This week I put my own home on the market, and it’s been a very interesting experience to have the shoe on the other foot. Thought it might be of interest to non-real estate people to know that it can be just as exhausting and stressful of an experience for those of us in the biz. So here are some details…
First off, everyone asks if I am listing my own place and the answer is no… but kind of. For liability/insurance reasons, Coldwell Banker doesn’t want its agents listing our own properties. But honestly, even if I could, I don’t think I would — for a couple of reasons:
#1 — It’s impossible to be objective. This is MY home after all. So of course it is the best, most beautiful place — and everyone should want to buy it for easily 20% over market value! Even my boyfriend is sick of hearing about how awesome my place is. So for everyone’s sake, I called in some reinforcements in the form of three very knowledgeable colleagues (thank you Natasha, Ed & Lenore!), who helped me with pricing and staging my condo.
#2 — It’s not in my best interest. Having been on the buyer-agent side of many for-sale-by-owner showings, I can tell you that it is very awkward to be looking at a property when the homeowner is present. Buyers feel like they are being monitored and therefore tend to rush through, being afraid to look in closets, open cabinets, etc. and they certainly don’t feel they can talk freely with their agent when the owner is there listening to every word. And if they’re not comfortable being in a home on a showing, they’re unlikely to make an offer.
So I will not be doing my own showings or hosting my own open houses. I have handed that responsibility over to my good friend and colleague Natasha Burger, who I know will do a great job of talking up my place, while at the same time being just far enough removed from the deal that buyers will feel comfortable spending time there, asking questions, etc.
What I AM doing for myself is all the front end work — completing office paperwork and preparing all the marketing materials (after all, who knows this place better than I do?) — and once the offers (presumably) come in, I’ll step back in to do my own negotiations and manage the transaction through closing. Remains to be seen how much more stressful it will be than when I am representing a seller client…. ask me after closing!
So that’s how things will play out with my listing. And I’m sure I will be just as nervous as any seller as we approach the offer deadline. It was nerve-wracking enough having agents come through my place on our office caravan. I’m telling you — my place is generally clean and neat, but having heard some snide agent comments about such-and-such property having dirty windows or whatever, I have spent the past week cleaning like I’ve never cleaned before! I feel there’s extra pressure on me as a realtor to have a perfect home. Perhaps it’s self-imposed, but anyway…
Wish me luck!