As I mentioned yesterday, in a recent post I asked the question “What five words would you use to describe 2016?” Mine included: taxing, eventful, wearying, surprising and atonement. Eventful was covered yesterday. Taxing and wearying will be covered today.
In the spring of 2015 when we realized that once my younger daughter was off in university in the autumn we’d be empty nesters, the most amazing man in the world and I decided to sell our oversized home with its oversized chores and its oversized responsibilities and its oversized bills. And downsize. So in October of that year, a ‘For Sale’ sign was hammered into our front lawn.
And that’s when the troubles began...
Our biggest mistake was the real estate agent we selected to sell the beast. We should have realized how badly we’d chosen when he took an old listing of our house and simply copied the text over, including room dimensions, selling points, etc, when we put up our listing. Signs of laziness and lack of creativity.
While we were up and running, we found it difficult to get information from him after a showing, we had to mention over and over that this or that photo had to be removed because it was unattractive/outdated/detrimental, we had to remind him again and again to make changes on the listing because x, y or z bit of information about our home was wrong/incomplete/inaccurate. On and on it went.
And the worst part? He never corrected or adjusted what needed to be corrected or adjusted.
All of this was taxing…
The year ended and 2016 arrived. January and February and March and April came and went, and although we had visits, we had no offers. We kept the house clean and orderly, we prepared it for showings and tiptoed around so we wouldn’t disturb or damage or disrupt anything. We became anxious and frustrated and disillusioned with the whole process, and the relationship with our agent became further strained with his ongoing incompetence and his single sales strategy: price reductions. Sure, if you drop the price low enough, you can sell sand to someone in the Sahara desert.
All of this was wearying...
When May arrived, we thought “this is it”. Kingston has a military base and during the months of May and June, real estate booms as families are relocated. And so we worked on making a great impression. By this time the garden had begun to shine, we purchased beautiful annuals to decorate the front of our home, we reseeded our lawn and polished up our curb appeal. We invited our agent to come take a look, perhaps make some suggestions and to also snap spring photos of the outdoors, which looked colourful and inviting and warm. He never did. Instead, he removed the winter photos of the outdoors and put back the photos he’d taken back in October where our grass looked dead and there were no signs of landscaping and no signs of a garden. And all the beautiful annuals we had planted and all the stunning perennials I had carefully selected and nurtured over the years that were now putting on a show were nowhere to be found.
The house looked dull...and unloved.
What happened with this shitty visual presentation of the outdoors? Our showings tanked and the month of May was a bust. We were livid. Looking back, we have no one to blame but ourselves for keeping him on for so long - 8 long, fruitless and exasperating months - to a point where he burnt our listing. Somewhere along the way we became so beaten down that we kind of gave up on the whole thing. Very unusual for two people who typically have very strong characters. But there it was.
In June, we snapped out of our sluggishness, dusted ourselves off, decided to cut our losses and fired him.
But now that we'd kicked him to the curb, where would we go from there?
Well, an idea began to grow. And the more we thought about it and the more we talked about it, the more and more appealing it became.
And I'll tell you all about that in the next post...