‘Auditioning’ agents is a weird process…you have to feel confident the person is going to do a good job, but you also have to feel comfortable with them. We interviewed three different agents, each had their pros and cons. One was very friendly but didn’t even make a follow up phone call or email so I assumed he didn’t really want the business. One was friendly, confident and followed up very professionally. One was patronising and made us both feel a bit uncomfortable, and though he followed up (and tried to friend me on Facebook – too far) he made me feel pressured and that’s an instant gut reaction of ‘back off’ from me. So we picked Michael from Ray White Hurstville.
Once we made that phone call the ball started rolling fast. We called WB Scott and Tong to draw up the contract (we used them when we bought this house), the agent sent his photographer and floorplan person to capture our house from its best angles, and made up brochures and the web ads. It scrubs up pretty well, don’t you think?
We didn’t have an open for inspection straight away as dad was staying over the weekend, so it just would have been too difficult to put everything away and make it neat. We tried to keep a rolling standard of neat from when the photos were taken to yesterday, when we had the first open for inspection. But it’s hard to stay tidy! Nevertheless, the house has been lovely to be in the last couple of weeks.
On Friday night the neighbours who we don’t know that well came over. They are a big family (Lebanese, I think), and one of the sons recently got married. He said he would love to live next door to his parents and what did we want for the place? We said he’d have to go through the agent and he said he was hoping we could do a deal. No, we’d already signed the contract with the agent. “We didn’t know about it until we saw the sign out the front – we would have made you an offer and you wouldn’t have had to pay an agent”. Oh well. I suppose we could have knocked on their door and told them our plans, but not knowing them very well it just didn’t occur to us to do (there’s a tip for any of you selling – tell your neighbours about it before you sign with an agent, just in case!). But we told him what we were hoping to get, he didn’t baulk, and they went home to discuss it.
In the morning we did a last tidy and clean up of the fallen leaves in the backyard. I decided we should take the kitten with us for the half hour of the open, as I couldn’t trust she would stay hidden while people were around, and might wander out through the open gate onto the road (no such fears with Mattie, our adult cat, who is intensely distrustful of all humans and hides in the garden when people who aren’t us are around). We were ready early and then sat there, waiting for the agent to arrive so we could leave. It felt like when you get ready to go out somewhere special and you’re ready too early, so you sit around waiting nervously, not wanting to move too much or do anything to mess up the beautiful impression you’ve created. Michael arrived, we took Coco, went and got a coffee and sat by a park for half an hour while people inspected our lovely little house and decided whether or not it was for them.
Michael said there had been seven groups through, and four had taken contracts. He seemed happy with that, and is going to make his calls on Monday to see who wants to put an offer in. He was pleased about the neighbours’ interest, as it seems likely that there will be at least a couple of offers to consider.
It would be so amazing if someone buys it this week! Then we don’t have to keep tidying up and can start to plan the next phase…where we’re going to move to.