Deciding whether or not to sell our house and move closer to our family was a tough choice to make. But, as you already know, we crossed that bridge weeks ago.
Listing the house with a realtor was a snap. A friend of a friend is a broker, and we entrusted him and his company with our home. Selling our house, however, is a different matter altogether. Now, it’s all about the showings. So far we’ve had four. “Nice house,” they all said. “Too far from town,” remarked two of them. “Too high,” the others complained. No matter, we thought. “It only takes one showing to sell your house,” we were told by those knowledgable in such matters. And that’s true. When we sold our previous house, we only had a few showings. But eventually it went to a person who fell in love with it and would have paid almost anything we asked. (We should be so lucky this time.)
Yesterday, however, we had an experience that took the cake. XYZ realtor had scheduled a showing for 11:15 a.m. Great, we thought. We did the usual: vacuum, straighten, polish, and clean. By 10:30 a.m. we were all set. I went downstairs and got into the car, awaiting Becky, who was making all those final arrangements and generally straightening things before leaving the house. At precisely 10:55 a.m., I received a text informing me that the showing had been canceled. But why? The answer was emblazened on the screen of my smart phone: “We can’t find the house on our GPS.” Really? I was incredulous. Do you mean to tell me that you couldn’t have called the listing agent for directions? I texted back the following: “Are you serious?” Then, for good measure, added, “Are you an idiot?”
To say I was furious would be an understatement. I once had a real estate license, back when I lived in New Jersey, and I would have never dreamed of canceling a showing for the reason given. There were maps and landline phones, after all. Come to think of it, they still have maps, don’t they? Of course! And what would it take to call the home owner (us) to ask for directions? A phone call, that’s all. There simply was no good reason whatsoever for this particular real estate agent (and I use the name guardedly) to cancel the showing other than laziness.
After some thoughtful consideration, I deleted my two sarcastic responses from the ongoing text message, and Becky and I decided to turn lemons into lemonade. We took a ride into town and enjoyed a breakfast of bagels and cream cheese, while we discussed how to handle the cancelation. It was decided that Becky would call the offending agent and read her the riot act. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say it wasn’t pretty. I doubt seriously if that agent will ever cancel a house showing again—unless there’s a legitimate excuse, like a blizzard, earthquake, or hurricane.
So, it’s back to the old “hurry up and wait.” No matter. As someone much wiser than I once said: “For every seat there’s an ass.” Wait, maybe it was “For every ass there’s a seat,” or was it “Every house needs a . . . “ Not to worry; we’ll sell our house. And then the fun will really begin. We’ll start looking in earnest for our new home. Can’t wait. Hey! Maybe we’ll have a couple of showings this weekend. After all, it only takes one . . .
Do you have an interesting real estate experience you’d like to share? We’d love to hear it.