Jun 22, 2011

Ba Da Dah Dah Daaaah

Today's topic: real estate.  Having just sold one house and bought a new one, we have now been exposed to many different real estate strategies.  We learned that real estate agents price homes in one of two ways: a little low, to generate offers and engage buyers in the process, and a little high, in hopes of raising the eventual sale price.

We learned that if a home does not sell right out of the gate, it will start to look unappealing, like the last doughnut in a box full of crumbs and unstuck sprinkles, a doughnut that no one wants to be seen eating.   Psychology will take over: no one else wanted that doughnut, why should I want that doughnut?  And who ate all the chocolate covered doughnuts and the sugar glazed anyway?  And why is the only doughnut left the one with avocado green bathrooms and a neighbor out of Deliverance? Then the agent must figure out how to bring that stale doughnut back at a later date and make it look like a whole new pastry.  (Which is why restaurants invented bread pudding, by the way.  Today's dry bread is tomorrow's dessert, and no longer free, either.)

In the case of selling our own house, our agent really surprised us. He started by hosting an open house on a Sunday, while we were out of town.  Later that night we spoke by phone to find out how the event went and he told us lots of people came to the open house, lots and lots of people.  He said he felt like he was having a party at our house.  Come in, come in!  He told us that at  least one family wanted to make an offer that day.  Oh, we exclaimed, that's great, an offer!  Well,  I told them we're not taking offers until next week, he said.  Here, our heads cocked suddenly and we made the Scooby Doo "Rhooomph?" noise.  We're not taking offers?  Are you sure that's wise?

And of course he was right.  The following week we started taking offers and we sold the house in a few days. Then we went shopping for our own pastry, I mean house.

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