Getting Ready for the Market

So, you want to move.

Recent news seems to say that this is the time. There are real buyers out there, and this year can be the year to make it happen. Nothing stands in your way.  Nothing that is, except the daunting task of getting your house ready to put on the market.

Getting your home ready can seem like “eating an elephant.”  Every room needs work, every closet needs purging, stuff for a garage sale, stuff for Goodwill, things to pack, things to give away, painting and caulking, cleaning and decluttering…yep…it’s like eating an elephant!

But as the saying goes, “When eating an elephant take one bite at a time.” (Creighton Abrams)

It’s a big job, but let me suggest…take that first bite…start with your refrigerator…




Keep biting…you’ll get there!

The spring market awaits!!





Thick Skin and Big Pants…Welcome to Selling Your House


So the real estate office calls. They say they have an agent that would like to show your house tomorrow afternoon between 2:00-3:00. You hang up the phone, super excited! Maybe this one will be the one…THE buyer for your house.

To prepare for the showing you get all the laundry put away, do a quick pick up in every room, you wash your already pretty clean floor, scrub the toilets and spray lemon scented antibacterial solution on every surface in your kitchen. Later, when you run to the grocery store you pick up some fresh flowers. (Every little bit helps, right?) The next day, just moments before the appointed hour you light a candle, take one last look around…”perfect” you say. You leave the house, get in your car, drive around the block and park just down the street. They won’t notice you, but you can see them.

At 2:05 a car pulls up to your house; it looks like it could be the realtor. At 2:15 a second car pulls up…this must be them. At 2:16, realtor and the future owners of your fabulous house are opening your front door!!

Your anticipation and excitement begin to get the best of you, thoughts start running through your head…”what if they want to close right away, can we get out that fast?”…”I wonder if they will let us stay a couple of days after closing”…”Maybe we should make an offer on that house we saw last week, loved the kitchen, think the sofa will look perfect against the wall opposite the fireplace…”  Within moments, you have yourself packed up and out of your old house and arranging furniture in the new one.

Your thoughts are interrupted when at 2:19, you see the realtor and YOUR buyer getting into their cars and driving away…

Seriously!!!   Three minutes!!! Three minutes!!!? You scrubbed toilets and floors, bought fresh flowers, lit a candle, for three minutes!?

Welcome to selling your house.

There’s so much preparing to do when selling a house. There’s preparing your house to put on the market. There’s preparing the house for each of the showings. What’s not often mentioned, but is equally important, is the mental preparing for what’s emotionally in store.

You need to find your thick skin and put your big pants on to prepare for the showing that only lasts for three minutes, for the showing that doesn’t show, to prepare for the negative feedback or the feedback you never hear and to prepare for the work your butt off and rearrange your whole schedule for a three minute showing that will inevitably be a part of the home selling experience. To prepare NOT to take it, any of it, personally.

Be prepared…because it’s gonna happen.

Not every showing will show up and they won’t all last longer than three minutes. There will be people that really DON’T like your house, and they will feel no need to spend one minute longer in it then is necessary for them to come to that conclusion.  Sometimes you’ll hear feedback, but often you won’t. Selling your house will be stressful, you’re going to get angry, you’re feelings might even get hurt. Recognizing and accepting those facts and mentally preparing for them, will make it that much easier to handle when it happens.

So PREPARE! Set your emotions aside, find your thick skin, put your big pants on, keep you’re eye on the prize and remind yourself, again and again and again that every showing, good or bad showing, long or three minutes short showing, is bringing you your buyer, THE buyer for your house!

Hiring an Agent by Amy Curtis

image courtesy of
image courtesy of

Maggie has been cutting and coloring (yep it’s a must) my hair for the last eight years. Maggie is good at what she does. She gives a really good haircut, and when it comes to color, she’s the bomb. Maggie is a stylist at a pretty exclusive, pretty pricey, salon in my hometown, Orland Park. I think there are probably a bunch of really good stylists there. I could probably go to any one of them and be happy with my haircut and color. I’d expect that they would know what they were doing, expect that they were up to date on the latest trends and products and styles. But I choose Maggie. Getting your haircut is a personal thing, you expose alot of yourself sitting in that chair. It’s a vulnerable place to be. In that chair, you express your doubts about your appearance, your hopes for a good outcome…and when you’re in the middle of your appointment and the dye has been applied and your hair is just sort of sticking out all over and you look incredibly ridiculous…well, you wouldn’t want just anyone to see you like that!  I choose Maggie. She knows what she’s doing, she does a good job but I choose Maggie because I trust her, I feel comfortable with her, she suits me. She might not be the right stylist for everyone, but she’s the right one for me.

I’d approach hiring an agent in much the same way.

The criteria for a hair stylist is obviously different from that of a real estate agent. The “knows what they are doing” in real estate  includes thorough market knowledge, tech savvy, marketing and negotiation skills. A good company with strong market and internet presence is a good thing too.  And when you’re hiring  an agent, you should expect that. But once the criteria is met, comfortable is important. Trust and the right fit is important. Just as sitting in the stylists chair with your hair sticking out all over the place, buying or selling a home is a vulnerable and personal place to be. It’s about your finances,  life decisions, all your personal stuff. You’re not going to want just anyone in  on all of that! So find the agent that’s the right fit for you. The agent you feel comfortable with, the agent you trust…hey…maybe even the agent you wouldn’t be embarrassed to run into at your next hair coloring appointment!

I’m off to a listing appointment…wonder if I will be the right fit for them.