So far in 2012, Mrs. Cutter and I have spent a good deal of time and energy preparing to sell our condo.
Why are we looking to sell? Because although our condo has served us well enough as our home for the past five years, in the interest of future family expansion we will require a larger living space. Plus, it would be really nice to not have someone living directly above us anymore.
In order to expedite the sale, we have tried to make the condo look as much like a model unit as possible. We have removed several large pieces of furniture, put quite a few things away in storage, and have done our best to keep it looking neat and clean.
Mrs. Cutter and I are not naturally neat people, and having a toddler around makes keeping the place clean that much more difficult. But so far, we have done a pretty good job of maintaining a level of tidiness.
Unfortunately, most potential buyers are not interested in purchasing a condo sight unseen. Therefore, if they want to buy it, they have to come by and take a look at the place. Typically, the sellers do not want to be present while the potential buyers are looking around. So if someone wants to come by, we need to make plans to vacate.
With a toddler on hand, simply getting up and leaving is not always that easy. We have requested that people alert us in advance as to when they want to stop by. But this has not been a smooth process.
The first incident came two weeks ago. Mrs. Cutter was working late, so I had picked up the Cutlet from daycare. Upon arriving home, I was informed by my real estate agent that someone wanted to come by that evening between 6:30 and 6:45.
I rushed inside, put away some groceries, fed the Cutlet her dinner, made sure the place was presentable, and left home with a few minutes to spare.
Since it was a pleasantly warm evening, I decided that we would walk around outside. The Cutlet enjoyed herself for a while, but after some time, she was clearly getting tired. At 7:10, I decided to head back home, and peek in the window to see if anyone was still there.
Seeing an empty condo, I figured it was safe to return. I gathered up some bags that I had stowed in the car, and lugged the Cutlet back inside.
I had just removed her coat and shoes and was about to start her bath when the doorbell rang. It was the potential buyer and his agent. They were running late and wanted to know if they could take a look.
I was angry. I had just rushed around to get ready, skipped dinner, and then kept the Cutlet outside for over 45 minutes for nothing. I tried to be polite, but I’m sure there was an edge to my voice when I told them that they couldn’t come in.
I realize that I probably only spited myself, but I needed to get the Cutlet ready for bed, and I didn’t think I’d be able to do that with people looking around.
If you’re going to come look at someone’s home, and you call to set up a time, wouldn’t it make sense to also alert the people that you’re running late? Apparently not.
That experience helped prepare us for the following weekend.
We received a call on Saturday morning from a realtor saying that she wanted to bring a client by between 11:30 and 12:30. This might have cut into the Cutlet’s scheduled nap time a bit, but I figured I’d just bring her out to eat lunch during that time, and start her nap a little late.
At 10:45, Mrs. Cutter was out, so I was home alone with the Cutlet. While we had gotten most of the place in order, there was still a bit of clutter around. To my surprise, I heard voices outside, and then the sound of the lockbox opening.
I opened the door to find the realtor who had called along with her clients. I told them they could come in, as long as they didn’t mind the Cutlet and I being there. Sadly, The Cutlet got a little freaked out, as whenever people come by she automatically assumes that it is a babysitter for her.
Her early arrival was especially annoying since she had called Mrs. Cutter to say she had trouble locating the unit. But she failed to mention that she was going to be 45 minutes early and would be stopping by momentarily.
Of course, 45 minutes outside of the window seems downright considerate compared to what happened to us the next day.
Sunday morning, we were woken up by a phone call at 8:30 AM. Keep in mind that with the Daylight Savings Time adjustment, this seemed like 7:30 AM to us.
It was another realtor telling us that they’d be coming by between 10:30 and 12. Since the Cutlet had swim class in the morning, this didn’t seem like it would be a major issue.
We ended up staying out all day, as we checked out some open houses after swim class. The Cutlet was well-behaved, but she didn’t get in a full nap, and by the end, she was growing weary of the whole process. Her parents were pretty worn out as well.
We returned home and settled in for the evening. After some time, I was quite surprised when I heard a knock on the door at 5:45. It was the realtor and her clients who were “running late,” and asked if they could look around.
Half an hour after the scheduled time is “running late.” Five hours later is just gross inconsideration. I let them take a look around, but I made no effort to really accommodate them. Considering they only stayed for a couple of minutes, I don’t think they were especially interested.
I realize that the whole process is going to be an inconvenience to us, but would it kill these people to show a slight bit of consideration? If you can call us to tell us that you’re planning to come by, couldn’t you also call and tell us that your schedule has been changed?
I don’t know if most of the places these people are looking at are unoccupied, but when people are living there, they don’t necessarily appreciate the unexpected intrusions.
I suppose there’s nothing much we can do except hope that an interested buyer comes by soon. Until then, we’re just going to have to live with the frustration.