June 9, 2010

Home Showings

Yesterday afternoon, my realtor Candy called to tell me that another realtor wanted to show my house that evening at 8:30pm.

“That’s kind of late,” I replied with a sigh. “But we’ll do what we’ve got to do.”

Keeping one’s house in constant “showing” condition is a joy akin to being pecked to death by a flock of chickens.

After driving aimlessly around our town for thirty minutes, we returned home to find the realtor’s car still parked in our driveway. Our kids—who normally go to bed at 7:30pm—were foaming at the mouth.

“We have to get them to bed,” I told my husband moments after telling Twins A & B to keep all appendages to themselves for the eighteenth time in two minutes.

Thus began the impatient wait. At nine o’clock, we circled around our street again….the realtor’s car was still there.

“What are they doing in there?” Tim wondered out loud. “Taking a nap?”

I decided to take a peek.

Tim parked the car on the street behind our house and stayed with the kids while I walked through two neighbors’ yards to the edge of ours. Hiding in the bushes under the cover of darkness, I was able to catch a clear view through the rear sliding glass door of two strangers crawling on their hands and knees across my kitchen floor.

The spectacle confirmed what I long suspected: my house is a magnet for crazies.

“Why is this happening to me?” I asked myself.

Before I could answer, I caught a glimpse of a furry blob race across the room and pounce on one of the strangers.

The potential home buyers were playing with my cat. Their realtor stood by the door and watched.

Over the next ten minutes, the strangers tested every cat toy in our house. They also opened every cupboard door, thumbed through several cookbooks, and flipped through my wall calendar.

Finally, at 10pm, an hour and a half after entering my house, the strangers and their realtor finally left.

“They better buy the house,” my husband growled.

“They better give us more than our asking price,” I replied. Our kids were out of their minds by the time we got them into their beds.

Candy called me this morning with the other realtor’s feedback.

The strangers didn’t like the house. It was too small for their needs...and in the wrong school district.

61 comments

The Richardson's said...

I can so relate...showing your house when you have kids/cats/or are pregnant is probably one of the most annoying things on Earth.

I have had to do this twice in the past 2 years and was pregnant both times, had cats to deal with both times and a toddler the second time.

Every time I would swear, throw things, and promise to a higher power that if this next person did not make an offer that I was just going to go on strike.

Hope it gets better- but if it makes you feel better...great blog material. Makes me smile every time!

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

HAHAH! Hope our kids got some rest.

I'm just the MOM said...

Damn that ish sux! lol a whole hour and a half of being nosey with your stuff and nothing.

Heather said...

How amazingly annoying. Didn't they know what school the house was zoned to BEFORE they came to look at it????
I am sorry you had to do that.

It took 68 showings in three months to sell ours, but it is done now.

Best of luck to you!!

Rencher Fam said...

Hang in there! We are showing our house also. I have three boys and a newborn baby-FUN STUFF! After our last showing, the feedback was that our kitchen was "too vanilla"-whatever that means. It's only been two weeks and I'm about to lose my mind!!

reen said...

You're not serious are you???????

Mr. Tent Trash said...

we had a similar thing happen in utah last week. in ours, the family looking at our home brought their parents, the dad looked like an old uncle rico and the mom looked like an adult films star. selling homes sucks!

Cathryn said...

That's a perfect example of why I said earlier that realtors are the most over paid profession there is. The mortgage broker does more work!

Unbelievable! Please don't get used like that again, set boundaries.

Emily Heizer Photography said...

What the heck? YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!!!! I would be SO ANGRY. I would have just banged on the door and asked them to leave. Obviously they know you are sitting there waiitn for them with your kids! HELLO! ARGH!

High Heels and Aprons said...

Good times.

Lisa, An American Mom said...

Oh.My.Gosh. I would kill them and I would hope your realtor is going to give the other realtor a swift kick in the ass. That is ridiculous! What jerks.

Erin said...

Oh I would have been so ticked! When we were looking for our house I could never imagine actually thumbing through someone's wall calendar...and I'm nosey!

I wouldn't have been that patient, I would have walked right in and said SORRY, My kids need to go to bed!

Maureen said...

Oh man, if you had known they were interested in school districts, you could have just let your kids run around freely in the house two hours past their bedtime just to demonstrate the type of stellar behaviors the schools teach. They might not have bought the house, but at least they would have left sooner! Well, next time. Or not.

Kerrie (and Jason) said...

Why can't you just stay home for the showings? Wouldn't they prefer the 'homely' 'lived-in' look anyway?

Malea said...

Goldilocks much?

Luvily said...

oh my gosh. UNBELIEVABLE!!! Why bother to even check your house out if it's in the "wrong" school district? Bizarre!!!

luvin' life said...

