Regarding Linens and Other Things

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 Lic. #01871795

Regarding Linens and Other Things

Years ago, my mother had a real problem with the store "Linens ‘n Things."  She loved everything in that store. . . except the prices.  She would drag me out every weekend to go shopping and complain about the cost of items the whole time and never buy a single thing.  It became a ritual of sorts, we would go out and get a Caramel Frappuchino (also something my mom thought was too expensive) and head out for what promised to be some retail therapy.  

She would thumb through the sheets, bed spreads and pillow cases. . .and never stop complaining about the cost.  It would start very innocently: "Tni, do you like this set?"  Naively, I would offer my opinion about whether the particular bed set would work well with the style of her bedroom and the color scheme.  She would pause for a moment and then ask:  "Well, what do you think about the price?"  That question was rhetorical of course.  I mean, how could one really say that a $300 pillow wasn't expensive?  Clearly it was.  I didn't notice the pattern at first mostly because, well, I love my mother and enjoy spending time with her, and I really love Caramel Frappuchinos.  So, admittedly sometimes I wasn't paying the best attention, especially when I was licking the last drop of whipped cream from the plastic top while I was strolling through the bath towels. 

Eventually though, and because I am in the terrible habit of saying what I think (something she raised me to do), I turned to her one day and said "Mom, I'm not going to this store with you again."   She was floored.  "WHYYYYYYYY?" "Well because you never buy anything in here. . .in fact. . . you KNOW you're not going to buy anything from this store.   You don't like the prices, and the prices haven't changed for as long as we've been coming here.  It may be ridiculous to pay $1500 for a bed spread, but that's what the one you want costs.  Sometimes you even have a 10% coupon and you still don't like the prices enough to buy.  So, what's the point of coming here every week?"  She was a little hurt, but she eventually understood.  Her Linens ‘n Things outings were a waste of both of our time.  After all, I could suck down a Frappuchino while engaging in almost any activity, and she clearly wasn't going to buy linens or any other things.

Anyway, that moment was very instructive for me as a daughter and as a real estate agent.  Indeed, I sometimes have to have the "Linens ‘n Things" talk with my buyers as well and tell them that as much as I love spending time with them and respect their reasoning about prices. . .home prices are what they are.  If you are looking for a home right now, and buying at today's prices (even with a coupon) still doesn't appeal to you, that's ok, but you don't need to keep dragging me out to the store every weekend. . .

There is, of course, a happy ending to all of this.  As some may recall, Linens ‘n Things fell victim to the poor economy and declared bankruptcy not long ago.  Since they were going out of business, my mom called me up for a "victory lap" visit to the store and to get some closure on this chapter in our lives.  It felt almost triumphant to return to the familiar rows of soap dispensers, designer shower curtains, and George Foreman Grills and pick up a few bargains.  We stopped at Starbuck's for fuel and then headed straight for the bed linens.  Of course, my mom looked down at them and said. . .

"You call this a close out?"

Copyright © Tni LeBlanc 2010 *Regarding Linens and Other Things*


20 Recent Posts:

•1.    Countering Yourself Into A Corner: "Bank Style" Real Estate

•2.    Chase Bank: You're Not Even Trying . . . (Part 1)

•3.    It Ain't All Sunshine And Google Out There in Technology Land

•4.    The House Looking Competition - Featured!

•5.    How Many Names Have You Been Called in this Business?

•6.    No Offense But I'm Sick of Your Offer - Featured!

•7.    Are Your Blog Posts Just Cyber Garbage?

•8.    Top 5 Reasons to Commit to Your Real Estate Agent Now - Featured!

•9.    Oh Underpriced Short Sale: You Little Deceiver!

•10. Hey New Listing, I'll Be Seeing You Around - Featured!

•11. Confessions of A Short Sale Agent: I Already Hate Your Bank - Featured!

•12. And You Thought Real Estate Agents Weren't Honor Students - Featured!

•13. Agent Adultery: A Note from the "Other Agent" - Featured!

•14. Yeah I Know The BPO is Late, But So Is Your Check - Featured!

•15. Top 5 Reasons Your Real Estate Agent Stopped Returning Your Calls - Featured!

•16. Secret Agents: If You're An Agent Why Did You Sign Up on My Website? - Featured!

•17. Don't Low Ball A Home You Love - Featured!

•18. 4 Biggest Mistakes Short Sale Make- Featured!

•19. Nothing Screws Up the Day More Than A Bad Cup of Coffee - Featured!

•20. Dear Buyer: I'm Not Hiding Houses From You! - Featured!

Posted by

Tni LeBlanc, Broker
(805) 878-9879 mobile/text
CalBRE #01871795


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Jon Quist 12/12/2010 06:29 PM
  2. Kate Bourland 12/12/2010 06:38 PM
ActiveRain Community
The Lounge at Active Rain
Almost Anything Goes
Activerain and Member (Plugs)
Bartender, Make it a Double
homes on sale

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Alex Morris - Austin Real Estate Agent
Austin, TX

LOL!  Love the final parting shot from your mom!  Dare I ask if you have ever helped her buy a home?  My dad is the same way - no deal can be a "good enough" deal!

Dec 13, 2010 09:21 PM #23
Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh
Century 21 New Millennium - Upper Marlboro, MD
A doctor who makes house calls.

Such a good parallel.  I love that your mom didn't disappoint even during the close out sale.

