Monday, May 26, 2008

Open House

We held our first open house Sunday. Seeing as how it was a holiday weekend, it was the first nice day of said holiday weekend, the house had only been on the market 5 days and we didn't have any interior photos up on our page yet... I wasn't expecting much. However that didn't keep me, my husband, my mother and my father from just about killing ourselves cleaning for about 16 straight hours on Saturday and another 4 hours on Sunday. I cleaned things I had never even thought of before... the banister to the basement stairs, the baseboards in our storage room, the hot water heater, etc etc etc ad infinitum ad naseum. Between the cleaning and staging our house per the instructions of an interior designer we hired, by the end of Saturday night *I* was ready to buy my damn house. Lets just say I'm glad we'll have photos to remember this by since it will be the first and only time my home looks like like it could conceivably be ready for an Architectural Digest photo shoot - and I want proof!

Saturday night after my folks had gone home, hubby and I had a glass of wine with dinner. I went in to sit on the couch while he straightened up the last bit of the kitchen. He found me there about 10 minutes later sitting up, glass of wine in hand, dead asleep.

The good news is that even with everything running against us, we still had about 10 sets of people through. Our professional photographer that came with our realtor's listing package stopped by around 3:30 to take photos of our home and had been to three other open houses that day. He said most had no one show, one house had two people. The fact that we had 10 was looking pretty good.

Of those that came through, two seemed very interested. In fact one of the two was a woman who had come with her mother. She told us upon leaving "your house is wonderful, you'll have no problem selling it" (from her mouth to God's ears please!) to which I said "thank you very much, we've had a couple of people tell us that so I hope you're right". Around 4:20 a guy showed up and wanted to know if it was too late to see the house. Now, we had friends over who arrived at 4:00 for our Memorial Day grill out, but we of course said, "Hey if you wanna see the house -come on in." He then told us his wife (the lady who came with her mother) called him on her way out the door and told him he HAD to come see the house that day. He drove 45 minutes from another town where they live to see the house. I'm hoping against hope that that is a really good sign. We'll just see.

I do have to say it is an odd thing to sit silently in your living room and feign reading a book while a bunch of strangers traipse through your house in judgement. Normally when you are using a standard realtor, you leave the house and come back 3 hours later to discus any interested parties with your realtor who held the house open. In our case, since we are using a discount broker, its up to us to do the heavy lifting.

The first guy to come by was just odd. Period. He came to the door at 1:15 with his son in tow, walked in the front door without so much as knocking. He was wearing a "wife beater t", shorts, a baseball cap, sandals and a large panther tattoo on his ankle. Ummm ok. I greeted him and he immediately went to the sign in sheet giving only his name - no contact information. He then said "so can we just go at it?" Ah sure. Instead of perusing the main floor as one would expect he and his son went straight upstairs. I could hear them moving around for a minute or two before he came back down, said "thank you but we're looking for a bigger master bath," told us our house was great and left. He was there no more than 5 minutes. After being scared to death by our realtor about robbery or worse (he insisted I not be allowed to host an open house alone) I admit I went upstairs to check and make sure everything was in its rightful place. It was.

Apart from that oddity, the rest of the day went as one would expect. Most people milled around in hushed whispers opening closets, going up and down stairs, wandering in and out doors, and murmuring comments to one another along the way. Once in a while someone would ask a question. Then they would thank us and be on their way. There was one couple - possibly Russian or Eastern European - who spoke to each other in their native tongue the entire time. It was a little off-putting. I would have given just about anything for a translator at that point. Most of the time, when someone left I wanted more than anything to run after them in the driveway and beg to know what they liked, what they didn't - what we could do better next time. Unfortunately I'll just have to do that one thing I'm not very good at ... be patient and wait.

1 comment:

Amy said...

It all sounds very interesting!