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Walking in Your Shoes

Wow, what an eye-opener! Having just listed my own apartment for sale, I am now “walking in the shoes” of my sellers. Boy, do I have a much deeper appreciation for what they go through, especially if there are kids still at home.

I now wake with both hope and dread that I will have a showing. I don’t dare walk out the door without wiping every surface and turning over the oil diffuser sticks. I check the water in the multiple vases of fresh flowers, make sure all the closets look like a page out of a Marie Kondo book and even rearrange the food inside the fridge. I remind my daughter, who is working from home most days, to go through her own drill and she rolls her eyes. Knowing her idea of what “show ready” is certainly adding to the stress. And then, after all that, there are no appointments. It’s like living in a constant state of a shoot for Architectural Digest.

This brought back memories of coaching my parents when they were selling their house years ago. It was fascinating hearing why they wanted to choose one broker over the other. They leaned towards the agents who “liked the house just as it is”, who “didn’t think we need to do anything before listing” and the agent who (with no data to support it) thought “we can get at least $50K more.”

Even though those agents had no experience in their market and an outdated marketing plan that may have worked when the Brady Bunch were their home in the ’70s, they wanted to choose them. Why? Because they felt overwhelmed.

The experienced agent was a pro and clearly more knowledgeable. She had the contract prices of recent sales and explained the huge return my parents would get if they got their house “show ready”. She said “simply” remove some furniture, declutter, touch up paint, remove heavy curtains, and clean the windows. This all made perfect sense, except my parents froze. They didn’t know where to start, so they wanted to take what they saw as the easiest route.

I hopped on the phone with the better broker, and we came up with a plan for her to manage the “show ready” process. My parents felt so relieved, so they hired her. They got a great price for their home in record time.

I never walk into a meeting with a potential seller without assuring them that if work or staging is needed, I have the resources to help get it done efficiently and for as little money as possible. I commit to help, every step of the way, during what is a stressful, and overwhelming process.

So even being a seller isn’t fun, experiencing this personally helps me to not just focus on “getting it done” but to be more mindful of the wide range of feelings along the way.

Wish me luck!

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