January 20, 2007

Realtor: We'd Like To Show Your Apartment During The Kid's Nap


This NYT article is ostensibly about the disruptions and inconveniences associated with selling/showing your house--always having to keep it clean, disappearing on an hour's notice, Pottery Barning it up by stashing all your personal mementos and photos. But judging by the pictures and most of the anecdotes, it's really about having to sell your 1BR once the kid starts to crawl because you can't fit any more toys in the living room.

The Home That You Can’t Call Your Own [nyt]


We've been dealing with that for a year and a half now. The market's tough. It's just getting harder as the kid collects larger and larger toys. The best feedback we ever had was when they gave us 5 minutes notice and i just took the kid to the backyard and fed her lunch. I think the lady who was looking at the house liked the kid more than the house: the second showing didn't fare so well.

I'd definitely hate to have to vacate the house on a few minutes' notice with a two-year-old who just woke up.

On the other hand, a few dozen visits to Starbucks isn't a whole lot of work for potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars tax-free real estate profit. When you've made 50% on your investment over five years, holding out endlessly for a couple of percent may not be worth it.

That's the general theme in many of these Times articles: Holding out.

We bought in Westchester last year. We spent six months looking with an agent before eventually finding a private sale. The agents did not help things. Everyone was in denial that the market had softened. Sellers would reject our lower-than-asking offers, then over time have to go far below our offers as no other buyers materialized. I have to thank them for being hard-headed -- we would have overpaid!

I can't stop looking at the white fur collar on that last photo.

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