Dec 14, 2010 12:03 AM #24
Lydie Ouellet Dickinson
Realty Executives Tri County, Bellingham MA - Bellingham, MA

Always funny to read you but mostly instructive too. I could not agree more with Dr. Stacey, it is a great parallel with Real Estate: stay in your price bracket! Also, I am so glad you two went back for the close-out! loll Thank you Tni!

Dec 14, 2010 01:20 AM #25
Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

Alex - I have gone with her to buy a home before, she was a lot of fun.  We did make MANY trips to the model homes, but she did actually buy a few. 

Dr. Stacey-Ann - Yes, my mom cracks me up a lot of the time even though she doesn't intend to.

Lydie - Glad you liked it.  You are so right she probably would have bought everything in sight at Target.  I should have drug her over there.  It did take me awhile to figure out the pattern though.  Each time I would honestly think she was going to go ahead and buy what she wanted.  Know some buyers like that?  LOL.

David- Thanks David.  I looked him up last night after reading your comment- I definitely have to read him thanks for the tip.


Dec 14, 2010 05:46 AM #27
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

ROFL...I now know from whom you get your fabuloua sense of humor...MOM! 

I should start calling it a "Linens 'n Things" talk instead of a Come to Jesus Meeting...sounds a bit less threatening!

Dec 14, 2010 08:58 AM #28
Justin Dibbs
Pearson Smith Realty - Ashburn, VA
REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale

The last line is a CLASSIC!  I love the use of a story to illustrate a point.

Dec 16, 2010 06:43 AM #29
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

The analogy is perfect. I've had several buyers like that lately.  Eventually, they ask to see a ton of junk because the pictures look good and they think I've been "holding out" on them.  No, I knew that piece of crap with all the square footage wouldn't fly.  So I take them around to pure junk for a day hoping it gets the notion that there are hidden pots of gold out of their system.  Sometimes it works and they get real. Other times it takes them off the playing field. Since things aren't likely to get more affordable - I think buyers have to recognize that for the most part their eyes are bigger than their wallets.

Dec 16, 2010 09:58 PM #30
Christine OShea
Christine E O'Shea Real Estate Broker - Naples, FL

Trini, after all of those comments not a feature?  I suggested your post for a feature.  Yes, I went to the Linnens and Things when it was closing and basically thought the same thing, personallly, I like the Super Wallmart for its quality and prices!

Dec 17, 2010 06:48 AM #31
Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

Susan - Glad you liked it!  Yes, I do like to tell my clients this story and they often end up laughing and then really telling me if they intend to buy a house or whether we should just schedule some Caramel Frappuchino time.

Justin - Thank you!

Ruthmarie - Yes, the idea of rooting through a bunch of junk is not appealing - unles you know you're taking out someone who really wants a bargain.  If your nose turns up when you see a stain on carpet please don't talk to me about foreclosures anymore -- you don't have the stomach for it.

Christine - Thanks for the suggest!  I'll have to wait and see I guess!

Dec 17, 2010 07:07 AM #32
Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond

Tni, you are so cute with your mom...more staying power than me...haven't ventured shopping with my mom since i was 14!  Can't do it...but the analogies work well & sometimes it does take that talk to bring things

Dec 18, 2010 10:46 PM #33
Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ
Weichert - Lopatcong, NJ


I used to look in Linens 'n Things and then find the same items on the Internet much cheaper! Guess I have some of your mom in my spirit.  Loved your tie into real estate.

Dec 19, 2010 01:21 AM #34
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Hey, I remember doing the same thing with their bed ensembles. How much is this going to cost? Look for that coupon. I bought stuff most of the time.  In fact, my current bed spread is from there LOL.  They always had the current colors & trends set up where you could see them well.

Dec 19, 2010 03:32 AM #35
Donna Paul
Keller Williams Realty Gold Coast - Dix Hills, NY
Long Island Home Specialist,All About Real Estate

Thanks Tni: I love how you putting it  all together with real estate. You may spend time with your Buyer and they may walk out with nothing, but in the END you could build an everlasting relationship and then they will come BACK to you again and again.

Dec 19, 2010 07:39 AM #36
Ellie McIntire
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate - Ellicott City, MD
Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville

What a good Daughter you are. My attention span would have diminished by the 2nd visit to the store.

Dec 19, 2010 07:51 AM #37
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

This is the way you tailored to real estate. Smart! Time spent with mom is never a waste....and regardless of the point of your post, you're enjoyment of your mom clearly comes through. It's great to have a nice relationship with our moms.

Dec 19, 2010 07:51 AM #38
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

But just think you have such happy memories of this time with your mom.

Dec 19, 2010 08:24 AM #39
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

I love your mom!

She and I would get along great as shopping buddies.. now if she's a home buyer.. different story.. :)

Dec 19, 2010 09:30 AM #40
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Realty ONE Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale

Hello Tni and a wonderful story and I am glad your mother got her revenge ... ;)

Vegas Bob

Dec 20, 2010 10:38 AM #41
Tamara Inzunza
RE/MAX Executives - Alexandria, VA
Close-In Alexandria and Arlington Living

Tni you have a knack for blogging about what we Realtors are thinking!  Love it, and congrats on the feature.

Dec 22, 2010 03:38 PM #42
Margaret Mitchell
Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty - York, ME
Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate

This is such a wonderful post.  I loved the story, completely engrossed and you tied it up with a bow.

Jan 02, 2011 04:06 AM #43
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.

Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879
Ask me a question
Spam prevention

Additional Information