Wow! What a story! I think I would set some limits on showing times, even though it is painful to do that when you need to sell so bad. If they are really interested they will see it at a time that works for you.

Kim Ginsberg said...

I hope Candy kicked this other realtor in the arse with her shiny, red, sassy pump. Come on, arriving at 8:30, walking through rooms that kids obviously live in, and then allowing the people, who the realtor already knows doesn’t like the house, to spend another hour, playing with the cat, and being generally nosey is just uncalled for! A little common courtesy, please!
On the other hand – remember all of these things when you start looking for houses in Florida! PS – I heard Elin and the kids are leaving Tiger – maybe he’s selling!?

TORI said...

You can say no to bad timing. Really, it's not okay for your realtor to ask you to show your house at 8:30 at night when you have four kids under the age of 6. Please. Your realtor was an A@#$@# for doing that. I know that times are tough and it's hard to sell. But everything will work out. That was really bad manners on all of their parts.

When I was looking for houses, I often viewed houses with the owners still home, who cares. But an hour and a half is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I am looking at homes and absolutely can't stand it if the owners are around when we show up at the appointed time. No one will focus on your house if the family is milling around, eating, watching TV, lying on their beds, etc. Worse thing to do, ever. I last about 5 minutes then retreat to the car. I am not comfortable looking at closet space or a pantry if the owner is there. Seems rude, even though I know I am supposed to check out certain things like that. Plus, I can't discuss the house freely with my husband or the realtor if the homeowners are listening. I do agree with the others, next time, give them at most an hour then return home. That's a standard time frame for a showing, should offend no one.

Jennifer said...

That's insane. Usually when people stay like that, they like the house. When they don't like it, it usually only takes ten minutes. That behavior is uncalled for.

Jennifer said...

Offer to throw in the cat and maybe they'll reconsider :)

Seriously, we just sold our house ourselves and the first feedback we got after our open was "your cat was very entertaining". After playing with the cats in some of the houses we looked at I have decided that it is definitely not a good sign if the pets are more interesting than the rest of the house.

Laurie said...

Wow, that is so wild. I can't believe they did that to you, especially since they probably knew right away they weren't interested. We had a simular experience recently when we were selling our home (it was close to the kids' bedtime, them staying a long time as were circling the block waiting for them to leave), but they are the ones that bought the house so all is forgiven.
Like some others have commented, set some boundaries. If they really want to see the house, they'll make it work. We did that a couple of times and it worked out fine. Good luck! It will all work out.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

If we put our house on the market, I'm cleaning it once, then packing up my children and moving in with my mom for the summer. I'm not kidding.

Christine said...

How frustrating!

When we showed our last house I had a baby and I got sooo tired of trying to shove away the high chair, toys and anything else that made it obvious that we had a baby (my realtor's advice) away and time someone wanted to come over!

So glad when that was over.

Susi said...

Ugh - that would tick me off! I suggest doing what my sister did when they were selling their house - turn on a baby monitor in the house and go sit across the street in your car with the receiver! Very enlightening!

Sarah said...

You have my deepest sympathy! I too have suffered through the "house selling fiasco" I never want to repeat it again!!!!!!

Dorice said...

I have bought and sold about 5 homes over the past 20 years. There are a few things you can do to make it less stressful (not that it still won't be stressful). On the MLS listing, you can specifically state the time frame the home is availble to be shown (i.e., 9am - 8pm) or state "no showings after 8pm". Your realator will say this is a bad idea, but the reality is, as long as you are generous in your times available, it'll be fine. Keeping the house clean, is always stressful and I don't have any real advise there, but I will say, it is just a matter of time and the right buyer will come through and it's a done deal. Also, I've found that open houses are a huge waste of your time and effort. I've never had a buyer come through, at an open house. Lots of lookie-loos. Real buyers are going to come through with their realtors so save yourself the stress with the open houses. Hang in there and good luck.

Mark said...

Wow Jana, you have a whole lot more patience than I would! I would have been incredibly passive aggressive to them and ask if there was anything that I could do, and then make a snide remark as they left :)

Natalie said...

I don't honestly believe anything the other realtor said. Wrong School district? Who doesn't check that before seeing the house? And WHY THE HELL would the realtor spend so much time watching them play with your cat? And 8:30 at night for a showing - WOW! is there no such thing as personal space? the next one will want to see it at 6am, you watch!
Can you tell I am so mad on your behalf?
Thanks at least for keeping it funny and good luck!

CountessLaurie said...

oh. my. heck. They read your freakin calendar?? I would have had some choice words for Candy come morning!

