Monday, September 27, 2010

First Impressions

That first impression.
A step closer to my beloved Tennessee!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   There is the old saying about not getting a second chance to make a first impression.  There is something about that saying that bothers me.  Sometimes it does not matter how earnestly we try, things just don't work according to our plans.  Something out of our control should not be held against us in forming an opinion about us.  I am thinking now about a first impression one gets when visiting a home, particularly my home since it is for sale.  Yes, in our front yard is a beautiful sight, a "For Sale" sign, only to be made more appealing when we see the word "Sold" attached to it.

Our house has been on the market for several months now.  We have been "on call" from 9 AM to around 7 PM, every single day.  I have lived for months with my cell phone in my shorts' pocket.  We have had calls for showings while the realtor was parked in front of our house.  "Yes, you may ... just give us five minutes."  Has anyone ever tried to hide a large cast iron skillet with remains of dried scrambled egg in it?  I have hidden our dish drainer in the same area of our garage for showings.  Just yesterday I asked Clint if he had seen the dish drainer, I could not find it.  He replied:  It's in the car. THE CAR!  I had to laugh at that one.

Getting ready for the showings.  Whew!  Today we had a preview from a realtor.  When we returned home, out of curiosty, I counted how many lights, fans and lamps we turn on and off with each showing.  I counted 33 times.  I wonder how many water spots I have tried to eliminate or how many times I have mopped this white kitchen floor? While waiting for a showing, one of us sits "guard" at the dining room table with the shutters open enough to see the realtor pull up with the potential buyers.  Clint makes his "turkey gobble"  call which is the warning to run out the back door into the garage and take off as they are coming in the front door.  This does not always work as planned.  Sometimes they have parked a little out of our vision, sometimes they are parking in front of our house to visit a neighbor and sometimes they are passers by who are just stopping to look at the house. After we leave the house, we park down the street and watch the house until the realtor and others leave. (These sightings and observations are enough for another blog.)

Then there's the all-important task of "staging".  I'm sure we all know most of the staging tips, the baking of bread or chocolate chip cookies before a showing.  Mulling spices are mentioned often to make the kitchen smell "homey" like grandma's.  What about a roast?  One Sunday afternoon we had a beef roast in the Crock Pot and received a call for a showing.  The realtor and the potential buyers stayed a record amount of time in the house this whole hour!

Oh, not to forget the "advice".  Lots of people seem to know the "best" realtor that we should try.  One morning not long ago I was in my front yard working when a neighbor acquaintance stopped by.  She told me the name and location of a realtor I should call because she (the realtor) was "aggressive".  I can think of nothing worse than having someone pressure me when I am making one of the biggest investments in my life.  We politely smile at them and thank them. We already have a wonderful realtor.

Some painful aspects, do I dare share this with the world?  Feedback. My goodness, they like the open floor plan, they don't like the open floor plan, they wanted an upstairs (why did you look at this one level?), they like the light wood, they don't like the light wood, formal area too large, blah,blah,blah, etc.

And now for the painful stab in our souls:  One realtor wrote in the feedback report:  May I suggest Febreze?

P.S.  We have gotten objective opinions about an "odor" in our house.  This is a non-smoking home with no pets.  We have been as clean as possible in keeping up this house.  Oh well, Clint and I joke about it now...that "suggestion" will live on as part of the Hensley-Ellison lore!  :-)


Lyrics of Love and Lore said...

Excellent article! Yes, there's nothing worse than someone telling you your home stinks. Ha! More than likely, they were smelling their own BO?

Design Wine and Dine said...

Good luck selling, I hear it's brutal as you explain here! Your front entry looks BEAUTIFUL! I think febreze STINKS - smells fake and phony! Our house always smells like the food we made the night before...probably the same in your case...a home that is lived in! Stick some pillsbury cookies in the oven right before a showing - you'll have buyers knocking down your door! LOL!

Megandvd@Beauty in the Attempt said...

I love this is so honest and personal...AND TRUE! I think you should stick with the cookie idea. I know for a fact our house smells like kitty when it is all stuffy and the litter box is a day overdue. I would love to check out your house just from the 1st pic of the front door!

Best of luck...I am crossing fingers and toes for you.