Last spring when I was in the process of preparing my house in the Woods for sale, Conch Shell happened to write about the Ottawa housing market. Taking advantage that she and Audrey were real-estate experts, I asked the following question in the comments:

My agent says that I shouldn't leave pictures of family and friends out... they say that the person visiting wants to be able to picture themselves in my home[...] Who do you think is right?

My question generated a glut of comments from readers as to what I should and should not do to stage my house properly for a quick and easy sale. A few weeks later, I posted the following comment:

Thank you all... this is great advice. I have had most of the place painted a light neutral color, and it looks good in both daylight and artificial light... all the trim has been repainted too... and I am removing all the clutter. I hope to make it look spacious, bright and homey. I want people to walk in and feel that it won't be too much work to make it their place with their colors... I will leave family photos out.

Well, three weeks went by during which I had fifteen showings, but received no offers.

The fourth weekend that my little house was on the market, I had to be away overnight on the Friday. Even though my son, Erratic Genius, had been allowed a sleepover, I was not concerned because he is a responsible young man. I knew he and Karate Kid, his sleep-over friend, would cooperate to make the beds and clean-up before the scheduled Saturday one o'clock viewing. I was due back by noon which gave us plenty of time to fluff things up and make everything picture perfect.

I arrived home just after noon and found the place looking ransacked. Standing in the middle of the chaos was Erratic Genius. He looked shell-shocked and desperately pale. Karate Kid was nowhere to be found.

“What happened here?” I asked calmly horrified.

All in one erratic breath he explained, “Karate Kid and I were woken up by these (expletive) people just walking into the house at 10 a.m.… and last night Karate Kid cut himself – there’s (expletive) blood in the (expletive) bathroom sink, on the (expletive) mirror, and on the (expletive) linen cupboard doors…It's real blood this time. We tried to clean up but it just got (expletive) smeared…I can't believe that (double expletive) people just walked into the house this morning without (expletive) setting up an appointment… there was a (expletive) real-estate agent and a couple… they had 3 (triple expletive) kids… the (expletive) kids jumped all over your made-up bed and on the sofas… they were (expletive) running around the house (expletive) yelling and touching stuff… Karate Kid and I tried to clean-up the pizza boxes and pop cans from our sleep-over, but then another (double expletive) agent showed up with more clients… they walked in with their (expletive) shoes… they left (expletive) mud prints everywhere… then a third (expletive) agent showed up with her (expletive) client and started asking us all kinds of (expletive) questions, so we just ran off…I just got back... I waited until they were all (expletive) gone to come back… I’m so sorry Woodsy! We will never sell our place!

Some people must prefer a lived in look, because a few days later I had an offer from the third visitor that day!


Harmony said...

Just shows you two things: (1) real estate agents don't necessarily know what they're talking about, and (2) holy (expletive)! what kind of agents show up with no warning? Poor Erratic Genius!

Aggie said...

I love any story that involves Erratic Genius.