I "interviewed" two realtors today. Both nice women and not morons. The first was sweet and funny and I truly liked her, but her listing presentation wasn't how it should be done - it was half-assed - no, that's too kind; it wasn't a real listing presentation. She didn't take the time to put anything together, just printed the info about the house (which, hello, we're standing in) off the county tax site - she said what I already know to be true - "The comps are all stale because nothing is selling, so we have to wing it." This is true, but she didn't know that I know this and am a realistic seller. I can tell when someone did no prep work at all. She's a highly successful agent, but I think that is owed more to her connections and a formerly really hot market than her devotion to detail. But I liked her a lot, and I will feel bad about not giving her the listing.
Candidate Two came later, a tall, slim older lady - I realized later why she seemed familiar - remember the end of "A League of Their Own?" - she looks like the actress who played Older Geena Davis. Very professional, quiet, classy. Though I thought she wasn't blunt enough about the state of the market, until I bluntly said the comps are all stale because sales are so few and far between, and how can anybody really determine market value in this situation until you test it, and then we were on the same page. Her recommended listing price, (arrived at delicately, after a lengthy professional listing presentation in a little presentation binder) was actually two grand higher than I planned to open. I want to generate traffic by opening lower than the other houses, but basically we hit the same number. Dingdingding! We have a winner!
The company is hghly professional and, and this is a great thing - they advertise their FL properties heavily in the Northeast. My target market for this little villa is somebody who wants a winter place/future permanent Florida retirement home. So I think I've found an agent.
But it was a long day of cleaning - the "underneath the sink" zone hadn't been done, the floors need mopping, and there were empty hangers in the closets and a couple of clothing bags and a couple of my mother's coats that my daughter didn't want. Still in great shape and classic styles, navy and gray tweed; they will go to charity.
Also generated a mountain of trash, but couldn't put it out because today is Saturday and garbage day isn't until Monday, so it's piled in the garage. So my choices are to drive over there tomorrow (3+ hours in the car for 30 minutes at the house - I don't think so) or leave the pile where it is until next time. I can go next Sunday. And now that the furniture is out, I need to get a carpet cleaning outfit in there to freshen up the existing carpet, and a handyman to do a couple of very minor things I can't reach because they require an extension ladder, and still more throwing out of stuff under the bathroom vanities, because Oh My GAWD, how the mostly empty bottles of cleaning products do develop, and mop the tile, and we are good to go.
So, yes, found a realtor, but not yet ready to launch. That will take another weekend. Thank heaven I have no corporate parties or major family commitments to deal with this year, and I can spend the weekends before Christmas collecting mostly empty bottles of cleaning products from beneath the bathroom vanities. But yes, it's progress.
So funny - yesterday I was thinking about how I wanted to go to Renninger's- a big antiques and flea market place near here - and today my daughter texted me and said that she and her BF were going to go tomorrow - he likes old furniture as much as she does, and they are shopping for a dresser. And the weather is supposed to be gorgeous, and I never have any fun, so I think tomorrow I will take myself to Renninger's. Not to tag along with them, but to do the flea market and give myself an "artist's date." I hope I don't come home with a lamp and a table and fresh produce and a parrot. (Seriously. I've wanted a parrot for years.) I will not tag along, but if she finds a dresser and wants a second opinion and I'm still there, I'll come check it out.
I doubt I'll be there when she is - I plan to go to the gym first thing, then get cleaned up and go. I'll be done by noon, when they'll be waking up.
Cousin C is off to MD tomorrow at 0-dark-thirty, bitching all the way about how early she has to leave and changing planes in Atlanta, and on and on. She's such a hoot. She could take a later direct flight, but it would cost more, and she won't do it because "Goddammit, it's the same plane flying to the same place, how can they charge more to leave at 10 a.m.?" She can totally afford to fly direct AND first class, and her sons nag her to do it, but she's cheap. J lectured her on how she makes travel so much harder than it has to be. I love him because he shares my attitude that "This is a problem money can fix, and you have the spare money to fix it, so quit bitching to us about it." A direct flight and an upgraded ticket would be soo much easier for her - she's 65, almost 66, and stresses out over running for planes in Atlanta. Her last trip was an adventure - she told it hilariously, but a delayed plane ended up with her and two tall young African-American men racing the length of the Atlanta airport - they were younger than her kids and way taller so their legs were longer, so she hollered at them to hold the plane for her. When she got there a few minutes behind them, this little 65 year old white lady was greeted by two young black men with shouts and high fives and hugs - they'd been watching out for her. She didn't know them and they didn't know her, but they'd bonded in the Chasing of the Plane. C has adventures everywhere she goes.
And I suppose she really loves these adventures, because she can afford to spare herself and doesn't. Or maybe she's just too stubborn. Or maybe she can't quite wrap her brain around having the money she has - she'll spend it on her kids and even on me and my kids, but on herself? She wears Wal-Mart sneakers and haunts the sale racks of outlet stores. (Edited: She's also an outstanding bargain hunter and has a black belt in shopping, and is justifiably proud of her mad skillz.) But we are still working on her to upgrade her computer and internet connection. She's on dial-up on a 7 year old computer. She kills us.
So, my plan for tomorrow is to have fun. Still have more to do with the other house, and we won't even talk about this one - this is about at start over. My goal is to get my mother's house listed before the New year (or maybe a week after - people do take vacations and stuff, or so I've heard) and my own by...March? I think that's doable. Maybe.
The feather and fan afghan is coming along nicely - I do have enough yarn, I think, and though I second-guessed myself on needle size and thought that I should have gone larger, I like this dense, springy feather and fan, and it will of course relax after a few rounds of Cat Hair, Boris Barf and Machine Washing that is an Afghan's Life around here. Love Patons Decor - it is now my official Afghan Fiber. It honestly feels woolly to me. My hands like it, and they complain a lot. Good stuff.