It’s a beautiful day in Bothell, WA. I could give you the specifics (57 degrees, light breeze, blooms are budding and the birds are chirping), but it’s enough to say that the sun is shining. Any day in the Puget Sound with a shiny orb beaming down on you is a beautiful day – no matter the temperature or wind speed.

For prospective home buyers, it’s a great day to look at open houses. As a Realtor, it’s less than ideal. I think I would rather sit an open in the rain than in the sun, knowing that professional obligations aside, the weather would keep me from doing something more personally fulfilling. I can’t help but feel a little jealous working on a day like today – my clients, meanwhile, are taking their daughter to the park to play while they soak up the sun under the shade of a good book. I’m more envious of those that are chasing a little white ball on manicured greens, and I can’t help but think that many of these Columbia-clad golfers are my peers, who merely chose their 9-iron over sitting an open.

I haven’t noticed that my traffic goes up on nice days anyway. I think that the people that are hungry for a new home are looking no matter the weather – nice weather might only lure away the passive buyer to less socially intimidating options. I was a first-time homebuyer once – and I remember being nosed like chum at every open that I went to. Many buyers share that same feeling, and I still can’t help but see an a-board for an open house and think of it as leading to the feeding pool for the sharks.

I think it’s the memory of that feeling that keeps my inner-shark at bay. I know that many Realtors require visitors to sign a registration before entering the home, or employ any one of a hundred other methods to pry information from visiting buyers in the home to expand their call-list. Not me. The door to my listing is open, the music is playing softly in the background, and I’ll rise when someone enters, offer my name and my help and then tell the buyer to take their time walking throughout the house. Other agents must think I’m crazy, but there’s a rhyme to my reason…

I work today – this glorious, sun-filled day – for the benefit of my seller. Open houses can be (and have been) a wonderful way for me to meet new clients, but ultimately the reason I’m here instead of on the golf course is because of a promise I made to my seller to sell their home. Assaulting buyers at the door doesn’t aid this cause – an obnoxious agent will only rush a prospective buyer toward the nearest exit. I would think that my seller would want them to linger, to find at least a moment’s peace within this structure that they call “home.”

So here I sit. Waiting for the next buyer to come through, when I’ll offer my name and my help and then tell the buyer to take their time. Perhaps because of my silence they’ll hear the birds chirping, notice the blooms budding, and think to themselves what a beautiful day it is – a beautiful day to look at open houses.

P.S. The next potential buyer to come through was a friend of Phil Mickelson’s – scouting for Phil before his visit next week. Come on by Phil, I’d be happy to represent you!

A seller and I may work together for weeks (sometimes months) to prepare their property for the market. This is more work for the seller than for me obviously: decongesting closets that are busting at the hinges, getting the kids to put their clothes on hangers, painting a few spots that were missed because of large furniture, and fixing the hole in the drywall that was borne out of a misbegotten re-enactment of WrestleMania. When it’s ready for me to step in I schedule the cleaning, followed by the staging, followed by… [insert obligatory surprise service that is needed due to revealing nature of the prior events – carpet cleaning for spots that were covered by a rug for the last five years, handyman services for remembering that the large picture you didn’t like was placed only to cover several holes that were created in an attempt to prove that you didn’t need a studfinder, etc].

When all is said and done, I stand back with the seller and peruse the fruits of our labor: the floors are clean, the rooms are uncluttered and tastefully decorated, unsightly blemishes have been covered with designer paint, and the home even smells inviting. I look toward the seller with a smile, satisfied that we’re finally ready for market, and then they say the inevitable: “Why didn’t it always look this good? I want to live HERE!”

It’s true – I’ve seen it happen on almost every listing I’ve had, and still, I can see our own home creeping toward this same realization. As homeowners we attack our home with zeal after the initial purchase, ready to implement the changes we envisioned when we first walked through our eventual domicile. Over time this zeal fades and we become more sedentary – leaving things within easy reach rather than putting things away – compiling until they’re categorized into piles, where (over time) they become part of the floor plan. Eventually a relative threatens a visit, and we’re forced into stashing our piles into corners of the house that we consider “hidden.” In reality, every corner of our house is already utilized, so closets become unmanageable and rooms become impassable.

I usually see people on both ends of this process: from the wide-eyed potential-laden looks of my buyers to the bittersweet look of regret I see in my sellers once their house is reborn. The remorse of re-discovering their home’s potential is partially my fault, in that I hire professionals that do their job well. The maid service is good at their job, as are the carpet cleaners, the stagers, the handymen, and the photographers. All of them lend their support to make the home appealing to the most discriminating eye. Sadly, the only person in a position to appreciate the transformation is the seller, and when faced with what could have been, their reaction is nothing short of regret.

“Why didn’t it always look this good?” Words and phrases like these are the best indications from my seller that their home is ready to go on the market. Sadly, it’s also a powerful reminder that we should all live like we were selling. Still, it’s some consolation that the few days that their home is on the market are some of the most enjoyable for my sellers – for those few days they relish their home with the same zeal they had when they moved in.

Juanita Condo

Stylish end-unit townhome-style condo! With 2 beds, 2.5 baths & 1029sf, this is a location you’ll be thrilled to call home. Ground level entry, vaulted ceilings in the master, and a view into treetops make this unit a light and bright retreat. Walking distance to the Burke-Gilman trail, Wayne Golf Course & easy access to 405 & the eastside. 2 designated parking spaces, including your very own individual detached 1 car garage.

This Property Now Under Contract!

List Price: $289,950
MLS#: 27054341
Address: 15707 Waynita Way NE #D209, Bothell, WA 98011
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.5
Square Feet: 1029
Price/Sq. Ft: $281.78
Year Built: 1988
Taxes: 1888
Heat Source/Type: electric Baseboard/forced air
School District: Northshore
Flyer: Click HERE (PDF – will load in new window).

Call Dennis Pearce at 206.931.9945 or Jesse Moore at 425.876.0766 for more information.