Walk a Mile in your Seller's Shoes

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Heritage Realtors

I REALLY don't want to do this.

My husband has been transferred and I have to put my house on the market...and soon!  Today, I started making a list of all the things I need to do to prepare.  As I sit here and read over my list I realize that I really DON'T want to do this!  What a pain!  Having to put all of my personal items away, taking the time to have my home ready and in "showing condition" every time I leave the house, having agents call at dinner time to see if they can come by in 10 minutes, receiving insulting feedback from people who don't appreciate what a great home we have to offer, etc, etc, etc. 

Sellers are great.  They take a lot of "you-know-what" from agents and buyers.  Bless them all for being so patient with us!!  We intrude upon their lives, invade their personal space and expose all of their vulnerabilities - all in a days work.  As soon as they agree to allow us to list our homes we try to hurry them into getting their house ready as soon as possible, as if they can just wave that magic wand that instantly implements all of our recommendations.

Even worse, I specialize in Staging Homes as well.  These clients are the true saints!  They let me come into their homes and completely rearrange their cherished decorations and furniture and smile while I make their home no longer look like it's "theirs".  There has to be a special corner in heaven reserved for people who smile graciously during this process.  Seriously.

Maybe we should all walk a mile in their shoes.  I haven't had to sell my own personal home in 7 years and I think I've lost touch with how difficult it really is (especially in a slower market).  I'll be a little gentler with my sellers and staging clients from now on and remember how stressful the actual listing period is. 


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Laurie Logan
Keller Williams Realty, Inc., Broker Associate - Madison, WI
South Central WI Real Estate
A colleague of mine says every agent should have to move every 4 years, so they maintain compassion for our buyers and sellers.  Think of what that would for our market!
Feb 04, 2008 01:38 AM #7
Paul Francis
Francis Group Real Estate - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate Agent - Summerlin Homes

3 times in 6 years for me and about to do it again!

Feb 04, 2008 01:45 AM #8
Michael Cole
CPG Tours - Orange, CA

Great post, Rebecca. Your comments are spot-on. And I think it would serve people well to really remember what a seller goes through. It ain't easy, and it ain't fun being one.

Good luck with your own sale.

Feb 04, 2008 01:47 AM #9
Colleen Fischesser Northwest Property Shop
RE/MAX Advantage | Managing Broker - Chelan, WA
A Tradition of Trust in the Pacific NW since 1990!

Rebecca, everything I personally go through a purchase or sale, I think it makes me better at what I do and have a greater appreciation for what I do and what my clients go through. Best of luck with your sale!


Feb 04, 2008 01:52 AM #10
Emily Lowe
The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty - Nashville, TN
Nashville TN Realtor
So true, so true!  And then they just have to wait after putting all this work into getting the house ready.  It really IS agonizing!
Feb 04, 2008 02:56 AM #11
Ann Cordes
Century 21 Randall Morris and Associates, Waco - Waco, TX
Home Ownership is Not a Distant Dream

You sound like a very sweet person! I'm sure your sellers and clients love you.


Feb 04, 2008 03:05 AM #12
Michelle Gordon
JH Realty Partners - Ada, MI
Finding Your Place

It is the hardest for me to tell the sellers to get rid of some of those great pics you have of your children, can you pack up some of the toys?  Things I know they love, and I know it will destract from the showing of the home.  I am probably not as forward as I need to be.  I need to figure out how to be forward and gentle at the same time.  However, it sounds like you got it down!

Good luck in selling your home.............. 


Feb 04, 2008 03:42 AM #14
Meyer Leibovitch
RE/MAX Elite Services, Nurit Coombe Team - North Bethesda, MD
Compassion and empathy go a long way in this business!
Feb 04, 2008 03:59 AM #15
Audrey Hoffman
VoteAudrey blog - Columbia, SC


Refreshing viewpoint, thanks for sharing!  As a stager, I try to tread softly, offer compliments before "suggestions," and repeatedly thank them for letting me into their home.  I had an unexpected move recently and know it's hard.  (Especially when I had dug my heels in Atlanta!)  Have faith, it looks like you're taking this all in good humor and will be rewarded for your patience!

Take care,





Feb 04, 2008 04:50 AM #16
Dave Woodson
Dave Woodson - Chesterton, IN
Not the Average Agent
Ugh, thanks for bringing up the bad memories
Feb 04, 2008 05:45 AM #17
Diane Aurit
LKN Realty, LLC - Mooresville, NC
Lake Norman Real Estate
You are so right.  I moved in 2005 and recently wrote a post entitled "Wearing the Sellers' Hat" about my experience.  It's really good for us to go through a sale personally!
Feb 04, 2008 07:26 AM #18
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.

That's for sure, a couple of years ago, I had a class come stage my house as we didn't have the perfect house for our staging day.  It was quite revealing and you can be sure it made me a much gentler Realtor/Stager from then on.  It is sooo invasive and I am always in awe of how people trust us. 


Feb 04, 2008 09:25 AM #19
Paula Smith
RealtyPath St. George - Saint George, UT
Paula Smith Associate Broker RealtyPath St George
This will ultimately be a good thing for your business...as you will "remember" and be able to better relate to the clients you assist. 
Feb 04, 2008 09:54 AM #20
Rebecca Quinones
Coldwell Banker Heritage Realtors - Dayton, OH

WOW, my first Featured Post!  Thank you Active Rain powers that be. :)

Thank you, to all who took the time to read and post a comment.  I appreciate all of your kind words! 

I have been hard at work all day trying to accomplish some of the many tasks on my pre-listing list.  Ugh!  Being a military wife, moving is not a new task for me but this one has taken me by surprise.  We had planned to be here another 2 years and have really enjoyed "living" in this house.  Today I began the process of making my home looked "un-lived in". 

But, this too will make me a better agent!  Anytime we have the opportunity to experience what our buyers and sellers go through, we have an opportunity to grow and learn.  If only they passed out CE Credits for buying and selling your own house.  LOL!

Feb 04, 2008 09:56 AM #21
Christy Powers
Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners - Pooler, GA
Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent
I know I remember how it was. It's funny how you can walk into someone else's home and tell them what needs to be done. But when you have to do it, you sometimes miss things and don't want to do them. I have been there and will be there again soon!
Feb 04, 2008 02:19 PM #22
Lynn Johnson
Coldwell Banker Home Connection - Owatonna, MN
Owatonna, MN Real Estate


Even though it's been awhile since we moved I can still remember the stress that came with that process.  I think I'd prefer to read posts about the need to have compassion for our sellers, rather than go through it again anytime soon.  Thanks for the reminder and good luck with your move.

Feb 04, 2008 02:44 PM #23
Thesa Chambers
Fred Real Estate Group - Bend, OR
Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon
I would hate to be in your shoes - man my Christmas tree is still up, decorated and has gifts under it....
Feb 04, 2008 02:49 PM #24
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co


You're right on this one girl! It's a reminder for all of us, thanks.

Feb 04, 2008 03:00 PM #25
Heather Fitzgerald
REALTY WORLD-Harbert Company, Inc. - Greenwood, IN
REALTOR Greenwood Indiana Real Estate
Walking a mile in their shoes would help all of us keep and strengthen our relationships in all aspects of life.  Good post-thanks for the reminder.
Feb 05, 2008 02:31 AM #26
Robert L. Brown
www.mrbrownsellsgr.com - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic
Take the time to listen and understand their point of view. it'll go a long way. Good information.
Feb 05, 2008 04:14 AM #27
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