought since my husband works for the same city, he should be able to find someone to do him the favour ( did he want my husband to lose his job ??) We were shocked!! And we were paying him for this advice, if he sold our home. Thankfully, he has disappeared.

    Sadly, i think most people don’t want to deal with the each other. We tried to engage with the property owner of the new house we purchased. Not an easy person to talk with…especially when we were allowing extra time in their home for free. Their realtor actually told us that we shouldn’t talk her client because he was crabby!! And she was getting paid for that kind of behavior….

    Now that the projects on our first home are almost done, we are on the fence about hiring a realtor. We’ve only had interest from investors looking to flip homes though, and are not comfortable putting our neighbours in that situation. Somedays, it seems that the only way to sell a house anymore is with an MLS.

    Best of luck on landing your sale!

    What a racket, this housing gig is, eh? So glad to hear that there is sanity left in a few deals, like yours in Maine!

    Reply to whit's comment

  8. Mike on September 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    As a financial professional I definitely recomend using a realtor. Especially to sell your home, though using one on the buy side is also important. There are a whole lot of things that can go very wrong on either side of a real estate deal and a good Realtor will make sure that if something does go wrong it goes wrogn for the other guy.

    That said. My wife and I are buying a home in the spring and we aren’t using a Realtor but, the Seller’s are her parents and they will be our lein holder so our situation is very different. In any other case we would be using a Professional.

    Reply to Mike's comment

  9. Bonnie Fowler on September 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I too would love to discuss your plants and house improvements if I were buying your home. That is because I know you are very personable and care about the house and plants. However it is believed that potential buyers don’t want to see the place as someone else’s. They want to see it as their own. Realtors recommend removing anything personal like photos, children ‘s artwork, etc. I have looked at a lot of houses. One time the family was cooking dinner and the house smelled like cabbage, the Realtor was annoyed. Personally it didn’t bother me as much as the addition that made it feel like a maze. It was two doublewides smooshed together and constructed into one home.

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  10. Chris on September 13, 2012 at 12:06 am

    The only house we’ve owned and sold, we used a realtor. They can be very helpful for those who work, and need someone else to take calls and organise appointments. At the time my husband was working full time and I had a young baby and a dog the side of a small car.

    Needless to say, a realtor probably made the selling of our very modest house, a little more professional – and ultimately easier on the prospective buyers.

    Luckily we lived a short walk from a park though. So when I got the call for a showing, I’d pack the baby in the pram (and all the food/drinks we needed) then put the dog on a lead to walk to the park. I could see when the realtor arrived at the house and when they left again, so I knew precisely when to walk back home without needing them to call.

    I reckon it’s a little easier when there’s a public space in your neighbourhood, where you can plan to hold up during viewings. And if there are no public spaces, perhaps a neighbours garden? If they are away during the day, you could ask their permission to set up a seat under the shade of a tree (out of sight of your house of course) but you’d have to know the neighbours pretty well for that arrangement. ;)

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  11. Sierra N Hampl on September 14, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    My mom is a Realtor, so I’m probably biased. With your work schedules and moving out of state soon, it’s probably best to list with someone. I can’t speak from experience though! We’ve never bought or sold a home! We live next door to my in-laws and they own the house we live in, and we pay rent each month. It works out really well for us and we’ve gotten past the idea that we “must” buy a house just to buy a house to say that we have one. I just wish other renters would take good care of their rented property.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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