But then, I suppose you'd have to admit you were peeping into your own house :-)

Donna said...

You'd think they could have figured out the school district discrepancy before shooing you out after bedtime!

Gina said...

WRONG SCHOOL DISTRICT! They knew that before they stepped foot in your door. I never understand why people check out houses with unchangeable undesirables. They are just making themselves miserable.

Good luck. People are nuts.

Jen said...

The Doors said it best. People are strange.

Nolie said...

Well at least they liked the cat. OMG I would lose my mind trying to sell my home. Hope it sells soon so you can be done with it.

The Pisarzewicz Family said...

I am seething on your behalf. We sold our house a few months back and I detested showings. I started getting much more stringent about times as it went on. House for sale or not, you still have to get your kids to bed relatively on time--potential buyers don't have to deal with crabby kids the next day.

crazy ramblings of a tired mom said...

That is awful, but funny at the same time!

Carmen said...

OMG! Wierdos! WIERDOS!

Pearl said...

That is so weird! But at least they were playing with your cat and not a mouse!

Madeline said...

Are you kidding me? That's got to be the rudest thing I've ever heard. Clearly, you've got children. They had to know that those children needed to go to bed. People can be such A**holes.
Maybe you can find out where they live and send your boys to piss on their shrubs or something.

Jo's girl said...

oh the joys of selling a house. we technically put our house on the market in Nov. but no one bit until the week before christmas. now if trying to wrap presents deal with kids on christmas break and keeping your house spotless while baking and all the mess that comes along with christmas plus you have twits who want to see you house?! and to top that I rear-ended a lady who came during that week. of course she didn't put in a bid but none the less it was pay back I guess for the excruciating headache for having the nerve to do house hunting at such a stupid time.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry that happened to you! that is awful, I would have gone in and been like, okay everybody out!!

brossettelewis said...

I would fire Candy. Playing w/ the cat? Looking at my calender? 10pm?

agent99 said...

Uhg. House on the market right now, so I feel your pain. One party came to see it FOUR times. Seriously, do you need to look FOUR times?? The did finally make an offer - at 100K below asking. Needless to say, we were not able to agree on a price. I've also had people call for a viewing in 15 mons, then call back, 15 mins later to cancel. The rudeness is unbeliveable!!
Hope it sells soon and this will be over for you!
Hang in there!

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

I've long wondered what goes on during such time-consuming showings. And now I know. Thanks for crawling through the neighbors' hedges to solve the mystery. :)

Here's hoping for a **speedy** offer on your house! There's nothing worse than having to hide your toothbrush every morning.

Karen Mortensen said...

Oh my. Some people. If it wasn't in the right school district, why did they look at it in the first place?

Di said...

Good gracious! Candy needs to make sure that she covers the basis of things like schools with the people first before showing the house. I know most realtors do that...and the late time was insane. Who wants to see a house that late?

Could you possibly comment back to her as if you could pretend that you didn't know what they were doing and ask why the cat toys were out of place? Or better yet...pretend they are your personal affects and ask them why they were in with the cat toys?

Karen in NC said...

Wow. You are way too nice-i would have come back inside with my kids and informed them it was bedtime....

Jean said...

Hahahahaha!!! Hahahahahahaha!! Why... why are people so weird...??

vanilla said...

Bummer.

Katie said...

Probably don't have kids of their own or they would NEVER have done that to you!

Elizabeth said...

oh. my. goodness. That would drive me crazy. Our house was on the market for 6 mos (just sold in April) and I would have just said no to that showing- it's just toooooo late. Plus: an hour and a half? They were looking for a place to party apparently!

Kristin said...

That is too wierd! When our house was being shown, someone used the toilet and didn't flush. Much worse than you leaving something there!

P.S. Not to bum you out, but we still own our home in Houston. We gave up on selling and rented it instead.

Anonymous said...

Our house has been on the market for 14 months. FOURTEEN MONTHS! I have one preschooler and one kindergartener of my own, and keep a 10 month old and 3 year old during the day. Believe me when I say, "I understand!!!" The last set of crazies that looked at our house complained that our master bed headboard was...ahem... too colonial. Really? That's what you're concerned with? OMGosh!!!

The Payne Family said...

Our house is on the market too and I can't tell you how many times I've frantically cleaned and got everyone out of the house only to be told that it's too small. The realtors tell you how big it is BEFORE you go.. so why do they waste our time.

Cat said...

How rude!

My SIL had a similar thing happen. The people wanted to see it later in the evening, she agreed, but then they were an hour late. She had already put her three young daughters to bed when they finally arrived. Then THEY were ticked off that they didn't get to see the other bedroom - where the girls were sleeping!

Some people!

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